Surf is dead!
The Roman surfer and face of Gucci Leonardo Fioravanti, who now lives in a pretty house on the beach in Hossegor, France, with step-daddy Stephen “Belly” Bell, has been dumped by his sponsor of fifteen years, the once-iconic Quiksilver.
“When I started surfing at 6 years old my dream was to be sponsored by Quiksilver, because Kelly was there, because it was the best surf company in the world, because they made the best boardshorts in the world and especially because the story they told inspired everyone in the surfing world,” Leo, who is twenty-four and an ambassador for Gucci for the past five years, wrote. “I signed with Quik when I was 9 years old, 15 years ago… today is the end of a chapter for me but especially the start of a new and even more exciting one.”
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Quiksilver, of course, led the surf industry charge through the seventies, eighties, nineties and two thousands before theatrically crashing into bankruptcy and eventually selling the name, brand, logo and whatever else that was worth a few nickels to the circling vultures.
Leo’s estrangement from the surf industry began earlier this year when he gave hell in a mainstream newspaper interview, comparing the stiff surf world with the glorious freedom offered by dressing pretty.
“It’s a different world, I love it. In our world you get judged a lot for your surfing style, who you sponsor with or whatever and that’s how it goes. But in fashion, you can be whatever the fuck you want to be. You can dress however you want, nobody’s going to judge you for it, they’re going to respect you for it. That’s so cool for me. The first fashion show I went to, I was only dressing in black. Everyone looks good in black and no one’s going to judge you in black. Now if I’m going to a Gucci show, give me the craziest shit you’ve got. It’s so cool, and I know they’ll never judge you for it. Give me different every time.”