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Meet Outside Clothes

NOVEMBER 18, 2021

Artist Profile: Greg Kozatec

JUNE 7, 2021

Meet Outside Clothes

NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Meet Outside Clothes

NOVEMBER 18, 2021

For our HawkWatch International collection photoshoot, we worked with two New York City denizens who thrive on outdoor culture: Mikey and Eyeris. Together they started Outside Clothes, an Instagram-based collection of stories about New Yorkers who love being outside. Their work reveals the beautiful collision of urban and natural environments, and the sometimes simple and often ingenious ways people inhabit them.  Outside Clothes also serves as an informational hub for outside activities going on in cities.

Outgoing and adventurous, Eyeris (right) is able to talk with anyone and get them to share their story. Mikey (left) captures those moments through photography and video.

Tell us about Outside Clothes. Why did you start it? And what's next for the project?

Eyeris: Outside Clothes is one of those life projects that has been building up in us subconsciously for years. Mikey has really embraced taking photos of nature, and at the same time I’ve opened up to become this person that others are drawn to tell their stories to.

I remember thinking about how much being outside has saved my life, and we realized how important it was to share these stories for our communities. One of the things that is special about NYC is how we take care of our own; we want to show others how healing it can be to spend time outside and that there is something for everyone.

We’ve been busy editing our episodes and working on a shoot schedule for the winter season. Editing has definitely become more difficult than expected, simply because all of the content feels important, whether it’s visuals or the stories themselves. Our main focus right now is to get those stories out there. We’ve also been working on community service initiatives, specifically to engage with the youth. 

How did you two meet?

Eyeris: We really had to dig into ancient history to remember this, and to be quite honest, we can’t remember the exact year. But around 2006, downtown NYC had a special eclectic scene of young creatives. We crossed paths while hanging around the same people and we were both part of this collective called ALIEN. When queer women started to become more visible, we formed a close friend group around that, and have been close ever since. 

How did you get into birding?

Eyeris: For years, we’d send each other photos of random birds or animals that we thought were cute. I think any birder can relate to finding the ‘awww’ in the funniest looking creatures. Mikey saw a woodcock one day and sent me a photo freaking out because she was so excited, and neither of us had a clue of what it was. I eventually found bird Twitter, and we went on a walk that was informative but didn’t feel like we found “our people.” Once we found the Feminist Bird Club, everything changed and we were both able to really dive into it comfortably, in a space where we knew we belonged. 

You both live in NYC, a dense urban environment. How does nature figure into your daily lives?

Eyeris: Nature is the main thing that keeps both of us sane. There’ve been many days when I felt like if I didn’t have access to walk along the water and hang out with some geese, I would’ve fallen apart. It helps me be present; one of my favorite things to do is just walk around with no destination and make up stories about how these animals survive here. I honestly think we’re all crazy and resilient to thrive in this place, no matter if you’re a human or a squirrel.

It’s mostly the healing component for me, but it’s also being appreciative of the earth and what we’re blessed with. Every day that I wake up, I seriously look forward to saying “good morning, weirdos!” to all the starlings in my neighborhood. I’ve always been an outdoors kid, and at this time in my life I’m getting back to embracing my true self. I want to see as many creatures as possible while I’m on this earth, it’s a serious life goal.

Mikey: Nature has definitely been that healing space for me and allows me to be present. During some of the toughest times I’ve had, nature has helped me get through it. I really enjoy going for walks alongside the water and listening to the sounds of the waves or simply listening to the sounds of the birds while sitting by the trees or out birding. There are so many layers to nature and so much to be appreciative for.

What was it like for you to do our HawkWatch International photoshoot? Any stories, thoughts, or ideas you'd like to share about it?

Mikey: It was such a great, fun and natural shoot. We enjoyed chatting it up with the Bird Collective team, loved the gear and being able to just simply be ourselves out in nature. Although I’ll say, climbing on top of the fallen tree trunk was not an easy task because my legs are short! 

Eyeris: It was so fun! It honestly felt like a normal day at the park, with more of a schedule and getting half naked behind trees. It was actually our first time meeting the Bird Collective team, but it didn’t feel like that at all. We shot with my wonderful musician friend Elliott Skinner, and everyone just vibed off the bat. I’ve found that the birding community for the most part is so welcoming and I am beyond appreciative of that.

It felt right to merge our passions for style and wildlife preservation, especially to do so in a place that we already love and are familiar with. As fans, we admire the work that HawkWatch International and Bird Collective are doing and I think it’s so dope that our generation is figuring out how to make caring for the environment a stylish thing.

Follow Outside Clothes on Instagram @outsideclothesnyc

All photos courtesy of Mikey & Eyeris, Outside Clothes.

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