There are some guys that just ooze good taste. The way they walk, talk,  approach life — they’re different and it feels effortless. They don’t just keep up with trends: They transcend them. One such tastemaker that’s had some of our boards beneath his feet lately is Aussie turned L.A.-transplant, Luke Stedman. World Tour surfer turned clothing brand founder, his line IWS (Insted We Smile) has made a big splash here in L.A. with the likes of John Legend and Jeremy Piven spotted in his gear. Curious to know what makes a man of Luke’s caliber tick, we sat down with the handsome devil to drink some inspiration. And of course to know where’s he’s been surfing lately…

Interview and words by Beau Flemister

So, Luke. What have you been up to lately?

Luke Stedman: Well I have been loving life, really. I have been spending a lot of time in the States setting up IWS (Insted We Smile) here, as America is now our biggest territory and we are working with a lot of great stores and individuals. I have also been doing a lot of surf coaching and surf specific training.

Awesome. So where exactly is home, California or Oz?

I live in Sydney but at the moment a lot of my time is spent traveling around the USA (for work mostly).

Nice. And where have you been surfing?

I have been surfing mostly around Malibu, Venice and Zuma. The waves are no where near as good as home but there are days where it’s really fun. I was riding my Hypto a lot here as I feel it’s the best board for the L.A. conditions, however Hayden just shaped me one of the new Holy Grail models and it’s absolutely amazing!

 

 

There are some guys that just ooze good taste. The way they walk, talk,  approach life — they’re different and it feels effortless. They don’t just keep up with trends: They transcend them. One such tastemaker that’s had some of our boards beneath his feet lately is Aussie turned L.A.-transplant, Luke Stedman. World Tour surfer turned clothing brand founder, his line IWS (Insted We Smile) has made a big splash here in L.A. with the likes of John Legend and Jeremy Piven spotted in his gear. Curious to know what makes a man of Luke’s caliber tick, we sat down with the handsome devil to drink some inspiration. And of course to know where’s he’s been surfing lately…

Interview and words by Beau Flemister

So, Luke. What have you been up to lately?

Luke Stedman: Well I have been loving life, really. I have been spending a lot of time in the States setting up IWS (Insted We Smile) here, as America is now our biggest territory and we are working with a lot of great stores and individuals. I have also been doing a lot of surf coaching and surf specific training.

Awesome. So where exactly is home, California or Oz?

I live in Sydney but at the moment a lot of my time is spent traveling around the USA (for work mostly).

Nice. And where have you been surfing?

I have been surfing mostly around Malibu, Venice and Zuma. The waves are no where near as good as home but there are days where it’s really fun. I was riding my Hypto a lot here as I feel it’s the best board for the L.A. conditions, however Hayden just shaped me one of the new Holy Grail models and it’s absolutely amazing!

 

 

You’ve had a pretty unique path in the surf world, tell us about that road.

Yeah, well I hung up my competitive boots some time ago but I have found out about myself over the past six years how much I really did love the training and the bettering of myself through mental, physical and spiritual training. So I’m now focusing on passing that information I have to an audience that has the same life goals as myself. I work with schools as their surf coach and also parents and kids together, working on strength and mobility training. I also run IWS (Insted We Smile) which is now in its 6th year and is growing every year. I had John Legend, Jeremy Piven, Mike D and Nick Jonas all spotted wearing IWS and all in the last couple of months, so things are really firing for us now.

Talking on that topic, how would you say your approach to fashion differs from other brands you work around?

I just like making clothes that I would wear myself. I like a contemporary fit and look and a relaxed fit in tailoring. I want to wear an outfit to the beach in the morning in slippers and then chuck on some kicks and be able to go to an event in the evening. Versatile in styling, so to speak.

 

 

From following your career, you always seem to be a bit ahead of the game when it comes to trends…

It’s the people I surround myself with. Every one is inspirational and creative and that’s where I want to be. Everyone is hard working and loves the ocean. The ocean is truly a magical place and I have met so many awesome people in the water. Just the other day I had a surf with Spike Jones. I mean he is one of the coolest cats out there and he is surfing a lot and sometimes he asks for advice which makes me so happy because it just goes to show the more you ask for help the better you get. You are never too cool to ask for advice.

Amen to that. Anything else you are into at the moment? Hobbies etc.

I just got certified in Ginastica Natural. It’s the same movement that JJ Florence does for training. I’m excited to work with people using this technique.

…any projects you can tell us about in the works?

I’m (IWS) collaborating with Mike D from the Beastie Boys now on some tees which I’m thrilled about. Mike’s passion for surf and training is inspirational. I don’t think Mike did a lot of nurturing on his body when he was jumping around on stage but now he is so on it. It’s awesome.

Currently, who would you say is impressing you creatively out there?

Mason Ho brings me so much joy when I watch surfing clips and Kelly’s wave pool does my head in it’s so awesome. There is so much genius out there in the world at the moment. I’ve been hanging with Jon Theodore, the drummer from Queens of the Stone Age and their new album is bonkers. I’m old school there, I’m sure.

Follow what Luke’s up to via the mediums below..

www.instedwesmile.com

@luke.stedman

Or, if you are around Sydney’s northern beaches in the next few weeks, come along to one of his strength and mobility seminars. More info on that one right here. 

Photo/Video credits: Image at the top borrowed from mrporter.com, the rest, via Luke’s personal instagram.