Taylor on location in Outerknown’s first collection back in 2015.
Taylor Steele and Kelly go way back. Back to when they were two teenagers on the North Shore just beginning their lifelong journeys into filmmaking and professional surfing. We caught up with Taylor to talk early days, future travels, and agave endeavors.
“Taylor Steele. How would I describe Taylor Steele? Taylor Steele is a silent assassin. Taylor, you’re the kinda guy who’s a real observer. That’s probably why film became your thing because you like to watch. And maybe you don’t make a strong opinion in words, but you do in the things you put out.” – Kelly Slater
So you and Kelly have known each other awhile. When and where did you meet?
We met at Rob Machado’s house back when we were around 16 years old. Played some ping-pong and surfed Seaside.
What are some favorite memories from filming Momentum Generation? Since you get this question often, tell us something nobody knows.
We went to Kandui, and we all arrived together for the trip. Yet Kelly, like usual, wasn't on the plane. His boards arrived, but he showed two days later. All of the crew figured he wasn't showing, so they drew all over his quiver. Benji's art definitely was not family-appropriate. Once Kelly showed up, the laughs were big as he pulled out his new boards.
Did the last year push you in a new way creatively or personally?
I used it as a way to reset my intentions on what I put my time into and why. Making sure it's either for my own learnings or to hopefully inspire others.
Where’s your happy place right now?
Surfing my local break Seaside. The waves, the people, and the vibe. Just driving into the parking lot, I feel at home.
Any dream travels in the works?
I really want to visit Nepal and Antarctica for fun. Then another random one is to go back to Ethiopia to check on an area that I documented ten years ago as they got a well added. I want to see what fresh water has done to the community. Before the well, the women would hike two hours for water. The kids had to do chores instead of going to school. The well would change the entire village for the better.
What’s an environmental or social issue your travels have brought to light?
Just how important clean water is to health and opportunity.
What are you working on right now? Any projects you’re looking forward to?
Been working on a National Geographic television series called SAVE THIS ____. The idea is to work with technology and community to bring awareness to the problem and provide a solution. We have made two series: SAVE THIS RHINO and SAVE THIS SHARK.
Solento… why tequila?
I was working with other brands as a film director and creative director and I started to have a moral dilemma on selling something I don't believe in. So I created Solento to encompass everything I stand for. Community, presence, love, and learning. These messages are delivered with the best tasting organic tequila I have ever had. I love the idea of pouring tequila to share stories and connect with loved ones.
What do you find inspiring about what Outerknown is up to?
Love the quality of the clothes made with the intention of leaving the world a better place. Fashion can be harsh on the environment, so it's so cool that Outerknown is changing that.
The Voyager Utility Pants seemed to be a good fit! Any other favorites?
Everything Outerknown makes is amazing. The Sojourn Tees are my main daily staple.