Fly Your Own Flag: Interview with RANGE’s Jeanine Pesce

Jeanine Pesce is the founder of RANGE magazine and the go-to woman for all things outdoor-trend related. Jeanine has worked with just about every outdoor brand worth its salt over the years. When she isn’t beachcombing, camping or doing yoga, Jeanine splits her time between SF, LA and NYC with her husband Cooper. We recently caught up with her, just in time for the launch of the second issue of the magazine:

What was the original inspiration behind RANGE and why outdoor industry/lifestyle? The reason I started RANGE was because of a little line drawing called “A Map of the Future” by Jimmie Durham (below). When I saw the illustration, it just really resonated with me. I started to ask myself, where the hell is my life really going? Am I doing what I love everyday? I had been working as a trend consultant in the outdoor and active industry for about 10 years and decided it was time to go out on my own. So, I pulled the breaks on my full-time job and decided to start RANGE. It was by far the scariest thing I have ever done. I started working on the strategy and I needed a really strong name. One day while I was hiking, then it just came to me. I knew that I wanted to offer a wide RANGE of creative services (get it, get it?), range of work, a range of time, a mountain range. The clever combinations are endless. I knew I had found the right word to sum up my vision.

Why do you think the outdoor industry needs an “alternative, design-driven” voice?
RANGE is about being adventurous and being creative. Those two things are not mutually exclusive, but they should be. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes in terms of design and creation in the outdoor/active industry, so the goal at RANGE is to provide engaging, directional content for a community of people we respect and admire. We also want to make sure everyone gets some shine. The photographers, the illustrators, the writers, the retailers, and the emerging and the established brands. If you are making something awesome, we want to give you a high-five and a shout-out.

Why the flag?
RANGE is inspired by the concept of “flying your own flag,” which basically means living the life you want to live and doing what you love everyday. The flag is historically associated with exploration and identity. It marks new territory or signifies that a goal has been reached. It also represents, at least to us, a personal achievement, whether it is finishing a weekly to-do list, getting lost in the woods, or meeting friends for a sunset bike ride. These small victories, when added up, shape us as individuals and keep us connected.

One of the big topics in the outdoor industry right now is around inclusivity. Do you think that is important and if so, how do you think brands are working to accomplish this?
Who doesn’t want to feel like they are part of something bigger? I mean, isn’t that what makes the world go round? I think it just comes down to “accessibility” to be honest. Not everyone is capable of bagging a peak or leading a wild pitch. While it is aspirational, some people just want to crack a few beers around a campfire with their friends or go on a sensible day hike. I think the core outdoor brands needs to keep those kinds of scenarios in mind when they are creating content, shooting lifestyle look books — they should all be shooting look books — and engaging with consumers on social media.

What can we look forward to from RANGE Magazine Issue Two?
Issue Two is packed with goodies like great stories, fun photo shoots, recipes and visual mixtapes. I love weird collages and beautiful illustrations, so you will see a few of those as well.

What do we not know about you, but probably should?
I love to laugh and I am sucker for bad jokes. Like seriously, If you can make me laugh, we will probably be friends for life. I work so hard and I am so passionate about what I do, sometimes I just need to have a belly aching laugh session to put it all into perspective.

Favorite place to camp, you can pick one…ok, two?
Oh jeez, this is a tough one. Jumbo rocks in Joshua Tree for sure. My husband asked me to marry him (the first time) there while we were camping in the dead of winter. It was so cold, and no one was around, so we had the whole park to ourselves, which is a rarity. There was a full moon and it lit up the boulder field like a baseball stadium. We drank a lot of whiskey (to stay warm, of course) and scrambled on the granite blobs like little kids. It just felt so unrestricted and organic. I live for those moments.

The backcountry of Yosemite would be my next pick. Once you get off the valley floor, you can discover the true, majestic beauty of this place without all the tourists in silk shirts and tennis shoes clogging up the trails. Just like Big Sur, I feel like it changes your chemical makeup. Once you have seen it, you are forever changed. This is especially true during wildflower season. All I can do is smile when I think about the colors and textures.

Favorite new(ish) brands and/or items?
So many! I get obsessed with new brands and gear, so it is so hard to choose! Organic Climbing makes really cool custom crash pads and custom chalk bags. I like the idea of making something so utilitarian, colorful and special. Also loving Rumpl at the moment, which is a fun take on a traditional product like a sleeping bag, but with a twist. Good To-Go is adding tons of value to dehydrated camp cuisine, and their packing and branding is spot-on. BuckProducts out of Bozeman, and they make bags in simple shapes with rad colors and fun prints. The common denominator is something that feels fresh.

You’re chillin’ after a solid hike to your favorite campground. What are you listening to?
I am most likely sitting in silence, relishing in the peace and quiet of the outdoors. There is so much noise in my life that sometimes I just want to space out and clear all the static.

Can you briefly explain the normcore and lumbersexual “movements”? Should we care? Should we be scared?
Well, this could be a whole other story in itself. Both are basically targeted micro trends in the market. The Lumbersexual thing is NOT new and I can’t even believe it is getting so much attention. It’s just the leftover remnants of the heritage/menswear trend that was popular in 2008-2011, which was an evolution of streetwear if you want to get real specific. I would in fact call it a “past cast,” which is a very technical trend term ; ) You may as well start pointing out “hipsters” and “yuppies” if you are going to date yourself by using a term like that to describe someone with a beard in a plaid shirt. Normcore is little more complex. It involves embracing banal brands, colors and materials from the ’90s in an effort to make/not make a statement about consumerism. Should we care? Only if you are concerned with being on fleek. I would be a little more worried about #healthgoth and #fashiondads.

Do you have any pets? If so, can we get a paw, scale, horn, other print for them?
I actually have three beasts. Kate Moss and Mindy Moss are Brussels Griffons (Ewok-esque) and excellent trail dogs for their size. Kate is almost eight and Mindy is about a year and half. My black cat Veev, a.k.a Dune Crow, is 18! She could not be reached for this interview because she was busy being super old.

Thanks, Jeanine! To dive further into RANGE, head on over to their site or buy a copy directly here.

Photo Credit:
RANGE Mag Issue Two Cover – Meg Haywood Sullivan
Stadiums & Shrines Visual Mixtape – Victoria Masters
Cocktails + Happy Trails – Jennifer Puno
Rumpl Blanket – Michael Persico
Gränsfors Bruk Hatchet – Katie McCurdy

All other photos property of Jeanine Pesce

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