Just debuted is the Roxy x Lisa Andersen collection, celebrating a quarter century partnership with this legendary surfer. The first woman on the cover of Surfer magazine in 1995, this 4-time world champion (1994–97) became the face of women’s surfing in the 90’s, renowned for her super charging surf style and sun kissed good looks.
The Roxy x Lisa Andersen collection features a range of chic surf staples that pay homage to the era and the woman. From a modern take on the first female boardshort that Roxy created specifically for her in 1994, to surf-ready bikinis and one-pieces, the collection is full of Lisa Andersen inspired classics.
I first met Lisa as an editor at Conde Nast’s Sports For Women right after that cover debuted. The image of her cutting mid-air and dropping back into the wave, with the coverline “Lisa Andersen surfs better than you” was such a defining moment in women’s sports. Surfer was not a women’s magazine, but the dude’s surf bible. When it made that declaration it leveled the playing field and created a surf icon.
Lisa was also a mom then to daughter Erika, who traveled with her and was a staple on the tour. Now 23, Lisa was 23 when she had her. Lisa is also mother now to Mason who’s 15. It is the image of Lisa and Erika taken in 1994 that inspired this collection (above bottom right). Wearing the iconic one piece with R-O-X-Y in a box on the front, the collection features that original swimsuit (bottom left), re-released with a modern silhouette.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, and this famed surf mama, I caught up with my old friend to chat about this long overdue collection.
STYLE OF SPORT: Hey Lisa! So great to reconnect! That picture of you and Erika is such a classic, and so perfect for Mothers Day. Talk to me about the genesis of this collection.
LISA ANDERSEN: That image is a photo Art Brewer shot of me and my daughter Erika. I’m in a little tide pool at Shark’s Cove in Hawaii on the North Shore. I couldn’t do anything because I had injured my back. I had already won so many contests and was in the lead in points. I just needed to win one more heat for the world title – my first one. Art just wanted to shoot me doing something. The one thing I could do was float, because that didn’t hurt. I’m wearing a one piece in the photo, with ROXY on the chest in box letters. I did go on to win the world title that year, and that was the first piece I wanted to reinvent for the line – using the same logo, but updating the style.
SOS: You have been such a role model for female surfers. That Surfer magazine cover was such an iconic moment in the sport. Talk to me about some of the other champions who have come since then. Who are the surfers you really admire?
LA: I idolize every single one of the girls out there — not just for their surfing, but because they are such great people and champions and athletes. I spend time with each and every one of them, whether I go to an event or run into them here locally in California. I get to surf with them and have coffee with them and we party together.
SOS: It sounds like you’ve become a mentor… kind of a mom to them.
LA: Yeah, definitely! They call me Mama Lisa. I love them. They’re all my girls. They are all so creative. The sport is so cool and so much more respectable now. It’s amazing to still be a part of.
SOS: And you’re still out there charging!
LA: Laughing… I feel invincible until an hour after I come in from surfing when I start popping the Advils. The thing about surfing though is you might take a week off or a month off, but you go right back in the ocean and surf where you left off. It’s a switch you just turn on. You might be a little weaker, but you don’t lose momentum. I feel so disconnected when I’m not surfing. I get super irritable. The ocean just calms me and brings peace. I feel like a new person.
SOS: Is surfing different at all now than when you were younger?
LA: I don’t rely on surfing now to compete. It’s just for fun and staying in shape. I enjoy it more than ever.
SOS: Tell us about the collection. It seems long overdue!
LA: Everything is a flashback to things Roxy had made before. I just picked the styles I thought were cool – basics and classics you could always wear. A lot of it’s black and white, because that’s just kinda my style. There’s a one-piece long sleeve lycra that zips in the back. I’ve been surfing in that. It’s comfortable and good protection from sun.
SOS: And of course the board shorts that Roxy was first to do for you and for girls.
LA: We wanted to resurrect those for sure. Everything back then is cool again. I was bit of a hoarder. I collected so many pieces, and boxes and boxes of stuff is archived. I’m hoping to keep injecting those through the season and future collections. I really loved putting the whole thing together. It was great experience.
SOS: Well, it’s great for us too! Thanks Lisa and Happy Mother’s Day!