Interview with Clare Duffy
Work: Head Designer Womens Afends
Personality: Distracted Creative
Special Fact: when you love what you have, you have everything you need
Surf Craft: Petey’s Silver Siren (a special board all my friends put in for and the one I’ve had the most joy riding in my life)
1. Tell me a short story?
1. My shortest story would have to be the one where I missed my train from Paris to London by half an hour only to find out I was a day early. I think it was the first and only time I was early in my life.. and I was still technically late.. :|
1. My second shortest story: I have this undying urge to create and express, whether that’s through surfing, working or creating for pure pleasure. I always dreamt of surfing big waves growing up, but I think I like smaller waves now. And I always knew whatever I did in life I would do it with passion. My nerdy teenage self somehow found itself in fashion college and then by some miracle or manifestation I wound up in Byron Bay, working my dream job and able to surf any other day. Since then I’ve moved around jobs, moved countries, surfed across Europe, found the love of my life and Byron pulled me back in where I am now head of womens design for a brand I’ve frothed on since I first visited Byron. It feels like a bit of a fairytale so far!
2. What is your favourite colour?
Favourite colour.. Pastel Pink - it’s the colour of fairy floss and sunset clouds, cute buildings in Portugal, and even cuter ponies in Japan, piglets of course, cherry blossoms, bubblegum, strawberry milkshakes and any good accessory or item of clothing (favourite right now: a Koala jumper).
3. Surfing & creative hand in hand?
I’ve been thinking of surfing as downtime from all the craziness of work and busyness of life but actually surfing is definitely a creative outlet - catching the perfect wave, feeling that energy between you and nature, riding the wave and making it up as you go - it’s where you can fully express yourself without the constraints of work or thoughts, you live and breathe the moment, and hope that no one gets in your way :D
4. What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal.. well how do you find that out? I think mine would be some kind of bear. I am the bear after all. The Clare Bear.
5. You just returned from a surf trip in Java, how was that?
West Java was like a neverending dream, with some strange nightmarish moments, but mostly dreamy. First of all, be ready for a mission, that is, if you fly into Jakarta and drive 11 hours through some of the windiest and gnarliest roads I’ve ever been on - okay okay I’m exaggerating, the roads are pretty fine, but it did take 11 hours. It was all worth it though - the days stretched on for what seemed like weeks and we scored some days where the waves were running all the way from the second point of Batu Karas past the Tsunami warning hut and on through first point. There’s a lot of local talent and all really good vibes, you just have to get out for an early or stay til after dark to get some more empty waves. This isn’t a problem either seeing as it’s a comfortable tropical temperature all day and night long. We lazed around and explored when the wind got up late morning and we trekked out to another break one day when it was too small in the sleepy bay. There’s always an interesting mix of other surfers and a nice opportunity to make new friends and meet some of the locals. It was a much needed escape and with my partner in crime it was pure bliss.
6. What inspires you?
Travel, culture and exploring new places. Illustration, photography and art. Good stories and clever films. Surfing and dogs. Entrepreneurs.
7. How long now have you been involved in the Surf Industry?
After University I decided I didn’t want to work in some big high end fashion brand in trendy New York or buzzing London, I wanted a lifestyle and I needed the ocean - so I got myself into the street and surf side of fashion, starting out with an internship, that was seven years ago.
8. Any advice for people just starting out in the industry?
Three things; work hard, play hard, surf.
Work hard - you can achieve whatever you set your mind to, and it helps if you have a good work ethic rep too.
Play hard - as valuable as working but it’s way more fun, socialising creates endless opportunities.
Surf - not only great for your body and mind after all that hard work and partying but you’re also surrounding yourself with people you share a common interest with, people know people, people become friends, friends help each other out.
Oh and of course; Do what you like - so you like what you do.
9. Do you have a favourite song you like to listen to before a surf?
I go through phases, right now I listen to Baby by Ariel Pink, on repeat. haha just kidding, but that song is classic, listen for the ‘sha-bop-sha-bop’.
10. Any crazy plans for the future?
Crazy plans for the future..
Well you know I haven’t really thought.. but.. how about a cute studio style house with high ceilings, wooden decks, rugs and plants and frame walls from global explorations, two cats in the yard and a chocolate lab, my own studio and creations, and all a stone's throw from the beach. I also want to take my illustrating to the next level and start a love project, my own thing, some day. Collaborate with Atmosea!
Videos by @batukaras_bagus
Photos by Giang Alam Wardani