On a trek through the Himalayas in 2003, twin brothers and world-class climbers Damian and Willie Benegas dressed almost head to toe in North Face gear as they navigated an uncharted route to the summit of Mount Nuptse. On the other side of the globe, in 2007, Vans, a Southern California maker of skate shoes, put the finishing touches on its latest creation. Named for the Dropkick Murphys, an Irish-American punk band that Vans has helped promote, the slip-on black shoe has green stitching and a four-leaf-clover design. As brands go, Vans would seem as far removed from North Face as California is from Nepal. But they share a common thread: VF Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., owns them both.