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Interview: Orienteer Mapazine

Aloof aims to shine a light on the best brands and companies operating in the independent market right now, from all over the world. Those under the radar of the wider consciousness but with great stories to tell and a unique perspective on the nuts and bolts of building a brand.

Orienteer is a unique fold out 'mapazine' that is one half OS map, one half outdoor clothing guide. Fresh from the release of Issue 1, Aloof caught up with Orienteer to find out more about the past, present and future of the Mapazine and those behind it.

Aloof Studio (AS): Congratulations on the release of your first issue. How does it feel for your project to be permanently out there?

Orienteer Mapazine (OM): In all honesty it's a relief, we have been working on this for a while. As you can imagine, with the intricate design there were a lot of steps that needed to be taken before getting to this stage.

AS: Were you already working in the magazine, outdoor or fashion industry when you started Orienteer?

OM: We were both already working in the fashion industry, as a photographer & casting director, and as a stylist.

AS: Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with the outdoors?

OM: We both grew up in London and we love the outdoors as it can act as an escape from busy city life. That's not to say there aren't great things to explore and discover in the city too though.

AS: The mapazine looks like nothing we’ve seen before. Did you find many references for how you wanted the magazine to look, or did it feel like you were treading new ground?

OM: Initially, we looked at references from some Japanese fashion magazines, not so much for the design but in regard to style. The design was really just inspired by the old style of A-Z maps.

AS: The mapazine takes us back to reading OS maps at school, were you aiming for a nostalgic feel?

OM: That’s exactly what we wanted! That nostalgic feel of holding an OS map in your hands, the way it can be twisted and turned to be viewed at different angles.

AS: Do we spend enough time outdoors?

OM: Recently, the answer to that is unfortunately no. We hope the lockdown we've all been through will encourage people to get outdoors and explore more.

AS: Outdoor pursuits can be the luxury of well to do people. How can we be more inclusive and encourage more people to take up outdoor hobbies?

OM: Whilst outdoor hobbies may seem a luxury, we want to encourage people to step outside into nature. This doesn't necessarily have to be in the mountains or deep in the forest, there are smaller hiking trails that you can find much closer to home and we believe that cities can be explored in the same way that the great outdoors is.

AS: We’re both based in London, where should we go outside of the city to explore?

OM: Thinking of some closer spots, there are some great forests in Hertfordshire that are quite easily accessible. Of course there's Epping Forest too and we definitely need to explore the city more as there are some great spots to be found.

AS: With so many companies producing this hybrid street-meets-peak style of clothing, how can you tell when someone is the real deal?

OM: We really love that there are so many designers working within the realms of technical garments, whether they be practical or more for fashion. This is where the innovation starts and there are some great young designers experimenting with new fabrics and design techniques that could better the future of outdoor clothing.

AS: What outdoor staple should everyone have in his or her wardrobe?

OM: This is a tricky one, but probably a waterproof jacket.

AS: With such a wealth of robust fabrics used by manufacturers, is there a particular one you think stands up to scrutiny more than others?

OM: This is also a difficult one, but after working with Robert Newman on Issue 1 to create the Dyneema jacket and seeing lots of people experimenting with the fabric, we think it’s great.

AS: Reflecting on Issue 1, was there anything you’d have done differently or any ideas you’d like to expand on in the future?

OM: Issue 1 was in a sense a prototype to see how it would be received, for Issue 2 we want to have a lot more content with interesting reads.

Find out more about Orienteer and purchase Issue 1 here.


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