It’s official. Birding’s cool factor is off the charts. And a certain bird nerd, one who has endured an abundance of ridicule and eye rolling from her offspring, is feeling fairly smug. Birding’s coolness is nothing short of a miracle, and here’s how it happened:
In March national headlines started blaring, “Birding is the New Black” and “You Have No Choice but to Become a Backyard Birder.” Then bird feeders started flying off the shelves, and bird watching was proclaimed an economic bright spot in an otherwise dismal economy.
Next came news of scientific studies proving bird watching’s positive effect on mental health – again, a bright spot at a time when global mental health is teetering toward the edge.
As a longtime birder and the butt of a few too many birding jokes, I find this appreciation for birding long overdue. With each new headline I’ve been texting my kids: “Look at this! See? I’m not the only one!” Their responses, on the other hand, haven’t been nearly as validating as a cultural shift of this magnitude deserves.
But as of this coming Friday, all of that changes. Luxury brand Gucci and outdoor apparel powerhouse The North Face are dropping a collaboration of “high-fashion meets functional” clothing with the stylish birder in mind.
I realize this is hard to fathom. So I am going to pause here for a few moments while you click here to enjoy a digital fashion spread that Gucci sponsored, called “Birdwatching with Gucci, The North Face and Flock Together.” (Flock Together is a club in England made up of real-life birders, some of whom were chosen to model the collection.) Be sure to scroll down to the video with the birders in front of a VW camper van, and click the volume button to start the sound. It’s a hoot.
Or you can go straight to the video on Facebook by clicking below. This isn’t like any birding outing you’ve ever seen before, which is part of the fun:
So there you have it. Birding has reached a pinnacle of fashion coolness that few will ever achieve. So take that, my dear children, take that! And what I will take is that Gucci birding jacket for Mother’s Day.