On Style

Light / Dark

The old style versus fashion argument has been explored since Piltdown Man first draped his Paleo-chiseled rig in unborn-wolf pelts. The discussion is exhaustive if you have the stomach for it. From Karl Lagerfeld’s cutting “Trendy is the last step before tacky” to the offhand humor of Cardi B’s “I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks,” all those with a stake have an opinion. 

In surfing, we honor style in the abstract. Minimalist. Quiet. Reductive. And we tend to abhor fashion. Garish. Ephemeral. Not of our world.

Then there’s Steph.

Take a Gold Coast headland attitude, an unselfconscious mien, and the sort of line-of-dance chops that have you checking her feet for pointe-shoe scars, and you’re left with the most elegantly classical surfer alive. 

Yes, Vogue tapped her for a print shoot. But she belongs to surfing. Her highest and best aesthetic iteration is inspired by dynamic tension, responding to warps and wefts in the cup of a wave. It defies trends. And it’s an objectively beautiful thing.

[Frame grab by Jack Coleman]