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When Breitling decided to build its inaugural Surfer Squad—part of its Squad Concept, bringing together true masters in their respective professions—its talent selection came together with ease. Pro surfers Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Kelly Slater are three of the best in the world, and in 2018 they became ambassadors for the iconic watch brand. As Breitling celebrates its new Superocean Heritage ’57 Pastel Paradise Capsule Collection, we spoke to the two faces of the campaign, Gilmore and Fitzgibbons, to inspire some summer positivity.
Since her 2005 debut, Gilmore has dominated the world of women’s professional surfing, winning seven World Titles by the age of 30 and equalling the remarkable record set by her predecessors. She’s also the only surfer—male or female—to take the World Title in their rookie year.
On her mission with Breitling
Breitling wanted to align with athletes who were really passionate about environmental issues, which is how the Surfer Squad was formed. We’re more than just brand ambassadors; Breitling is actually interested in making a difference and starting some really cool initiatives with us, such as beach clean-ups. The conversations that are happening at these events, where we’re bringing school kids along and talking to the locals, are really important. We’re trying to encourage people and raise awareness of the issues. Breitling has also partnered with Kelly Slater’s Outerknown label to make these really cool watch straps, made of old fishing nets and nylon waste from the sea that get spun back into a yarn.
On taking moments for yourself
Something as simple as breathwork can completely change your mindset. Even if it’s just five minutes, I’ll breathe and think about where the oxygen is going. I make it a really visual experience, an intimate moment within myself and my body. Doing this helps me stay centered. Otherwise, some good music, a little yoga routine to get the blood flowing, or a quick free surf will really help to ground me.
On summer beauty
I have a love-hate relationship with the sun and the salt. It naturally dyes your hair really nicely, but it’s also pretty harsh on the skin. So I use multiple sunscreens when I’m surfing. I use an everyday cream sunscreen, then on top, I use a zinc one. With my hair, I’m always trying to get moisture back in it. A good tip is to rinse it in freshwater as soon as you get out of the ocean, and put in an oil or a leave-in conditioner. Keeping your skin moisturized is also really important when you’ve been in the sun.
On her love of color
My style is pretty summery and beachy. I’m a big fan of that vintage surf vibe. I wear a lot of blues, oranges, greens—a lot of the colors in the new Pastel Paradise Capsule Collection, in fact. I feel like it’s easy to fall back on just wearing black and white. Let’s brighten it up again!
On where to go when you’ve reached the top
Success is great and it does give me some kind of fulfillment. But,to continue succeeding, it’s about letting go of those past wins or achievements, because when you show up, you’re back at the same starting line again and you have to treat it like it’s your first year. You have to be on the attack the whole time. It’s all a mental game and you can’t allow hesitations to creep into your mind because they can definitely affect your performance. So, mindset—that’s really the most important thing. For me, the most important questions have become: What’s the next step for me? What can I use this platform for?
Since becoming the youngest female surfer to qualify for the World Tour at only 17-years-old, Sally Fitzgibbons hasn’t looked back. In June 2019, she was ranked number one in the world for women’s surfing after winning the Rio Pro.
On joining Breitling’s Surfer Squad
It’s been such a natural fit. Surfing’s an individual sport, so it’s great to get an opportunity to be part of a team with the likes of Steph Gilmore and Kelly Slater—there’s no higher honor to be aligned with them in our world. And to realize that if we all band together, the impact we can have by working with Breitling could really turn the wheels on ocean health and the awareness and education around it. So I definitely didn’t have to think too long before signing on.
On the beauty of women’s sport
Women’s sport is full of life and momentum. I think there’s so much beauty in the journeys and the stories. The training we put in and the commitment to leave your family and your friends is exactly the same for women as for men—if not more so. Because in terms of having children and relationships, you could argue that women in sport often have to make even bigger sacrifices. So it’s very cool to see equal prize money being introduced for surfing. I’m thankful to those before us fighting so hard. They continued to just keep trying, and we are the beneficiaries of that now. We all really need to hang tight to those changes and keep that momentum going.
On routines—or lack thereof
When I’m at home and my schedule is more normal, I try to put in a couple of weeks to really ramp up the wellness. And then as soon as I leave that safe base, it’s all about solving the puzzle. Whenever I land somewhere, I listen to my body and ask it what it needs, and if you listen hard enough, it’ll tell you straight away. I might need a big hearty meal, I might need fresh food; sometimes I want a big workout, sometimes I need to sleep for three days.
In an ideal world, you would never have to catch flights, work late, or change your plans. You would have that superfood smoothie every single morning and get the perfect amount of sleep. But that’s not what life is, so you have to figure out how to manage not only your ideal schedule but your un-ideal schedule. So I’d say it’s best not to lock yourself in too much to any routine, and make sure you have the tools at your disposal to stay flexible and adaptable.
On storytelling through style
The Pastel Paradise Capsule Collection encapsulates the best parts of the ocean: the greens and the blues of the water, and those moments at sunrise and sunrise where the sky is full of those earthy, pastel tones and people will stop in their tracks and stare. At home, that moment right before the sun sets and lights up the whole ocean—that’s when I’m at my most peaceful. So it’s pretty cool that Breitling can tell that story and you can look at your timepiece and think of that. I have a lot of pride in connecting to these stories.
The Breitling Superocean defines the classic dive watch. It was created by Breitling in 1957 to equip professional divers, but it immediately developed a following among leisure divers and watch enthusiasts. Breitling’s latest creation for women is a fresh reincarnation of a classic — the very essence of summer style.