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Erica Hosseini photo shoot

Erica Hosseini photo shoot

Interview by Elliot Struck
Photography by Tyler William Parker

Extra credit:
Styling: Eileen Peters
Hair and Makeup: Stella Kae using Oribe and Benefit

Erica Hosseini possesses the demeanour I picture in my head every time someone mentions Hollyweird. My aim ain’t lax, either – her native Newport is but a stone’s huck from the flash and trash of Sunset Boulevard. But Ez ain’t Colgate and peroxide like the aspiring actresses of LA. She’s sun and salt and fibreglass, the latter of which she’s known intimately since young, real young. She’s won contests, earned sponsors and is smart enough to know that her looks allow for those sponsors to often sit outside the realm of surf wear (tequila!).

Y’can hear Ez’s smile through the phone. I totally promise! A cute Cali twinkle through a Cali vernacular, built on an extensive vocabulary which I ain’t above admitting is a pleasant surprise. And no hesitation! Such confidence! A trait worth celebrating and celebrate it we do with the photos y’see here. As for the words, picture an earnest tone when you form them in your head and rejoice, for now you know Ez Hosseini a little better.

How long have you been on the cute gal radar? Ever since I was 15-16 and had a decently mature look my sponsors have used me in ad campaigns. Recently, I’ve been in some national magazines like Men’s Journal and Maxim. I’ve also had a few covers of local Newport magazines for sexiest people in Orange County. As they say, when it rains, it pours. And, it’s definitely pouring this year. And then you guys knocked on my door! And it was definitely way outside my norm of “bikini, beach, surfboard, blonde wavy hair look”, but it was really fun. I was like, okay, girl-next-door image is going down the toilet today, I guess!

Now, Palm Springs, that’s a cute town. Tell me all about it and why it’s pivotal in your very existence. That’s where I was born! My mum owns a women’s fashion store – she used to own a chain of them – and one of them was in Palm Springs. I was born there, then we moved down to Newport. They pushed the restart button, opened another fashion store here in Newport and we kinda commuted. Now, their only fashion store is in South Lake Tahoe. But those were the main commutes – Tahoe, Palm Springs and Newport. I was so young when I was spending a lot of time in Palm Springs, but it’s a lot more laid-back – poolside, desert bronzing, mall, golf course, y’know? An older, laid-back vibe.

Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin? Frank Sinatra. Ol’ Blue Eyes. Gotta keep it in the fam.

Martinis or scotch on the rocks? I would do Martinis for sure, but preferably tequila margarita’s, baby! Jose Cuervo tequila is one of my sponsors but it’s my drink of choice anyway. Jose Cuervo Gold. I got a whole stack of it at home, always. Part-time modelling doesn’t really mix with hardcore partying, but I just have cupboards full of the stuff. So, when the time comes, I do throw a mean party.

Palm Springs hotels – The Ace or the Orbit? The Ace ‘cause I like modern, I like hip. Obviously, I’m only 24 so I don’t wanna see the old-style going down. But, I’m not Ms Las Vegas party-gal. I’m more of a home-body, a party-planner, having everybody over at my house. I like to play host and keep everything in-line.

What do you believe are the essential characteristics of the Californian gal? I know it’s very stereotypical, but I guess tanned with long, blonde, wavy hair, good body, big boobs, hopefully not so outrageous that it’s platinum blonde hair and fake boobs, but a little more natural. Victoria’s Secret-esque. During the US Open, there’s just so many pretty girls walking down Main Street, it’s just that California surfing lifestyle that everybody loves.

The teeth are the whitest! Almost blue! Tell me about yours. Well, my teeth, yes, people comment on my teeth all the time. I think it’s more of an American thing. When you’re in junior high school you stand out if you don’t have braces. Everybody has them. So when you’re outta high school, it’s just the norm that everyone has perfect teeth. The more I travel, the more I notice that the smile is a feature that Californians don’t take lightly. 

What are the strongest points of the Cal gal? Well, teeth’s definitely a good one. Hair, too, f’sure. Always long, healthy and extravagant. Hair is a statement.

The weakest? “Um, like, oh my god, did you, like, see him over there, like.” Saying “like” every other word. And, “Oh my god.” I try not to say it as much as possible, but I notice it so much when I go overseas. That’s always the first thing foreigners make fun of us for. I’m, like, oh no, we don’t do that, then I come back home and I listen to all my friends or my sister’s friends talk and I’m just appalled by how much some of these girls actually sound like how people mimic us.

Is there a terrible pressure to submit to breast augmentation? I think I just saw somewhere that the number one surgery around here is breast augmentation. And, obviously, Newport’s just a lil hop, skip and jump away from good old Hollywood, with all the pressure to stay thin and big boobs, so there’s an extreme amount of pressure on girls looking good and having that perfect physique and massive boobs. The boobies!

I did notice that you are a smart enough gal, or perhaps a genetically blessed enough gal, to avoid this invasive technique. Why, do you think, it’s so ubiquitous there? I am all-natural, genetically blessed, rocking what my mumma gave me! But, like I said, it’s totally because of the pressure to look like the cover of a magazine, and if you don’t have boobs it’s, like, surgery’s a small price to pay and all of a sudden you wake up one morning, and, y’got ‘em. It’s a direct effect from Hollywood.

What’s your favourite LA hotel? I’m not a massive partier, so when I do go out there I always manage to find my way back to my humble abode over here in Newport. The Wilshire Grand, that’s a nice hotel. I mean, you can’t really go wrong, you’re just poolside, hanging out. The Hotel Bel-Air on Rodeo, the Roosevelt. Okay, I’d say the Roosevelt is my favourite. The pool, the buffet… I mean, you’re not really using the hotel amenities, you’re just going out and basically just utilising the room for a bed.

Do you like Kanye West? It’s funny you mention that. G-Shock flew me out last year to a private Kanye concert in New York City and it was amazing. He played, like, 10 songs, way more than we expected, and it was just unreal.

Did you smile your way backstage? I didn’t get to meet him, he was kinda in and out, but I was pretty darn close to the stage.

Would you kiss those big fruity lips? You know what, I don’t think that I would, he’s not really my type. My type’s kinda surfer-esque. They don’t have to surf, but I tend towards the stereotypical traits of the tanned, good-bodied surfer look.

So, like, a guy-version of you? Yeah! Me in a guy version! That’s well-put. That is kinda what I’m looking for. No… just a cool guy.

What’s your connection with surfing? I started surfing when I was 11, grew up on the beach and competed my whole life. I follow the tour full-time, have done for a few years now on the WQS, so it is a major part of my life. I surf every single day, rain or shine, I’m constantly training. I mean, of course it’s fun, I don’t wanna make it sound like that, but I push myself to put in the hours. Recently, it’s taken a little bit of a back seat as my modelling career and different kinds of exposure have taken off. I’ve been doing a lot of film and TV work, like, I do all the stunt surfing for the show 90210. I’m actually going to do that tomorrow! So, surfing’s what’s made a career for me and I don’t plan on giving it up.

Do you ever get drunk? Yeah, definitely. I can’t not in Newport. And have Jose Cuervo as a sponsor. That’s just not happening. I drink responsibly, though.

Is it awesome? Yeah, it is awesome.

What’s the drunkest you’ve been? Oh gosh, we’re having this conversation? It’s not often, but there’s been moments. I jumped into the pool, willingly, with the cell phone and the camera, one in each pocket. That was fun to fish out the next morning. I’d like to say someone pushed me in, but no, I ran into the cannonball.

Are you wilder now or when you were younger? I’ve never been too much of the wild child, but definitely when I was younger. Everyone’s the same, it’s always when you’re in high school, you’re going out, you wanna rebel, you’re not old enough ‘cause the legal age here is 21, and it’s always more fun to drink when you can’t. Then, the novelty wears off and all of a sudden you’re 24.

What are you reading at the moment? I got my Kindle iPad deal. I read random books that’re like $1.99 on the best-seller list. I’ve read all the Chelsea Handler books, they were all amazingly funny as far as a cheap, stupid read. I also liked The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest and The Girl Who Played With Fire. They were kinda difficult to read as far as all the Swedish words go, but once you got into it, they got you going and were pretty intense.

What is your current state of mind? I know it’s not really what everyone wants to hear ‘cause they wanna hear the dramas, but everything right now could not be any better. I could be doing better on tour and training harder, but surfing-wise and career-wise and happiness levels, everything’s great. Being home for the last couple months has really grounded me. It’s summer time, long days, it’s been great.

Have you ever been in love? I have not, so I can’t describe it. I’ve actually never even had a boyfriend. I’ve dated a few guys and had little flings here and there, but never gotten to that next relationship level. I’ve never found the one. But I’m looking! Watch out for your Australian boys when I come over! People used to ask me if I was really picky and I’d always say no, but now I’m 24 and haven’t changed, I think I can say that I am picky. Travelling makes it hard. I have a routine and I’m really independent and focused, so when things interrupt that schedule, I don’t really like it. I need to find the right balance and share it with someone.

Can you love someone? I think I can definitely love someone.

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