British Photographer Joe Harper and his wife, American model Kaila Wyatt Harper joined us for a CIRCLE conversation to celebrate the launch of the new NOMAD collection. Joe is wearing the ACHIT Hoodie and AXELI Trousers in Black, Kaila is wearing the NOMAD Sweater and AXELI Trousers in Ivory.
'I've always liked the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” I also love the slogan "Road to Nowhere” from Talking Heads but used by a cycling brand now that I represent called Pas Normal Studios - Joe Harper'
I am a photographer working within sportswear, documentary and fashion. Kaila is a model working with high fashion brands.
We both enjoy travel, exploring new locales and usually end up documenting the process of discovering these new places. We used to travel frequently abroad for work and pleasure, often combining the two but since the pandemic hit we became more focused on exploring the UK. Especially now we have our dog Mila, she’s a border collie and has accompanied us all over the UK, up mountains summits, trail running, campervanning and wild camping - you name it!
We’re both very eco conscious and like to try and minimise out impact on the planet wherever we can.
1. When you hear the word Nomad what comes to your mind?
Someone who travels frequently and isn’t bound to any one place or culture.
2. Kaila, you are from the US and Joe, you are from England, please tell us how you met?
Kaila is from Arkansas in the Southern part of the US and I’m from Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. We were both living in London at the time and met at a natural wine bar, we probably never would have met in the industry!
3. Do you think a certain element of nomadism has played a role in your lives at some point?
I think getting last minute jobs that could be anywhere in the world is quite a strange concept for most people. You can wake up one morning in London and one of us has a job in the states or Europe and needs to fly out in the next few hours. It was nice to meet someone who had the same erratic schedule as each other. We don’t take travel too seriously and can book trips without much pre-emptive thought or worry about what we’ll do when we arrive.
4. You both like to hike and go camping in remote areas of the UK, what has been your favourite place so far?
Yeah, we will do some sort of hike most days with Mila. Our local area is very rural, and you can walk for a few hours without seeing anyone except a few sheep or cows. We started wild camping during the Covid lockdown period. I think our favourite place would be Snowdonia, there’s so many places you can easily get to and feel completely remote whilst still only being a few hours from where you parked your car.
5. What would you say is the best thing about being in the mountains and with nature?
I think a lot of the things we worry or stress about in daily life become quite insignificant when you’re out in nature or on a mountain. It definitely puts things into perspective. The disconnect from social media is always welcome and moving your body through a landscape helps you to feel better once you’ve finished the activity.
6. Joe, you have visited Mongolia twice now. Is there anything that comes to your mind when you hear the word Mongolia?
When I hear the word Mongolia I am always greeted with images of the vast landscape and unique people there. I have been twice but only barely scratched the surface of what I want to see there.
7. Joe & Kaila, when you think of Mongolia Nomads, what’s the first thing that you think of?
Nomads in Mongolia remind me of tradition and purposefully living with their environment, they look like they have always been there and always will be.
8. Kaila, you are planning to go to Mongolia with Joe this summer. What attracts you to this trip?
I’m excited to see something completely new, I’ve been to many places across the US, Asia and Europe but am yet to see anything that looks as wild as Mongolia.
9. What are your personal thoughts on sustainability?
It’s very important, probably the most important aspect of our lives right now. It’s crucial for brands and companies but also for individuals to asses their own lives and their impact on the environment.
10. When you wear OYUNA, how does it make you feel?
I think the one word to sum it up would be Cozy!
Here are a few one-word questions, please feel free to answer with one word or more if you’d like, what comes to your mind when you hear them?
Softness: Fresh Linen
Blue: The Ocean