Kelly Slater making waves in the fashion world




We haven’t really followed his career. Give us the lowdown…
This most beautiful human is quite simply the most successful surfer of all time. His grace, his prowess, his style… One commentator, after seeing Slater nail 20 out of 20 in the Volcom Daily Pro contest a few years back, wrote: “there’s no denying the magical quality of an athlete finding his or her sync, when all the training and focus and desire and sacrifice blossom into a graceful unity of mind and body”. Quite. The 43-year-old American has been crowned ASP World Tour Champion a record 11 times and was the youngest (at 20) and oldest (at 39) to win the title. Thank god he still surfs. It’d be a tragedy were such exquisite eye candy to retire, put on a shirt and take up chess.

That’s a just tad objectifying, isn’t it…
Yes, sorry. Wait, no… not sorry. I mean come on, check out his pics! It’s not for nothing People magazine included Slater in its 1991 50 Most Beautiful People issue, when he was still a teen. He was such a heartthrob as a dark-haired 20-year-old that Baywatch cast him as a surfer in nine episodes. The dark locks may have given way to a prickly dome, and his face is more lined, but he’s as dazzling as ever. If a shark were targeting Slater for lunch, it’d probably pause to take a selfie with him first. Having said all this, we’re not oblivious to his inner beauty too.

Now you’re just overcompensating…
No, really, it’s true. Take his new menswear line Outerknown. It isn’t just the predictable celebrity move into fashion; the label has a strong ethical basis. A label that’s luxury and sustainable at the same time, the clothes are made from reclaimed ocean trash, namely fishing nets. It’s Slater giving back to the ocean that gave him his career. It’s also 100% recyclable so theoretically, when your board shorts start to fray, you can have them turned into a new shirt. Slater said he launched the label to prove “you can actually produce great-looking menswear in a sustainable way”. The downside? It’s pricey. T-shirts starting at $120, for example.

And he still competes?
Hell yes. And he’s doing moves that leave judges gobsmacked. Not always in a good way. He caused confusion in September during the Hurley Pro in California by completely leaving his board, soaring into the air and landing back on it to finish his manoeuvre. Spectators couldn’t decide whether this was a new level of awesomeness or just a blunder
and a brilliant save. Former world champ Martin Potter called it “freakish talent,” but the judges gave him just four out of 10.

Has he ever modelled?
Of course. He posed for a Versace under-wear ad, looking like a cross between James Dean and something entirely celestial.

Love life?
He’s currently dating fellow surfer Kalani Miller but has also been linked to a parade of stunning women. There’s a shot of him and Gisele Bündchen on a beach where you wonder that so much physical flawlessness could be concentrated on such a small patch of sand. Also Cameron Diaz and, of course Pamela Anderson, from his Baywatch days back in the early 90s.

From the editors at NEXT