Name: Nathalie Kossek
Location: Los Angeles
Occupation: photographer + graphic designer
What kind of bike do you ride?
2014 Triumph Bonneville t100 SE
Tell us about how you got into riding motorcycles:
My dad always had a motorcycle and I loved riding on the back of it. I remember he would take me on short little trips around our town back in Ohio. When I got older I worked on a farm and messed around on atvs and little dirt bikes but nothing on the roads. When I moved to LA, I saw this motorcycle community growing larger and larger and I really wanted to be a part of it. I’ve never really been one to wait on others to live my life, so I went ahead and got my license and bought a really sh*tty bike that always broke down. I miss that first bike, but I sold it for a down payment on a bike that actually worked! It’s been such an investment and I’ve been rather in love ever since.
How has Babes Ride Out and the community impacted your life?:
I came to the second one and i was so excited to have the previously mentioned bike all fixed and ready to go. Literally, as I pulled out of my driveway, the bike died. Nothing, not even a pathetic engine start. I was so sad that my journey was going to be cut short. I was contemplating on just staying home, but I chucked my stuff off my bike and into my car and I drove out that year. I knew seriously NO ONE — not a soul. I thought it would be very standoffish and filled with girl squads already assembled. Luckily a lot of girls were in the same boat and were so kind, nice and hung out with me all weekend. I made some really great relationships that weekend, and have been to every one since. I get so excited for that weekend to come up because I get to see everyone in one place, riding together. It’s absolute fun and I feel like I get to ride Joshua Tree in a different way every time.
Can you share a favorite memory you have from a Babes Ride Out event?
Besides Jamie Charles somehow wrangling 60+ girls on the BRO stage to sing and dirty dance to “Pony” by Ginuwine? Well, my photo spirit animal, Genevieve Davis, and I took a little midnight trip through the park to take some long exposure star photos. It was a really magical ride going through the park at night with all the stars above you and a bit of Lord Huron playing in my ear. Also, Idyllwyld is a beautiful ride I did last year that made me feel like I went through four different seasons/ecosystems in one go.
What is your dream motorcycle trip?
Is everywhere a good answer? I took my first solo trip last year to Moab, Utah (for Motos in Moab) and that was exhausting, exhilarating and daunting all rolled into one. It really opened my eyes to possibilities. But seriously, I’ve dreamt of going down to Patagonia from LA. I’ve dreamt of going cross country from coast to coast. I think going across my home country of Canada would be amazing as well. Perhaps this year will be the year for one of those.
Describe your personal style:
You know what, I always try to define this one, and it never really works. It paralyzes me more than liberates me. I really don’t know. I can tell you that I have an obsession with vintage t-shirts and a good pair of black jeans. You can’t have enough black or enough ripped, paper-thin tees in your arsenal. I’m really inspired by people like Stevie Knicks, Hendrix, Bowie, Chloë Sevigny, Erin Wasson, Bardot, Janice Joplin, Patti Smith, Diane Keaton and more. I like those “Roman Candles” who didn’t/don’t really feel like they need to be defined by the clothes that they wore — they just “were”. Their clothes just became an extension of what was inside… and most were consistently evolving.
I guess not really having an “aesthetic” in a world that is so dependent on it (have you been on this thing called Instagram?) confuses some people. I like to wear what I like — sometimes it’s a tattered tee with moto boots and sometimes it’s a floor-length dress with 4 inch platforms. Really depends on my mood and the person I feel like that day.
But for all intents and purposes… right now, it’s feminine rock. :)
Oh, and always have big hair. Always.
How did you first hear about Stetson?:
I heard about Stetson when I was around 7. I was obsessed with horses and from that age until about 17 I rode western and english - competing in things like barrel racing to jumping. I volunteered from 15-17 leading trail rides and herding the horses into the stalls in the morning. All the ranch hands had Stetsons and I so badly wanted one. Having one made you an “official” respected ranch hand.
What drew you to the Tom Mix?
I picked out the “Tom Mix” because it’s one of the largest hats I’ve ever seen. I actually had them flatten out the brim at the shop to make it wider and added the feather to make it more my own. I plan on getting a great band for it soon, just waiting for the right one. I remember walking past a window in Seattle and literally walking backwards, backtracking to the display where my hat was sitting. I knew right then, I found my forever hat. I’m going to be buried in this thing.
How does wearing a hat make you feel?:
It makes me feel like my look is complete. I just really love a good accessory and especially one that not a lot of people feel like they can pull off. Which is silly… you should just do what you want and enjoy life; it’s just a hat. But then again, it’s not. You can be really pulled into a different world and character by what you wear. I feel like a lot of people stare when they see this hat, which I sort of really enjoy. Why not!? Harry Winston said, “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”