Eileen Gu: Sport and fashion aren’t so different for the Chinese-American skier and model

Penned by Oscar Holland, CNN

Job interview by Coy Wire, CNN

If Eileen Gu’s account of previous Saturday’s Freestyle Ski Planet Cup party in Calgary is nearly anything to go by, a day in the Olympian’s lifestyle is as assorted as it is active: She took initially location in early morning qualifiers, wrote two essays, browse some René Descartes and George Berkeley for a philosophy class and then “did some physics” just before returning to the slopes for the ultimate.

“I won that, came back,” she ongoing, casually brushing above her initially competition visual appearance due to the fact final year’s Winter season Olympics, “evidence-read through my essay… turned it in, called it a evening at 10 p.m. and strike the hay. So that was a person of these days.”

This time previous year, American-born Gu was less than two weeks away from earning her Olympic debut in Beijing, representing China, her mother’s place of start. As a single of the Games’ most closely sponsored athletes, she was already a recognizable deal with. But several exterior the snowboarding environment had seen her in action. Any recommendation that her talents experienced been overstated shortly dissolved as she took house 3 medals, such as golds in the halfpipe and large air competitions.

In the 12 months due to the fact, Gu has enrolled as an undergraduate at Stanford College and been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential folks. She has also bolstered her status as a extremely sought-following product. In Might, she produced her runway debut for Louis Vuitton — in a torso-bearing outfit from the label’s Cruise 2023 selection — and has starred on the addresses of Vogue Hong Kong and Singapore’s version of Harper’s Bazaar in the latest months.

Gu tends to make her runway debut at Louis Vuitton’s 2023 Cruise demonstrate in San Diego, California in Might 2022. Credit rating: Jerod Harris/Getty Photos

“Individuals generally imagine that vogue and snowboarding are these two totally disparate entities … when in actuality, the main facets are basically quite similar,” she reported, talking to CNN athletics anchor and correspondent Coy Wire forward of this weekend’s Wintertime X Online games in Aspen, Colorado.

“Both equally are rooted in a perception of self-expression and creative imagination. Both have to have a whole lot of self-assurance, becoming equipped to accomplish underneath stress, and currently being equipped to be your self unapologetically. And I believe that people attributes actually do carry in excess of.”

Not only do sport, school and fashion overlap, they contribute to one a different, explained Gu, depicting the juggling act as a make any difference of symbiosis, not compromise. What she learns in psychology applies to snowboarding, which in convert sparks creativity that she carries into vogue modeling meanwhile delivers lessons in resilience and self esteem that are then used to her higher education work — “so it all goes in a circle,” she mentioned.

Watch: Coy Wire interviews Eileen Gu ahead of the Winter season X Games

(Photograph by Patrick Smith/Getty Visuals of Gu competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.)

Hurtling down a halfpipe could have minimal in widespread with strolling a runway but “all of it is related,” the 19-calendar year-old explained. Drawn to action sports activities for the perception that she is “regularly pushing” her have boundaries, Gu said skiing leaves her emotion “like I’m capable of nearly anything.”

“Mainly because if I can press my overall body to do a double cork, who says I are not able to incorporate one more 180 (levels rotation)? Or if you want to flip it into yet another location of my existence, who states I won’t be able to get a superior score on the subsequent take a look at, or shoot my dream journal?”

“Beauty is electric power,” she later extra. “And magnificence is getting capable to be robust, not just in what your body seems to be like, but also what your system can do.”

Eileen Gu reacts after her final jump before winning gold during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Freeski Big Air Final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 8, 2022.

Eileen Gu reacts following her ultimate soar in advance of profitable gold all through the Women’s Freestyle Snowboarding Freeski Large Air Ultimate at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Game titles on February 8, 2022. Credit history: Mao Jianjun/China Information Services/Getty Photographs

Style ‘characterized by balance’

The California-elevated athlete — whose selection to represent China provoked criticism from some quarters in the US — has extended been intrigued in fashion. Owning “stolen minimal pieces” from her mom’s closet as a little one, Gu attended her initially fashion 7 days, in Paris, aged 15. The encounter was, she said, “definitely life-transforming.”

“Just viewing the way art can actually be put on the human body, and how expressive it can be in a demonstrate. (It can be) not just about the persons carrying the clothing and how they glance … but also about the environment, the tunes, the established — you will find so substantially that goes into it.”

She describes her personal design, like considerably else in her life, as “characterized by harmony” — “involving masculine and feminine, involving elegant and sporty, in between playful and mature.

“All of individuals truly are unique sides of my lifestyle, and relying on the day, I find style is a wonderful way for me to express how I feel … I glance various each individual working day, even within a couple of several hours. But which is what is entertaining about it.”

Gu is signed with IMG Types, the agency behind Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and additional of fashion’s most significant names. She has labored with Victoria’s Mystery, Tiffany & Co., Swiss watchmaker IWC and cosmetics giant Estée Lauder (as effectively as a assortment of brands in China, which includes café chain Luckin Coffee, telecoms company China Cellular and Interior Mongolia’s Mengniu Dairy).

Gu attends the 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Gu attends the 2022 Fulfilled Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Town. Credit history: Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Visuals

These discounts helped build Gu as the third-highest-paid out woman athlete in the world final year, in accordance to Forbes, which estimated her 2022 earnings at around $20 million. She also hopes the visibility can make her a job model for younger women and aspiring athletes — the kind she explained she lacked when she was young.

“For me, developing up, there were not that a lot of girls in the ski sector,” she reported, adding: “I am youthful and I am trying to do my best, and I just want to be the person that a lady at household can see on Tv set or on their cell phone and say, ‘Hey, you know, if she can do that, then I want to consider it, as well. She appears like she’s having enjoyable. When can I attempt?'”

Francis McGee

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