5 Minutes with Matt Paduano
This is the first part of a two-part ‘Five Minutes With’ series focusing on The North Face, Matt Paduano who is the Design Director for Equipment shares his thoughts…
1 – What key insights drive your stuff (what have you realized that others haven’t)?
We focus heavily on the user experience. Whether we are working with our athlete team or interviewing students, we truly strive to design for the user. This isn’t unique to The North Face, but we are obsessive about it. This brand was founded by a small group of hiking enthusiasts who simply decided to build product to suit their needs because what they needed didn’t exist in the market. We are still inspired by that notion today.
2 – Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry? Could you elaborate on those things (functions/features, technology, philosophy, materials, etc.) and why you think they’re important?
Mission workshop is a name that gets thrown around the design studio quite often. The Vandal has a beautiful shape. That combined with the choice of materials and versatility make for a sweet pack. I also really like the Tarahumara Pack from Hill People Gear – it’s a comfortable carry system and again versatile for such a small pack. It would be ideal for hunting Zombies.
3 – Are there any things other brands do that you think are crap? Common mistakes that drive you nuts?
I won’t point any fingers, but unfinished seams and generally bad construction…you can tell a cheap product once you look inside.
4 – What’s next for you guys?
Purposefully being vague – new market opportunities, material and construction innovations.
5 – What do you carry daily (and how)?
Right now I am carrying the Router Charged – a version of our Router that has been designed with an integrated Joey charging system. It has been my go to pack lately for traveling and daily use. I’m also working on a new duffle that I have been carrying back and forth to the gym. Typically, I carry samples to test and change out packs every month or so.