‘Beauty is power’: For Eileen Gu, fashion and sport aren’t so different

Oscar Holland, CNN Interview by Coywire, CNN

If Irene Goo’s description of last Saturday’s Freestyle Skiing World Cup event in Calgary holds up, then a day in an Olympian’s life is as varied as it is busy. . Then he took a philosophy class with George Berkley, “learned physics” and was back on the slopes for the final race.

“I won it and I’m back,” she continued, nonchalantly brushing about her first competitive appearance since last year’s Winter Olympics. So it was one of those days.

This time last year, the American-born Gu was less than two weeks away from making her Olympic debut in Beijing, representing her mother’s country of origin, China. As one of the most sponsored athletes in the Olympics, she was already a famous face. But outside of the ski world, few people saw her in action. The idea that she was overrated in her abilities was quickly dispelled and she won three medals, including gold in halfpipe and big air competitions.

Twelve months later, Gu was an undergraduate at Stanford University and named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. She’s also developed a reputation as a highly sought-after model.In May, she made her runway debut for Louis Vuitton — in an outfit with a torso for the label’s Cruise 2023 collection — and here. For several months, she has appeared on the covers of Vogue Hong Kong and Singapore’s Harper’s Bazaar.

“People always think of fashion and skiing as being two completely different things, but the truth is, the core aspects are actually very similar,” she said at the event in Aspen this weekend. told CNN sports anchor and correspondent Coy Wire ahead of the upcoming Winter X Games. Colorado.

“Both are rooted in a sense of self-expression and creativity. I think that there.”

Sport, school and fashion not only overlap but also contribute to each other, Gu said, adding that juggling is a matter of coexistence rather than compromise. What she learned in psychology applies to skiing, which brings her creativity to fashion. Modeling, on the other hand, offers lessons in resilience and self-confidence, which I apply to my research in universities.

Sprinting a halfpipe may have little in common with walking a runway, but “everything connects,” said the 19-year-old. Action with a sense of “always pushing” his limits Gu, who is drawn to his sport, said skiing makes him “feel like I can do anything”.

“Who says I can’t add another 180 degrees (a degree of rotation) if I can squeeze my body in to do a double cork? Or if I want to change that to another area of ​​my life, the next test Who says you can’t get a better score in or shoot your dream magazine?”

“Beauty is power,” she later added. “And beauty is not just what your body looks like, but being strong in what it can do.”

Style “characterized by balance”

The California-raised athlete — whose decision to represent China sparked criticism from parts of the United States — has long had an interest in fashion. Gou attended his first Fashion Week in Paris when he was 15 years old.

“You just see the way the art is actually put on the body and how expressive it can be on the show. It’s also about, and there’s a lot involved.”

She describes her style as “characterized by balance”, like so much else in life.

“They are all different aspects of my life and on some days I think fashion is a great way to express how I feel… I look different every day, even within a few hours. That’s what makes it fun.”

Gu is signed to IMG Models, an agency that houses fashion celebrities like Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and more. She has worked with Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co., Swiss watchmaker IWC, and cosmetics giant Estée Lauder (including her chain of cafes Luckin Her Coffee, telecommunications company China Mobile, and Inner Mongolia’s Meng Dairy). , as well as various Chinese brands).

Those deals cemented Gu as the third-highest-paid female athlete in the world last year, according to Forbes, whose earnings are estimated to exceed $20 million in 2022. She also hopes that her recognition will make her a role model for young girls and aspiring athletes.

“For me, there weren’t that many girls in the ski industry,” she said, adding: A girl at home can watch it on TV or on the phone and say, “Hey, if she can do it, I’d like to do it too.” She looks like she’s having fun. when can i try it? ”

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