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July 30, 2014

Breaking Waves With Stephanie Gilmore

A Career-Spanning 16mm Documentary on Surfing’s Leading Lady

Surf enthusiast Ava Warbick was in Honolua, Hawaii, in 2007 when she first caught word of Stephanie Gilmore, the first ever rookie to win the Women’s World Championship. Gripped by Gilmore’s consummate skill and poise, the aspiring filmmaker looked to her father, Doug “Claw” Warbrick (founder of surf brand Rip Curl), for pointers, and gained unbridled access to the Australian for three years. The resulting documentary, Stephanie in the Water, released this month, sheds light on the pro surfer’s beginnings at the age of 21 through to her prolific rise to become a five-time world champion, and the pressure to stay at the top of the sport. “Stephanie is radiant and grounded and illustrates true poise,” says Warbick, who captured Gilmore’s elegant swan dive kick-outs in locations that included Micronesia and Puerto Rico. “I was interested in what allows someone to perform and stay present at that elite level,” she adds. Collaborating with an all-female production team, the director completed her debut with an original score from Brooklyn-based producers Fall on Your Sword. Here, Gilmore shares her favorite warm-up music and Diana Vreeland’s timeless bikini advice. 

Who have been some of the women to inspire you over the years?
Stephanie Gilmore: [fellow pro surfers] Lisa Andersen and Kelia Moniz, for they are beauty on a wave. I admire Maria Sharapova's ambition and what she has done for the athletic female image and equality in sport.

You ultimate surf music? 
SG:
Tame Impala is great surf music, Daft Punk just makes me want to party on the wave. And if I'm ever needing to get in the mood to paddle out, I listen to “Sunny" by Marvin Gaye.

One thing we'd be surprised to know about you?
SG:
My pre-heat warm-up song is "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters.

Any secret talents?
SG:
I will beat you in table tennis.

You've cited Rihanna as a style icon––what's the most glamorous surf get-up you own? 
SG:
As Diana Vreeland said: “The bikini is the most important thing since the Atom bomb." I guess my whole wardrobe is pretty glamorous.

Stephanie in the Water is available August 5 on iTunes.

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Danielle Levitt: Gridiron Culture

The Photographer Shares her Portraits of the Football Fraternity this Super Bowl Sunday

Today we celebrate the pompoms and pageantry of America's premier sporting event with photographer Danielle Levitt's hyper-real homage. More than a billion people worldwide will be tuning in for the kick-off of the 46th Super Bowl in Indianapolis this afternoon as the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants. This glittering climax to the season is a rematch of the final four years ago when the Giants defeated the Patriots and denied them only the second undefeated season in National Football League history. Focusing on frat parties, future stars, college football teams and high school cheerleaders, Levitt’s portraits take us beyond the glitzy façade to the dramatic personal narratives woven into the game. Renowned for the thought-provoking documentation of youth culture and outsiders collected in her 2008 monograph We Are Experienced, as well as work for The New York Times Magazine, AnOther, Arena Homme+ and Time, Levitt found football, with all its tribal rivalry and statistical arcana, an alluring milieu. “I'm passionate about people who are passionate, and it is a full time job to be even a high school football player,” she says. “Football is primary in these kids’ lives, before even the ladies.”

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Beautiful Game

A Lineup of New Faces From Nations Competing in the European Soccer Championship

With the UEFA European Football Championships now underway in Poland and Ukraine, fresh-faced models from the participating countries fly their native colors in acclaimed photographer Roe Etheridge’s portrait series for the fifth biennial edition of Sepp magazine. Paced to coincide with the even-year cycle of international soccer tournaments, Sepp has been celebrating the crossovers between football and fashion since its launch by Editor Markus Ebner in 2002 as a “cool fanzine.” Ebner brought in esteemed creative director Beda Achermann (formerly of Men’s Vogue Germany) and Gagosian artist Etheridge to work together on the shoot. “We wanted to make a map of Europe, to show the faces of Europe with the obvious sports link but with a classic Playboy connotation,” explains Ebner. “But it wasn’t easy to cast 11 girls from 11 countries to pose pin-up style.” The collectible’s latest issue also features witty soccer-themed sketches by Karl Lagerfeld and a hyper-saturated fashion editorial by photographer Jeff Burton. In addition to running Sepp, Ebner also edits handsome German fashion glossy Achtung.

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