Kenneth “Hap” Klopp acquired The North Face in 1968 – then two small stores, one in San Francisco and one in the Old Barn at Stanford- and turned it into a global apparel business that he ran for 20 years. He also became the executive chairman of Cocona, a nanoparticle company that makes fibers, fabrics, and laminates for active apparel companies, and Obscura Digital, a digital communications business.
Today, the MBA ’66 graduate of Stanford Graduate School of Business continues his board roles while also mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs. “It’s very inspiring to be around young people,” he says. “Older people don’t have the optimistic curiosity of younger people. I get enthused by the can-do attitude.” He talks with us about the importance of infusing your values into your brand, the virtues of influencer marketing, and the benefits of interdisciplinary design teams.