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Women Making Waves - author, stylist & surfer Lara Einzig

Author, Stylist & Creative Consultant Lara Einzig talks us through her latest project, the just-released tome, ‘Women Making Waves’

07 August 2022
By: Emily Armstrong

Raised in Australia and now based in LA, Lara is on a mission to represent women and diversity in and out of the water.

We chat with Lara about her beachy upbringing on the East Coast of Australia, getting into surfing, her days as marketing boss of Topshop in London, and the inspiration behind Women Making Waves...


On her upbringing in Australia and moves to London and LA...
I had the typical upbringing of a beach-loving, coastal-centric Aussie family. Holidays were spent with all of the cousins at my grandparent's beach house on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland where we would spend hours in the ocean and then early evenings were spent back on the beach making bonfires and toasting marshmallows. It was idyllic. I moved to London in my early 20s to earn the pound so I could travel Europe and soon after I met my husband, Dan, a born and bred Londoner. We had always planned to move back to Australia but 12 years later and three little boys in tow, we decided to give LA a try. We loved London but with three babies, we wanted an outdoor life in the sunshine so really the move was mostly lifestyle. We settled in Santa Monica and we loved it.

On her first experience with surfing...
My very first lesson was in Malibu and the obsession was instant. Surfing and surfers seemed so cool, mysterious, radical and sexy, I wanted in! It just felt utterly joyful and freeing and I loved the reckless abandon of wiping out - which happened a lot in the early years! I then started getting regular lessons near our home in Santa Monica. I would attach the board to my bike and literally roll down Bay Street which is one long hill, all the way to the sand.

On the passion, making a habit and commitment...
The passion was instant and ran deep.  The skill side of things took years!!  And I’m still working at it.  There is nothing like it on earth and it has changed my life significantly for the better, but you have to know that you’re going to suck at it for a very long time.  Ha! It’s hard, but I loved the challenge and still do.  It’s still hard!

On her practice and the feeling out there on the water...
Around 3 times a week, depending on my work and home schedule.  My surf practice is my moving meditation.  Being surrounded by all-encompassing nature with dolphins and seals swimming under your board is an experience that just never gets old.  I cherish it every single time I’m out there.  And the best part is that no one can find me out there!

On the surfing culture...
The community on the water is something I had never considered.  When you surf a regular break, you meet the locals and you help each other out. I had a whole community of people teach me how to surf.  They saw that I kept showing up and they wanted to help.  Also, surf culture has very much been defined by the male lens but that is thankfully changing.  I love watching the lineups diversity out there, it makes me very excited for the future.

Favourite surfing breaks and dream surf location...
San Onofre, County Line, Rincon, Sunset are my favorite local places.  Chun’s Reef in Oahu is also incredible.  The Pass in Byron Bay - I’ve never seen so many incredible women shred!  Rainbow Bay in QLD is an excellent wave.  I also love Ditch Plains in Montauk and always meet interesting people out there.  I’m desperate to do a surf retreat in Costa Rica and the Maldives.  Anywhere in Indonesia where it’s pumping.  Anywhere that doesn’t require a wetsuit! 

On her surfing rituals...
I suit up because I’m on the Pacific and the water is cold most of the year. Always sun protection - obsessed from my years living in Australia so I lather zinc on my face and thick cream on exposed skin, lip cream too. I stretch on the beach before a surf. After it’s straight to the shower, conditioning treatment for my hair, lots of face oil, moisturizer, eye cream, all the creams!! I usually come home pretty wrecked and my skin and hair are in a state so there’s a little maintenance that goes on!

On her years as marketing boss of Tophop in London..
For me, working at Topshop in the early 2000’s during it’s hey day was really one of the best fashion jobs in the world. We had healthy budgets and worked with the fashion industry's most creative and dynamics minds from around the world. From brand collabs with Kate Moss and emerging British talent to editing our fashion week zine, it was just a very exciting time on the high street and it was really where I honed my attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence in everything I did. It was hard, hard work and a constant cycle of innovation and newness, which is incredibly exciting but also very draining.

On summer styling...
I always opt for one really great investment piece - the perfect dress, an incredible silk shirt, really flattering wide leg pants, a great pair of sandals. And then I keep everything else pretty minimal and clean. I love sourcing unusual bags that aren’t big brand names.

Advice for other women wanting to start surfing...
Don’t think about it too much, just do it! The more you think about it, the more reasons you’ll find to not try it. Get a good surf coach and get lots of lessons but you also have to put in the work yourself so just go surf whenever you can! Always have your surf kit packed and ready because at first it feels like the logistics of getting out there are hard, but it just takes practice.

On the moment she decided to create Women Making Waves...
I can’t remember the exact moment but it was around the time I was surfing at County Line one day and I realised that surfing had completely changed my life and altered my future in that I would never sit in someone else’s office again! Everything from then on was going to be on my terms. I dove into the surf culture and read every surf book, and watched every surf film and documentary - everything I was seeing was men ripping big waves, which was absolutely not my experience of surfing up and down the California coast. I had found an incredible community of female surfers and they were strong, fierce and feminine and absolutely shredding out there! So graceful and elegant and far more interesting to watch. Everything in the media was so misrepresented and skewed to the men, I was shocked! So I decided that with my creative marketing experience, I would publish a book to show what’s really going on out there and not only that, feature fully diverse women who are living a life of purpose and driven by social impact and who are just trailblazers in their field.

On building an all-women publishing team...
Part of my pitch to publishers was that it was very important to me to have an all-female team on this book and luckily they agreed. I worked with around 40 women around the world it the middle of a pandemic to make this book happen.

On the women featured in the book...
Writing this book in the middle of a global pandemic pushed my beyond my comfort zone in every possible way. Connecting with a cast of 40 women around the world, each facing their own inconceivable and often devastating circumstances, whilst contributing to a creative project with such passion and purpose was humbling, cathartic and unifying - and no truer representation of women supporting women.

What's next for Lara and Women Making Waves...
I think women are redefining the human experience so I want these stories to exist off the page and onto the screen and making a documentary seems like the natural next step.

Lets Play Favourites with Lara Einzig

Flower - peonies
Scent - I don’t wear perfume but I love the Vintners Daughter face oil scent
Fashion label - Jacquemas
Accessory - Hermes bangle that I inherited from my sister
Skincare - Tata Harper
Make Up - Chanel
Supplement / Wellness ritual - a good probiotic, a lot of water
Podcast - The Daily, On Being, Smartless
Recent read - The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto
Travel destination - Panarea, Sicily
Quote - “For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It's always our self we find in the sea".― e.e. cummings
Muse - My 9 year old son, Flynn
Era or decade - the now