Often assumed to be a Norwegian brand, simply because it has Norway's flag emblazoned over all over it's goods, Napapijri actually hails from Italy, started as a family-run business in Aosta up in the Italian Alps in 1987.
Founded in Italy, logo containing a big Norwegian flag, and to confuse things further it's name is taken from the Finnish word for Arctic Circle (although if we were being really pedantic we would point out that the word is actually spelt Napapiiri!) The company originally specialized in designing bags, created specifically for outdoor sports and enthusiasts. Over the years it branched out into clothing and technical outdoor-wear, aimed primarily towards the premium end of the market, both on and off the slopes.
Although still based in Italy, Napapijri was acquired by the American company VF Corportation in 2004, the same company that own's a number of outdoor brands, including The North Face and Timberland.
Napapijri is a variation of the Finnish word for the Arctic Circle and the logo, half positive and half negative, expresses the North and South Poles in graphic form. The Norwegian flag is closely linked to the brand's DNA, representing Europe’s northernmost country, the birthplace of some of the great explorers of the 20th century as well as a land of extreme conditions and magnificent landscapes.The Napapijri journey began in 1987 in the shadow of Europe’s highest peak, the Monte Bianco, where an Italian designer combined innovative materials with close attention to style.
Napapijri have managed to carve out quite a unique style with their products and clothing, and the first thing that most people will think of if they know the Napapijri brand is the signature Norwegian flag that is emblazoned across most of their creations, usually below the Napapijri half-black/half-white logo. The appearance of the Norway's flag automatically leads to the assumption that this is a Norwegian brand, but its roots are actually in Italy, even though it's now owned by a big American corporation.
One of the other iconic stylings of Napapijri is found in its classic jackets, with the pullover-style and large kangaroo-pockets on the front (complete with the Norwegian flag, of course!) becoming something of a design classic for the brand, even though it wasn't to everyone's taste, with many skiers and boarders preferring a normal zip-up jacket. Napapijri also offer plenty of full zip-up jackets, and their recent collections have looked extremely smart, with a new brand-badge replacing the Norwegian flag on the front of many of their recent ski jackets, giving it a cleaner, more minimal look.
Napapijri have forged a decent reputation for the quality of its products (reflected in the price of its jackets and outerwear), using high-end technical materials and a production quality that means their products survive more than a just couple of seasons on the slopes.
The majority of Napapijri ski jackets tend to range anywhere between £300 and £700.
Napapijri clothing is available at the following Ski and Snow-sports Shops: