During lockdown, at the end of June 2020, Flock Together started as a group for POC that wanted to enjoy birdwatching and the great outdoors. The traditional image of middle-aged white men with binoculars and khaki is outdated; there’s entire groups of people who enjoy birdwatching while bringing a new element of style to the activity. Flock Together was founded in order to represent that. Benefitting from Instagram’s snowball marketing, the group’s popularity and exposure exploded over social media, attracting attention in London, where the group started, but also all over the UK and the wider world. Off-shoots of the group are said to exist in cities as far away as Tokyo and Toronto.
Naturally, with great exposure comes great opportunities. LN-CC and Fila joined forces with Flock Together to release a shoe that pays homage to two very different but very important elements: Fila’s 1990’s Trailblazer, and the humble kingfisher.
“Growing up in the nineties, I remember when the Trailblazer was a staple shoe within the UK hip hop scene, as well as up on the mountains. Our design of mixed materials references the many textures you find within nature,” says Ollie Olanipekun, Co-founder of Flock Together.
The shoe is composed of a mix of leather and suede, camo and varieties of browns, a streak of yellow and contrast electric blue laces that conjure the fleeting vividity with which lucky people might see a kingfisher.
In order to celebrate the bird more formally, the group have built a guide to spotting the kingfisher, with locations all across the UK, detailing the elusive bird’s favourite habitats and hangouts. Over in our Manchester back garden, Reddish Vale Country Park is highlighted.
Flock Together’s impact on the community can’t be understated. As well as creating a platform for POC to learn together, the group has become a platform for members to create and work together. Olanipekun goes on: “The collaboration is important because it has given us the opportunity to platform and feature our POC members, from design assistants to art direction and photography. Community and creative mentorship are key pillars at Flock Together.”