'It was seen as a bit of a gamble,' says Kate Bosworth of her breakout role in 2002's now cult surf film, Blue Crush. And yet, it was a risk that undoubtedly paid off, considering the movie went on to gross nearly £42 million worldwide at the box office.
With Y2K mania sinking its claws further and further into popular culture and women's sports breaking through to the fore, thanks to Serena Williams, female olympians and the women's football world cup, the 40-year-old actor's first big film is finding itself back in the zeitgeist. Blue Crush celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.
'I never anticipated the impact of the movie, I’d never touched a surfboard… then female surfers in the water quadrupled in the year of its release. Blue Crush still has a life of its own.' With the film’s enduring legacy in mind, it seemed like a good time for the actress to team up with renowned surf brand Roxy, to create a quintessential surf inspired capsule collection.
In 2002, Bosworth’s on-screen wardrobe as Anne-Marie Chadwick became the foundation for surfer girl fashion in the mainstream. And now, in 2023, rad, beachy, Y2K-inspired styles are having a renaissance. 'Surfer Style' currently has 65 million views on TikTok. For Kate Bosworth x Roxy, the collection prides itself on absolute authenticity to surf culture, considering the girl waking at dawn to catch the waves and ending the day around the campfire with friends. 'I’ve wanted to work with Roxy for the longest time!,' Bosworth admits. 'A lot of swimwear nowadays seems purely geared towards an Instagram post, and whilst Roxy also wants their wearers to feel cool, they do have a lot of athletic prowess that the brand has to service.'
Bosworth has a history of collaborations - see J Brand and Jacques Marie Mage - but this collaboration is most definitely a meeting of minds. She approached the brand with ideas and Roxy provided boundaries for her to work within, advising on which cuts performed successfully, which fabrications kept the wearer warm and dry and even which patterns and colours did not distort under water. 'I’m obviously not a traditional designer, and there were certainly different boxes to tick. Roxy were incredibly helpful to me.'
Regarding her creative process for the collaboration, Bosworth led with her heart: 'my design approach is definitely more one of feeling, and emotions evoked through inspirational reference imagery, rather than physically taking pen to paper.' It goes without saying that Blue Crush and Anne-Marie Chadwick were the first focal points of the collection, but Bosworth also turned to fashion and lifestyle editorials from yesteryear, seeking inspiration from bold colour clashes seen on archival magazine covers from i-D and The Face, and neon shades synonymous with 80s athleisure. To keep the pieces feeling elevated, Bosworth combined lime greens and sunshine yellows with earthier browns and softer pastels.
Hugh Holland’s seminal photography book Locals Only was also a significant influence on the collaboration, and Bosworth reflects: 'Similarly to those images of Californian girls in the 1970s, if you go to the North Shore now, you see women who surf and they’re not wearing perfectly matched bikinis. In the collection, there is the option to coordinate or contrast with all the pieces throughout - we designed it with the idea of mismatched things working together to truly serve the wearer.'
Including everything from technical board shorts and rashguard suits to cosy loungewear and bucket hats, the collaboration is the perfect summer capsule wardrobe. 'Because I lived that life shooting Blue Crush, I really know the thought process of the surfer. I became Anne-Marie! So, we were intent on making something totally authentic. I tapped back into that mentality of a girl coming out of the sea and throwing on a big sweatshirt over a bikini to keep warm. On set [of Blue Crush], we’d throw on a thin button up shirt or cargo pants over swimwear. The collection does the same thing.'
The versatility of the pieces reflects the diverse array of women that Bosworth envisions to sport the collection, whether they’re Olympic surfers or professional sunbathers: 'I’m really proud of the women I’m surrounded by; every body is different, and it’s amazing hearing how supported everyone feels wearing the collection.' Beachwear, for many, can bring insecurity, and the exposure can leave people feeling vulnerable, but Bosworth’s designs nail that sweet spot of both style and substance.
Aside from a joyful reimagination of early noughties fashion, the overarching message of the collection is one of confidence and female empowerment. 'One of the things I admire Roxy for the most is their non-performative feminist values,' Bosworth praises. Her fondest memory of creating the collection is shooting the campaign surrounded by diverse female athletes and models alongside photographer Alique, whom she confesses she’s wanted to work with for some time.
Bosworth, who had famously never touched a surf-board and trained everyday for a month in preparation for the film, credits her determination for winning her the role. 'I wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was a true manifestation.' Throughout our conversation, Bosworth and I constantly refer to her time as a teenager in front of the camera, so, I ask about the poster girl for Y2K surfing how it feels to relive the moment: 'Coming of age in this industry is challenging, to say the least. There was a time when I needed to simply get to know myself better in the midst of trying to make a career in a complicated and competitive industry. Now, I love being the age I am; it feels full circle. I feel that next level of manifestation from a deeper and wiser place. You come back to yourself in a way that feels quite magical.'
Her reference to wellness in mind and body seemed significant, considering she recently turned 40 and became engaged to longterm love Justin Long. Asked what advice she'd give to her younger self, she replies: 'to stay rigorously self honest. We often, especially when we’re young rush past the feelings, try and brush it off, like yeah that felt weird, but whatever. But what if you stop and analyse and ask, what exactly was weird about that? Being self-honest will serve you really well, and lead to a lot more self trust and alignment.'
The collaboration feels like a match made in heaven. Blue Crush’s moral and Roxy’s ethos are aligned in their value of feminine solidarity and bravery. 'Playing that role, I knew how it felt to have fear, doubts and insecurity, and how those things lived together in a teenage body. It’s nice to be vulnerable sometimes, and I knew there was a synergy that was very pure between Anne-Marie and I. And I think that emotional dynamic, independent of me then with Blue Crush and now with Roxy - I think that’s how things have worked quite seamlessly.'
Kate Bosworth x Roxy launched worldwide on May 10. You can it check out here and our edit above.
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