Napapiiri, Napapijri… it’s just fashion, darling!

napapijriBelonging to the huge crowd of Finnish speaking Eyeties, I’ve always wondered why (and why just in Italy) a rather important winter clothes brand has the Norwegian flag on its clothes and the Finnish word Napapijri (Artic circle) on it.

Later on, I discovered that “Napapijri” is actually the name of that brand.

And what shocked me the most: “napapijri” is misspelled, since it should be written “napapiiri“.

What is that? Well, nothing special: just some Italian businessmen who wanted to show that a nordic flag with a strong red color (the Norwegian one suits so well!) and a strange word (what’s weirder than something in Finnish?) with maybe a foreign character (oh well, two “i”‘s together don’t look that nice, do they? Let’s do like this: let’s replace the second one with a “j”; it is such an unusual character in Italian…) would make it.

How many Italians do you think would wonder, what all those things mean? It’s just fashion, darling!

All the truth from Helsingin Sanomat: Seen one napa, seen them all…

19 thoughts on “Napapiiri, Napapijri… it’s just fashion, darling!

  1. Reiner Petersen

    Well, I just bought an excellent outdoor jacket of Napapiiri.
    But Napappiiri is a Finnish word (Arctic Circle), so why do you use the Norwegian and not the Finnish flag in your brand?

    reiner Petersen

  2. Raffa Post author

    Well, maybe you could ask them directly. I can make a guess: maybe because the Norwegian flag is more colourful than the Finnish one? If businessmen knew/respected geography I’d be a rich man 🙂

  3. anders

    There’s a long story to why Napaijri is based on the Norwegian flag. A Italian designer went on an expedition on some mountain and he got lost. A group researchers from Norway were also on that mountain and they happen to find this Italian designer and ended up saving his life. The Italian designer now makes a line of clothes in thanks to the Norwegian Research team that found him.

    I myself am from Norway and I love how this amazing designer makes very fashionable clothes with my countries Flag on it.

  4. Raffa Post author

    Yes, that sounds like a lovely story, but in Helsingin Sanomat facts are presented in a slightly different way (rich Italian family on Monte Rosa on an after-ski session trying to find out a nice name and logo for their clothes)

  5. another story

    I’ve heard another one. An Italian designer was present during the Lillehammer olympics in ’94 when he discovered the norwegian flag. After the olympic committee said that The Lillehammer olymipic games was the best olympic winter games in history he took the flag and used it as a symbol of wintersports and the artic world. With its bright colors it was perfect as a logo for the napapijri company brand.

  6. No no noooo

    The Norwegian flag appears on many of the garments as a tribute to the Norwegian explorers that first traveled to Polar
    Regions by foot and by dog sled over 100 years ago. Permission to use the Norwegian flag as a Napapijri logo was happily granted by the King of Norway, Harald the 5th.

  7. Raffa Post author

    Hmm: and the king holds the rights of the flag? Maybe it’s time to shift to a republic 🙂

  8. brad Burn

    i have just purchased another jumper ski pants etc while skiing in Spain to add to others i have purchased over the last few years, my only comments other than i love all the product is the sizing seems very strange and a wool jumper has shrunk to half size while following the washing instructions.

  9. alat

    Well folks, i have Napapijri shorts. I like them very much and just have discovered origin of the brand. Respect to Italia and Norway! =)
    Btw, i’m from Russia and it’s a pity that we won’t play in euro 2008 1/2 final with Italy 🙁

  10. Ralph

    Napapijri is a town with the distinction of being directly on the arctic circle and the Norwegian flag is for the Norwegian team that were the first to reach the south pole. Roald Amundsen of Norway was the first person to successfully navigate the fabled Northwest passage (1905), the first person to reach the South Pole (1911), and the first person to fly over the North Pole (1926). A tall, powerfully built man Amundsen took pride in being referred to as “the last of the Vikings.” They wanted their clothing line to be associated with a great explorer and I guess it was easier to get permission to use the Norwegian flag than to get permission from Amundsen’s relatives to use his name

  11. Ralph

    Amundsen died in a plane crash attempting to rescue his friend, the Italian explorer Umberto Nobile, maybe that’s the reason for the tribute.

  12. diane matarazzo

    Why all the fuss?! While all the possible historical facts are colorful, who cares? The product is well designed, unique and utilitarian. Life is too, too short to argue about the origin of the word, flag, etc. Just be happy your country is not a war, on the brink of financial ruin and when you wake up in the morning, you can look down at the flowers and not up at the roots. Lighten up, be happy!!

  13. Mortti

    Never mind the flag but where on earth am I supposed to find a website with their products?
    The or .com is to the best of my knowlidge a site with no info about the gear and goods themself or were they hidden just so professionaly that even I couldn’t find them?
    I was anxious to find a travelling bag they have and I saw last time when in Italy but didn’t then buy it, silly me…
    Peace with everyone!

  14. Mortti

    Forgive me Delilah!
    About the website and the products – there were two (2) ways to enter the site and the first one takes you/me/anyone to the product orientated site.
    Which was nice…

  15. Weeman

    Whatever the origin of the company the fact is the Norwegian flag is very attractive to the eye. Not only that but it also gives a distinctive and neutral logo for the product which is acceptable to everyone in a way that the British or American flag would NOT be.Couple that with the fact that the quality of all their products are absolutely top class and you are on to a winner. Simply THE BEST!

  16. abdou

    i think that the norwegian flag is simply the best and norway is well known as a country of extremes and cold winters associated with a wonderfull aurora borealis. norway is also the gate of north pole . who care about russian or finnish flag?napapijri is best and norwegian flag is the best way to expresse it.

  17. menno

    21 august 2009.
    Napapijri is a beautiful brand between fashion and outdoor.Strong materials for ( in the Netherlands) a fair price. Cheaper than other casual Italian clothes . Also is Napapijri more stilish than the regular American Sportswear. Why?. Funny applications which are ,in my opinion, not overdone.
    And it fits me, anyway, better than others brands ( mt 36)
    You can wear it on school, work and sparetime, without been under- or overdressed.
    Have fun

    Menno from Holland

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