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SNEWS® Live: Retired founder Jack Gilbert attributes function over fashion to Mountain Hardwear's rise to brand prominence

Jack Gilbert, retired founder of Mountain Hardwear and former founding senior exec at The North Face, talks to SNEWS® Live and reflects back upon his 40-year career.


This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face

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SNEWS® Live: Jack Gilbert was a major force in the outdoor industry from its earliest days. Starting at The North Face in 1968 as vice president of sales and marketing, he helped establish the standards of quality, innovation and authenticity that guide the creation of new products even to this day.

Gilbert left The North Face during a turbulent period in the late ’80s. Leveraging his contacts in the industry, he worked with others to create the Outdoor Retailer trade show in 1988. But he always held a desire to make quality outdoor gear and returned to his roots, taking on the president position at outdoor apparel and equipment manufacturer Sierra Designs from 1991 to 1993.

After an unsuccessful attempt to buy Sierra Designs in 1993, Gilbert co-founded Mountain Hardwear with his business partner, Paul Kramer. Established as a brand to embody core industry values favoring function over fashion, Mountain Hardwear quickly became a favorite among the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts.

Now retired at the age of 64, Gilbert spoke with SNEWS Live to look back on his career spanning 40 years and share a bit of what he’s learned.