Founded in London by stylist Jack West and photographer Rory Griffin, Orienteer is a magazine and online platform celebrating outdoor apparel. Engaged with all aspects, from technical and functional to lifestyle, Orienteer showcases the best in directional style, and the joy of the great outdoors. We caught up with the duo to chat utility obsessions, what they love about getting lost in nature and their future plans.
Hi Jack & Rory, hope you are both well. For those in the dark, can you quickly explain Orienteer Mapazine? How did it come about? What’s the format? When did it start?
Orienteer Mapazine is a concept print magazine that takes the format of an old OS map, it started in 2019 off the back of a university project. We both studied at London College of Fashion and this ideation was our thesis project. We initially printed the map as a prototype for ourselves and didn’t look back at it for a year. During the midst of the pandemic, we were stuck at home and looked back into our archive of research and development for our initial project. We decided to print new issues of the mapazine on a more finalised paper stock. We were hand-folding the initial print runs as we didn’t know the printers could also make the concertina folds for us. Luckily we found this out at around issue five.
You’ve both been working in the fashion industry for a while. Tell us a bit about what you do and how that has informed Orienteer’s identity?
Working in the fashion industry alongside studying at university gave us insight into the ins and outs of both styling and photography along with other creative roles, this helped inform the projects into something that was far bigger than a university project, we felt this had legs and it was a way to show our point of view on the current fashion climate, trends and documenting the world around us.
Why do you think outdoor apparel is so popular right now? Is it just a trend, or do you think more people are taking up outdoor activities and looking for more directional/functional clothing?
When we were initially researching the trend cycles of outdoor and technical apparel it was apparent that this was not going to be the first or last time that functional clothing would appear on all levels of fashion from high street to runway. There is always an element of trend to all apparel but at the core are people that will always be into their style, for outdoor clothing its core is more tangible than some other trends because it has a hobby or a sport at its creation.
The current demand for functional clothing has been a response to people’s newfound love for outdoor activities which was a knock-on effect of the pandemic and whilst it could have slowed down we think people have found that spending more time outdoors is healthy, physically and mentally so this fashion trend transcends into more of a need for functionality to match the activities.
What outdoor activities do you guys like to do?
We are into hiking, climbing, trail running, skiing, and camping but if you throw anything at us we will give it a go!
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from the world around us! Initially, we were inspired by the salarymen of Bank and Liverpool street juxtaposed with London graffiti writers and rambling groups – their combined trend of outdoor clothing. And throughout the magazine, we have developed these ideas and tapped into new niches but generally, we try to find inspiration from the real world, people around us and their stories.
When you’re not working, how do you like to relax and switch off?
We are always working, that’s the benefit of running your own business especially when it’s a magazine but we are lucky enough to call trips to the mountains, and spending time outdoors work.
What’s the best thing about working together and collaborations in general?
Collaborations are a way to make that bedroom idea into reality! It’s also a great way to meet new people and develop ideas with varied points of view.
What’s coming next for the magazine? What can people look forward to?
Look forward to 200 pages of Orienteer-style imagery, copy and layout! A full-feature film (but for magazines) including collaborations with some of our favourite brands. We are looking forward to presenting our next iteration of the Orienteer print format, we will be utilising a more standard magazine format biannual so we can bring more content to life and to our readers through our lens, along with more collaborative projects and showcasing work from our friends of the magazine. We will still be keeping the map at our core with a folder concertina map inside every issue that will continue to act as a poster whilst always highlighting areas of interest to the editorial work included inside.
Where can they get hold of it?
We will be having a subscription offer on orienteermapazine.com
Finally, we ask all of our Journal interviewees to complete the following phrase:
You Must Create… something tangible, that makes people think 💭