Outside Magazine Celebrates 40th Anniversary With All-Women’s ‘Icons’ Issue

Cover features Lindsey Vonn, Abby Wambach, Diana Nyad and more

When the May issue of Outside magazine hits newsstands April 11, the foldout cover will no doubt remind many of Vanity Fair’s annual “Hollywood” issue. Ten extraordinary women chosen as “The New Icons” were gathered together in Los Angeles and outfitted all in white to help mark the publication’s 40th anniversary.

Further enhancing the female POV of this special anniversary issue, editor Chris Keyes handed over the supervisory duties to deputy editor Mary Turner. The May 2017 issue is sponsored by REI and tied to that company’s Force of Nature campaign. From Turner’s editor’s letter:

There’s never been a more apt time to shine a light on women in the outdoors. We make up 51 percent of outdoor consumers and half the annual 160 million adventure travelers. We are accomplished athletes pushing the limits of what’s possible–and increasingly beating men.

We are the future of adventure, as you’ll see in our story about the Girl Scouts and their 1.8 million young members. And we are only growing stronger. But let’s be honest: the outdoor industry still has a long way to go before women are represented equally. According to a 2012 study by the women’s advocacy group Camber Outdoors, just 12.5 percent of outdoor companies with sales over $20 million have female CEOs.

Pictured on the cover, from left to right, are: surfer Emily Erickson, skier Lindsey Vonn, retired soccer star Abby Wambach, GirlTrek co-founder Morgan Dixon, lawyer Tara Houska, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, photojournalist Erin Trieb, GirlTrek co-founder Vanessa Garrison, mountaineer Melissa Arnot Reid and Nepali ultrarunner Mira Rai. As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, an Outside podcast series hosted by Florence Williams is also being launched and an episode of Outlook on Outside Television will spotlight Reid.

The issue has also been branded on the cover and at the foot of each page with the words “XX Factor,” which the magazine describes as ‘the countless ways women are the future of adventure.’ And just in case you weren’t already impressed by the many talents of Nyad, check out this additional one, shared also by Turner in her letter:

When the cover shoot starts running a little long, Nyad grabs a bugle out of her bag and begins playing “Reveille,” the military’s morning wake-up call. The room erupts into laughter.

Nyad and her fellow “Icons” each get a full-page profile inside the magazine, a spread sprinkled with stylized black and white shots taken by Annabel Mehran, who also did the cover. Below is an infographic compiled by REI (a.k.a. Recreational Equipment Inc.), a consumers’ co-operative in business since the 1930s, in support of their “Force of Nature” campaign.

Previously on Fishbowl:
An Epic Swimmer Gets an Epic Profile