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Luca Piazzi

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: Chronicles of Kire

    In our last Globetrotters blog, I promised we would soon be meeting Luca’s mother, to follow along on her adventures as she field-tests classic Cockpit USA styles in Africa and around the world.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi

    Kire Godal has spent her career filming Africa’s vanishing cultures, and documenting wildlife conservation projects. Most recently she produced her first TV series, Minjiba Entertains. Her most recent adventure, Skypaths, brought her from the deserts of northern Kenya, to the steamy jungles of the Congo. During filming Kire even lived for weeks at a time in a tiny pup tent amid teeming herds of wildlife in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    Kire started her career in her teens as a Ford model, later making the transition to working behind the camera. She quickly made a name for herself as a brilliant filmmaker, writer and producer. One of the most endearing aspects of my friend Kire, is that despite such exciting and successful endeavors, her proudest accomplishment has been simultaneously raising her loving family.

    Kire Godal Filming Tribes: Archives - Behind the Scenes from Kire Godal on Vimeo.
     

    Kire was the first friend I contacted as soon as the Cockpit USA team approved my idea of having real people living adventurous lives field-test Cockpit USA products in Africa. Reaching out to Kire was the most natural thing in the world for me, as not only have we been friends for twenty years, but have worked together on film projects and on safari.

    Kire has that rare ability to look stylish and beautiful while doing physically demanding work in some of the world’s harshest climates, most rugged landscapes, and primitive condition. Over our 20 year friendship, I have come to know some very reliable facts about Kire’s packing necessities.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares

    Kire’s specialty is taking her film cameras, including a RED Dragon, into remote locations and all that camera gear doesn’t leave much room for trendy clothes.

    Whatever clothes Kire choses to pack into her trusty old Land Cruiser must provide protection from the elements, be comfortable, low-maintenance and long-wearing – and of course should look amazing. Those are the qualities that exactly describe American made Cockpit USA jackets, and that is why Kire fell instantly in love with the Cockpit USA Amelia Jacket.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi

    When I first presented Kire with her new Amelia Jacket, she and her son Luca were in the midst of filming her new Africa Channel TV series “Minjiba Entertains” so the Amelia jacket instantly became part of Kire’s uniform on location. As Second Camera Operator on the shoot, Luca was able to take some still photographs of Kire and Amelia at work. 

    Immediately after wrapping the TV episode, Kire packed up to travel with her boyfriend and collaborator in their production companyPaulo Ares to Portugal for work on one of her documentary films ‘Skypaths. Paulo was the photographer for this shoot, capturing Kire on her travels with Amelia. We are delighted to share the first chapters of what we know will prove to be a long and happy association between Kire Godal and her Cockpit USA Amelia Jacket!

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares

    -- Don Young, Brand Ambassador for Cockpit USA   •   Newland Tarlton & Co.

    Follow Kire on social to see her latest adventures.

    Facebook: Kire Godal Filmmaker   •   Instagram: @kiregodal  •   Vimeo: Kire Godal Films

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: The Pathfinders

    Imagine you are on safari in Africa surrounded by herds of wild animals.

    It is just before sunrise so the air here in Kenya’s Masai Mara is amazingly cold!

    Luca & Kristen bundle up in their Cockpit USA sheepskins. Luca & Kristen bundle up in their Cockpit USA sheepskins.

    You are driving in a vintage Land Rover safari car and the shearling jackets you are wearing are perfect for combating the cold morning wind while providing all the flexibility you need to maneuver your vehicle and handle your cameras to get the best photographs.

    Helping you navigate through the pre-dawn African light is one of the best safari trackers in the Masai Mara - a Maasai warrior named James Raya. James wears a vivid red blanket and carries a very sharp spear - both symbols of a warrior tradition going back centuries. James’ costume proclaims his identity with a long heritage of values: courage, wisdom, skill, and another quality difficult to describe: something Ernest Hemingway called ‘grace under pressure.’

    James and Kristen spot a male lion while out in the Masai Mara. James and Kristen spot a male lion while out in the Masai Mara.

    James, your tracker, spots a massive male lion with his head up and the first rays of the sun making a golden halo around his heavy mane. Over on the horizon, a herd of impala see the lion on the hunt and the atmosphere is suddenly electric with tension. The lion stands like a magnificent statue, his muscles tense, his eyes intent as he weighs his chances of dashing across open ground in full view of the impala to make a successful hunt.

    It is moments like these on safari that are both breathlessly immediate and yet as timeless as Africa itself.


    Luca and Kristen on safari in the Masai Mara. Luca and Kristen on safari in the Masai Mara.

    Luca and Kristen are perfect for the tasks I needed them to perform. Both love extreme outdoor sports and both are successful professional models. Kristen is a lover of the outdoors, mountaineering, raging rapids, and ragged ridge-lines are her passion. Luca grew up in Kenya and spent most of his childhood on safari. Luca’s mother Kire is one of my dearest friends so I have been an ‘uncle’ to Luca since he was a kid.

    Luca wearing his Vintage Motorcross while exploring Point Lenana. Luca wearing his Vintage Motorcross Jacket while exploring Point Lenana.

    Kire is also a professional model who has proven herself to be as successful behind the camera as in front of it - carving a niche for herself as a commercial filmmaker and producer. Luckily for me, Kire also agreed to be one of my Field Testing team so we will be following Kire wearing her Cockpit USA jackets on our blog soon!

    I recruited Luca Piazzi and Kristen Mcculloch to join me on safari to accomplish two specific and important missions:

    Mission One was to check out some of my new safaris for adventure travelers, testing the best routes on Mt. Kenya and the Tugen Hills which I will offer to my loyal safari clients.

    Mission Two was to help me prove that the Wilds of Africa - a place I have called home for the past 30 years - are the perfect environment for the durability, American-made quality and classic good looks of Cockpit USA jackets and bags.

    Kristen taking a break from climbing Point Lenana in her B-3. Kristen taking a break from climbing Point Lenana in her Women's Hooded B-3 Bomber.

    Meanwhile, after briefing Kristen and Luca at my home-base at the beautiful Kiota Safari House, they started their trek up Mt. Kenya. Kristen is a veteran mountaineer who has climbed many of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks, but for Luca their plan to summit 16,355 foot Point Lenana was an intimidating goal.

    Adding to the challenge was my request that they put their Cockpit USA jackets to the true-life test of high altitude trekking while taking quality ‘fashion’ photographs along the way. I knew that Luca had great talent as a photographer and filmmaker so I was confident he and Kristen could do the job.

    Luca and Kristen taking in the morning on the Masai Mara in their Cockpit USA motorcross jackets. Luca and Kristen taking in the morning on the Masai Mara in their Cockpit USA Motorcross Jackets.

    As you can see, not only did Kristen and Luca succeed in climbing Point Lenana, they also brought home some excellent photographs of Cockpit USA jackets doing what they were made to do - facing life’s challenges with strength, durability and timeless style.

    Luca & Kristen relax in their luxury tent in the Masai Mara. Luca & Kristen relax in their luxury tent in the Masai Mara.

    After Mt. Kenya, Luca and Kristen rejoined me in my classic tented safari camp in the Masai Mara where we spent the next several days putting our Cockpit USA clothes through their paces and enjoying every minute of it! The photographs in this blog are just a very few of many amazing images we are happy to share with you at Newland Tarlton Safaris.


    Looking out over the Masai Mara. Looking out over the Masai Mara.

    I made a point earlier about my friend and head tracker James Raya and his proud role as a Maasai warrior. Although James (and his kids) are very much part of the modern world, James still honors the timeless traditions of his culture and proudly wears the clothes that tell the world who he is and what his values are. The Cockpit USA clothes we are field testing in Africa were also designed for warriors in another place and another time and represent values that never wear out. Like James Raya’s red blanket and steel spear, Cockpit USA clothing are an enduring statement of integrity and a commitment to excellence that stands the test of time.

    — Donald Young, Brand Ambassador for Cockpit USA

    Follow Luca and Kristen on Instagram to see their latest adventures.

    Follow Luca @lucapiazziphoto • Follow Kristen @_kristeniris

    Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co and Cockpit USA Brand Ambassador Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co and Cockpit USA Brand Ambassador wearing his Cockpit USA Sabre Ultralight Field Jacket

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