Depending on your zip code, learning how to layer for the outdoors is either a foreign concept or a right of passage. For Boulder, Colorado-native Tyler Haney, it was the latter.
As the founder and CEO of Outdoor Voices (or for those in the know, simply OV) Ty’s created the rare performance apparel brand that isn’t concerned with its customers’ actual performance, instead championing a broader umbrella of recreational activities like dog walking, jogging, swimming, and yoga. Given Ty’s mountain-town roots, it was only a matter of time before that umbrella covered outdoor activities, too.
“We’ve always wanted to make an outdoor collection but knew it had to start with the right materials,” Ty explains. “We fell in love with a recycled Merino Wool from Italy, but wanted to make it in really energetic and uplifting colors so we went with a sunset palette — different than the traditional white, grey, and black lots of brands offer.”
In researching the OV Outdoor Collection, the OV learned that, on average, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors — the ultimate challenge for a brand committed to #DoingThings.
“Our mission is to get people moving every day,” says Ty. “The collection offers natural technical solutions for our community that will allow them to stay warm all season long in cozy layers for the outdoors. No matter where they are or what the temperatures are outside, we want this collection to help keep people outside and doing things longer.” The result is a colorful, layer-able array of pieces for men and women meant for recreation in any weather: breathable half-zip tops, quick-dry Merino tops, cozy textured leggings, and a MegaFleece, the chunky pullover of our dreams. The best part? It’s all meant to live in the OV style universe, pairing perfectly with the brand’s signature crop tops and compression leggings.
And if the collection imagery feels more fun and welcoming than a lot of the outdoor marketing out there, there’s a good reason: Ty is serious about recreation and fun taking priority over physical performance — so much so that she sent her team out to Bishop, California to test out the Outdoor Collection themselves. We caught up with Nicole Slevin, OV’s eComm Photo Art Director, to go behind the scenes at the shoot, where the hot springs got weird, the climbers got shake-leg, and everyone got #DoingThings. Turns out endorphins really do make for better photos.
What was your favorite part of the shoot in Bishop?
The beautiful part about the Bishop shoot was that it was based in a place and in an experience that the group of us truly loved — we are passionate about climbing and about being in the mountains. We were a group of friends experiencing something special, while living out our brand mission of #DoingThings. And for me, that comes across in the imagery.
What OV outdoor piece will you have forever?
It was the combo of the Merino Long Sleeve T-Shirt and the MegaFleece. Comfort, great colors, and perfect throughout the whole trip, from traveling to climbing to hanging out at camp.
Tell me about your first climb in the Buttermilks?
Exhilarating! And completely terrifying. The boulders are much bigger than I imagined and felt so exposed. After a few minutes of staring at the route (and questioning my decision to go on a bouldering trip), I eventually mentally committed to starting the climb and just going for it. You flew all this way, you better climb!
Halfway up my first climb at the Buttermilks, my right leg started shaking pretty intensely. A mix of nerves and fatigue. But at that point, I was too far up to comfortably jump down, and still a few moves from reaching the top. Usually this is the crux, both mentally and physically. All I could do was focus on my breathing and keep moving my feet up, looking for holds. Good news is…I finished the climb! And that was the highlight of my trip, honestly, that rush of endorphins. You feel like you’re floating and are filled with gratitude for life, the experience, and the people around you. And then I’m thinking ‘Did you get a good photo of me in the Merino T-Shirt? How did I look?!”
Weirdest thing that happened at the shoot?
On the last night there, we visited the hot springs for a relaxing end to the trip. Not five minutes into being there, Adam (our photographer) keeps saying “Guys, guys!” trying to get our attention. He’s staring up into the sky looking completely confused. I was actually scared for a second. We all turn around to see this crazy bright, colorful, enormous mass rising in the sky, with pieces breaking away from it as it was ascending. Obviously it was a UFO. Or SpaceX testing one of its new rockets. No one knows, but it was a crazy way to end the trip.
Images courtesy of Outdoor Voices and Adam Kingman.
XX Johnie Gall