I recently had the opportunity to spend some good old-fashion quality time with Laura while she was in New York City last month and what I found was that yes, she is a fantastic surfer, world class in fact, and considered by many to be one to watch in 2012. But she is also one of the smartest, most down to earth and fashionable surfers I have come across in a long time. And did I mention she is only 19 years old?
When I told her that I had a few ideas for a photo shoot while she was in town, she was stoked on the idea and I thought surely I would be able to have the time for it. I mean why would covering um-teen fashion shows a day during Fashion Week, along side reporting on the events at the Quiksilver Pro get in the way of planning a shoot? The events of the week certainly provided some challenges, but somehow, it all came together. And, I must say, I am very happy with the result. A very big thank you to the guys over at Rogan for lending out their store on the Bowery and my pal Chris Mosier for snapping the killer pics. Couldn’t have done it without you guys!
Tell me a little about yourself Laura, what drives you, what inspires you, what challenges you?
I’m 19 years old (almost 20), I am lucky enough to get to travel the world doing what I love to do and experiencing the incredible places that are out there. I’m driven by the fact I want to be the best I can be in every aspect of my life. I’m inspired by people I meet, things I see and cultures I’ve become aware of. I’m challenged by learning, improving and pushing myself in every way possible. I’m just a girl with my eyes open, taking everything in. :)
You have a great fashion sense and you’re certainly one of the most fashionable surfers I have spent time with. I even ran into you a few times during shows at Milk Studios for NYFW, who or what would you say is your biggest fashion inspiration?
HAHA thanks! It’s funny because when I was younger I was the biggest tom-boy around! As I have grown up I grew out of that phase and fell in love with shopping and fashion. New York has been my biggest fashion inspiration by far! The fashion world is a completely different world and I have so much to learn about it! But, my time in NYC completely inspired me and opened my eyes and mind to where I want to be and where I want to go. :)
You are probably the only person I know that has been shot by Annie Leibovitz (One of my favorite photographers), tell me a little about that experience.
That was for a Nike campaign called “MAKE YOURSELF”. It was my first ever trip to NYC, and I was alongside six other incredible female athletes all getting shot by Annie. It was overwhelming! Hahah, so crazy, but such an amazing experience! Annie is amazing. I’m one lucky girl :)
You were recently in NYC for Fashion Week, how was the experience? Was it what you expected? Was NYC what you expected?
I have been to NYC a couple of times before, just briefly, but this was my first real time actually seeing the whole city, experiencing fashion week and all the fun events that go along with it! NYC is incredible! It’s like this non-stop, ball of energy, buzzing with excitement and good vibes 24/7! I LOVED IT!
Speaking of fashion, who are some of your favorite designers right now?
I have some favorite designers and labels out there but I’m also loving vintage shopping and mixing it all together with my favorite Nike products right now. Heels are my friends too. I like them!
A lot of great brands hail from your homeland… What are your thoughts on the Australian fashion scene?
I love the Australian Fashion Scene! It’s so fresh and edgy. My favorite Aussie labels are One Teaspoon and Shakuhachi which are talking off internationally as well. I just love Australia.
Ok, a surfing related question or two, cause you-know, we can’t talk about fashion the whole time (Laughs). You have spent a lot of time training over the years, with some of the best in the world… What are your top three lessons learned?
This year was my first year on the World Tour! It was a huge experience for me and I’ve learned so much! I’ve come out of the year with more drive than EVER and I’m so ready to improve surfing and competition wise so I can take on 2012. Top 3 things I’ve learned:
1. There are good times and bad times on tour.
2. You will make mistakes and you will kick yourself for making them.
3. Overcoming the bad times and learning from your mistakes will make you stronger than ever!
If you could pick anyone to have a session with, past or present, who would it be and why?
Steph Gilmore. She inspires me and makes me laugh. Or Andy Irons, he was the king (I would just watch though!).
What your schedule like the next few months, what are you looking forward to?
WELL, training a lot, cruising and having a good time seeing my friends and family. Then I’m headed on some surf trips to Indo and Hawaii at the end of the year! I might also have to sneak back to NYC in between… I’ll miss it here!
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