Outdoor Afro Inc. and REI Co-Op celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature with the launch of their co-created technical hike apparel collection. A new chapter for national not-for-profit Outdoor Afro Founder and CEO Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro Inc. is the corporate partner of her 13-year organization and the co-op’s inspiration for this innovative line of clothing.
The first drop in the multi-launch collection arrives with the sun-soaked campaign “We Are Nature.” Helmed by Nate Edwards aka Nate the Director from Invisible Collective, the social media film reflects REI Co-Op and Outdoor Afro’s consideration of representation both in front of and behind the camera, leading the campaign to feature a mix of Outdoor Afro leaders, REI partners and models as the on-camera talent.
On capturing the glorious exuberance of connecting with nature on video, Nate the Director commented, “The rhythm of the piece was big for me, making sure we could have those valleys and peaks within the flow and pacing was important, and we had the tools to showcase that. Nature has its own sense of peacefulness and high energy, so we put our talent in situations within nature that could provide us with those opportunities.”
Campaign photography was captured by Joshua Kissi and Fela Raymond from TONL, a creative company seeking to transform the idea of stock photography with diverse representation. The seamless collaboration between the film and photography crews comes through in feel-good radiance of the piece: this is the real idyll, the right people, the right gear, and the right atmosphere.
“I always love the collaboration that working alongside photography crews on a project offers. Especially when I have the opportunity to work with the amazing Joshua Kissi and team!” said Nate. “There’s a beautiful synergy that comes, you get to see an artist capture the same talent in the same environment in an entirely different way and it inspires creativity on the spot. Both sides are able to push each other in that way.”
Watch “We Are Nature” on Instagram.