Who does unapologetically vulgar better? Leo or Bunker?
It ain’t news that the Roman surfer, and former WCTer, Leo Fioravanti gets his Gucci Gucci for free.
It is the biggest sponsorship in surfing, in a sense, given that even a modest Gucci jacket costs five thousand dollars, a sweater, fifteen hundred dollars and a pair of horsebit fringed leather sandals a little over a gee.
Recently, Leo, who is twenty years old, appeared in a Gucci photoshoot at Malibu, California. In every photograph he looks like a king or an emperor and you can imagine Leo carrying a plastic sword with a gold handle and swishing it at the camera crew.
Seeing Leo wrapped in Gucci’s famously unapologetic vulgarity reminds me of Adolph Spreckels, the hedonistic experimental surfer of the nineteen seventies.
(Buy the Taschen book of Art Brewer’s photos, which is called Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence, here.)
The Gucci thing is an ambassadorship that works both ways, Leo told the website Highsnobiety in a recent sponsored editorial.
“First of all, it has put some style in my surfing style, or in my lifestyle. As a surfer, I can give it an extra touch, and what they’ve done in the last few years with Alessandro [Michele] has been incredible. They really brought Gucci back to the young people. I feel like four or five years ago it was kind of getting a bit older. In the last five years they’ve done an incredible job whether it’s from Alessandro or the stylist or a lot of people in the background working with younger people. It’s really shown.
“They really brought Gucci back to the young people. I feel like four or five years ago it was kind of getting a bit older. In the last five years they’ve done an incredible job whether it’s from Alessandro or the stylist or a lot of people in the background working with younger people. It’s really shown.”
Other notable quotes:
On Italian surf style: I think it’s more that each surfer has their own style; we all have very different styles. Sometimes you just want to achieve the same—whether it’s progression, speed—so we are looking for the same things to improve on. As far as outside the water, I really believe Italians have a different style, because they care a little more about how they dress, or how they look, whereas most surfers all they want to wear are board shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops. I love to do that, too. A lot of times I like to play dress-up a bit and bring out some Italian blood.
Breaking his back: It was the first event of the year and I was ready for the season. The first one, the very first wave I landed out in Hawaii, and it turned into a really big injury. I went to the hospital, I flew back to Europe with a big brace and had surgery, so it was a good four to six month of recovery. It was tough, because I was 17 years old and not used to, you’re not used to being injured. I never had anything like that happen before. Not being able to surf for about five months, that’s crazy. Like, I was going crazy and at the same time it gave me an extra motivation and it really made me realize how important surfing is and not to take it for granted whether it’s good waves or bad waves. I always enjoy it as much as possible and it really gave me an extra fire. I trained as much as I could, and I did everything possible so that I would come back on my surfboard stronger than before, and I really believe that happened.
Gucci things: When I travel, whether it’s for surf competitions or surf trips, I’m mostly at the beach. I always like to bring a nice shirt or stylish white shirt. Then I really like to play with my jewelry. I have a lot of rings that I mix out. I have one silver lion and one gold lion ring from Gucci. I also wear Gucci watches. One that’s more elegant, one which has a sports style. Because at the end of the day, we are at the beach so I can’t show up in a suit. I do wear my board shorts with rings, which is a little more my style.
So who does gaudy better?