What Exactly Is VF Corp., The Denver-Bound Parent Company Of North Face And Others

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Photo: North Face VF Corp Outdoor Retailer 2015
Andrew Coutant with North Face stands next to The North Face exhibit at the Outdoor Retailer Show Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Salt lake City.

What exactly is VF Corporation, the Fortune 250 company that announced Monday that it will move its headquarters and an estimated 800 jobs to Denver? The brands are familiar—Timberline, North Face, Smartwool, Wrangler and Vans—but the parent company not so much.

Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner talked to Colorado Matters about VF Corp. Kapner said the success of the company comes from its active buying and selling of brands based on how well they perform. She doesn’t expect that to change in Colorado, where Kapner believes the company will focus on outdoors and activewear.

As for what the VF stands for, it’s Vanity Fair—not exactly the sporty or outdoors vibe expected. (It has no association with the magazine.) The company once specialized in women’s lingerie in the 1800s, and only shortened the name in the 1960s.