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Swag Surfin’ With Sage Erickson

*“Surfboardt” will not be mentioned in this fashion spread.

An Interview By Tobe Okocha

I am a huge advocate of actively pursuing everything you want out of life. No matter how far-fetched or out of your league your aspirations and dreams may seem you must be willing to put forth some effort in order to set yourself up for a chance. This past December I reached out to a personal idol of mine through Instagram asking for the “dream interview.” Not only did she acknowledge me (liked a few of my ‘gram pics), she also left me a reply–“Sure.”

Sage Erickson is at the top of the world, and by “top of the world” I mean literally. She may be my senior by a year, but Sage has already made a name for herself as one of the world’s top ranked female surfers. If being easy on the eye and skillfully athletic is not enough, Sage is also tastefully artistic. Her artistry transcends customizing her boards to confidently expressing her fresh take on fashion. When she’s not riding waves, blogging for Free People, being featured by Esquire, or shooting for one her sponsors (Oakley and Freestyle) Sage is killing it offshore in her stylish get ups. With fashion being the focus of my interview with Sage, I am stoked to share her words. Enjoy!

T.K.O: Right off the bat, who is Sage Erickson? How would you describe yourself?
S.E: If I were to describe myself in a humble way I would say that I love people! I love the interaction between them, sharing conversations of dreams and ambitions, troubles and hardships. I love to travel and explore new countries while I compete on tour. I admire having a free spirit; I’m always ready for change if needed and I desire to see more than just what is in front of me. I love
surfing and all of the opportunities the sport has provided me with. Without surfing I wouldn’t be replying this email sitting in a small town off the central coast of Australia.
T.K.O: That’s such a genuine answer–I love it. How would describe your personal style?
S.E: I’d describe my style as semi hip and semi casual? I love stripes and patterns. I think I chose to wear whatever catches my eye even if its not a public pick for “what’s in.” I think wearing what makes you feel great is all that matters. Since I have the luxury to travel so much, I think I’m influenced by a bit of everything. European style is so clean and slick–leather jackets, plain tees,
and skinny jeans. Australia is more edgy–dominant cuts, abstract patterns, bold statement pieces.
The real fun is mix and matching little bits of both and incorporating it into my daily wear.

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T.K.O: You are living the dream! Over the years, what style phases
have you gone through before finally settling on today’s look?
S.E: Well I pick and chose what I like from so many looks; mixing and matching beachy bohemian with a punk edgy feel. I love button ups, which is a bit more proper and extra-ripped jeans, which is punk/grunge. I love when someone’s style looks effortless–like it didn’t take them long to throw something together!
T.K.O: I hear that! How do you balance being a professional athlete
and keeping up with fashion? Do you have a personal stylist,
read a particular fashion publication, etc that helps you keep up
with today’s latest trends and looks?
S.E: I don’t really have trouble mixing fashion and surfing. I like to stretch the rules as to what surf culture has deemed “beach wear.” I’m not saying I head down for a surf sesh in heels or anything, I’m just saying that style is freedom; it’s an expression. We should all be bold in what we believe or stand for, and if that calls for a button up at the beach then so be it. I just casually mix something that’s somewhat “beachy” and throw on cute cutoff shorts or ripped jeans to dress it down.

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T.K.O: And with that attitude, you’re not only being a leader, but you’re also being a trendsetter. I respect that! If I asked you to walk into your closet right now and pick out your favorite fashion piece, what would you bring out?
S.E: I just bought these leopard high waisted baggie pants. They’re tighter around the low calf and semi high waisted–sort of loose fitted, sort of tight. The entire pant is leopard. I love animal prints. I love bold. I love confidence.
T.K.O: Yeah I’ve seen you sport them on your Instagram–love ‘em.
Tell me a bit more about how you hooked up with Free People. Do you feel as if the brand caters to your personal style?
S.E: We’ve been doing a little blog collaboration. I admire so much of what Free People stands for: the free spirit, the lover, the traveler. I love that you can put on any Free People piece and feel beautiful. They’re feminine and I think when a brand stands for so many cool things you feel just as empowered when you put on their clothing.

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T.K.O: Switching gears a bit, what do you think of today’s trend in which athletes are inserting themselves more into the fashion world and asserting a larger presence? (They’re sitting front row at Fashion Week, “Instagram stunting,” knowing/pronouncing what they’re wearing on red carpets correctly etc). Do you think this is just a passing fad/latest celebrity craze or is this relationship between fashion and sports only beginning?
S.E: I think athletes choosing to branch out into fashion is part of an evolution. The girls on tour are much different than past groups. We have a lot of fun testing the limits of not only performing in a surf competition but also wanting to show our influence as individuals through our style. Style is only one way of doing that. It’s also a mix of just another interest besides surfing. Fashion is fun, and I think that all the girls have fun with it too.
T.K.O: The times are certainly changing!
Tell me a bit more about Freestyle Watches.
S.E: Freestyle USA is a great authentic surf brand. Love the retro classic feel. It’s awesome that the brand still finds success in being classic or first in its time through an ever-changing day and age highlighted by modernity and the rise of new competitors.
T.K.O: Yes! Taking it way back with the Shark model. If you could leave our readers with one “fashion golden rule” that you abide by, what would it be?
S.E: If you’re showing skin up top, cover up down below and visa versa. I am not a fan of showing too much skin.
T.KO: Perfect answer. You often share your amazing artwork and custom boards on Instagram—am I talking to a designer here?

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S.E: No not at all, I don’t really see myself as an artist. I just enjoy doodling. It’s an escape for me; entertaining the creative mind makes me feel successful.
T.K.O: Gotchya. Don’t ever stop! Wrapping up here,what does fashion mean to Sage Erickson?
S.E: Fashion is expression. It reveals what’s on the inside. Our aspirations, influences–all these things could be described from just one piece of clothing. At least that’s how I feel.

Sage,
I would like to once again thank you
for the interview of a lifetime
and wish you continued success.
Always rooting for you!
T.K.O



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