Stab Magazine | Ex-Transworld And Surfing Magazine Photog, Jack English, Starts A Clothing Company: Sea Of Seven.
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Ex-Transworld And Surfing Magazine Photog, Jack English, Starts A Clothing Company: Sea Of Seven.

Where single fins meet vintage motorcycles!

style // Dec 12, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Starting an apparel brand in our current climate is a lofty endeavor. You need style. You need flair. You need to know your market. And you need some clout in the industry you’re trying to break into. Luckily, for Jack English, founder of Sea of Seven, a brand for everyone based off “harnessing simplicity”, he knows the right people, and how to leverage them to at least get the brand out there. Jack’s teamed up with his daughter to produce clothing that is photo heavy and says “no” to the digital (photography) age. 

Jack cut his teeth during the golden age of surfing. The days when Andy and Kelly dreamt of bashing each other’s skulls; when Occy raged like a bull and buried his surfboards in the sand. When cover photos meant something and weren’t wasted on an Instagram double tap. When our modern idea of vintage wasn’t vintage at all. He’s an ex-Photog from the heady, and oh-so-missed days of print media and film photography. He refuses to shoot digital. There’s just something about the aesthetic of film that remains timeless and Sea of Seven chooses to honor that ideal.

If you like what you see, you can shop Sea of Seven here. And, as giving back is all the rage is these turbulent times, Sea of Seven works with local organizations to provide support for the homeless. With each purchase on their website, they will donate a new blank t-shirt to a homeless man, women or child.

But first, here’s a short interview with the man behind the brand.

sea of seven mens clothing

Stab: What has been your place as a surf photographer and artist? 
Jack: I got my first start when Nick Carroll and Larry “Flame” Moore hired me to move from Pismo Beach to San Diego and work full time for them. At the time their was a Bodyboarding and a Surfing Magazine so I was under a retainer shooting for both magazines. Later on, I eventually moved to Transworld Surf getting hired by Joel Patterson (Editor in Chief). Working for Transworld had me traveling yearly on the WCT tour which included stops to Hossegor, Portugal, Spain, Jeffrey’s Bay, Mexico, Reunion and many more. 

Who were your most memorable surfers to shoot on the tour?
I would have to say Fanning, Kelly, Occy, Taj and Andy. Fanning for his quickness, Kelly cause he’s a freak, Occ’s bottom turns, Taj cause he surfed like a skater and Andy for his passion to crush Kelly.

Then what happened?
The photo editor at the time was Peter Taras and he eventually went to Surfing Magazine and after that I was getting less and less trips and eventually was let go.

Were you upset?
At the time yes and no. Looking back at it now I am so thankful what Joel, Peter and the Cote brothers offered me. Towards the end of shooting full-time I had a daughter and for me I would rather stay home and be their for her childhood then travel on the tour. Traveling on the tour is great for a single person or for someone who doesn’t mind being away from their kids or loved ones and that wasn’t for me.

Why are you so anti digital?
When I started everything was film. It was so much different back then from shooting to having to wait days to get your film processed. People need to realize we received one surf magazine every month. That’s all we had to read for 30 days until the next issue came in. We would read every word including the masthead and photo credits and stare at every shot. You would appreciate the writing, photos and the moves the surfers were doing. It was so much more fun and then digital came out and more and more photos were for the websites and that led to all the magazines going out of business. So yeah, I have a chip on my shoulder towards digital – it’s just like everyone has a camera now and to me that lost it’s cool factor.

 

sea of seven boys boutique clothing

Now you only shoot film?
Yeah, so around 2004 working for Transworld they bought us all these super high end Canon digital cameras “your now digital full time”. So I shot digital for years for them and then when I got let go I would see other photographers work (film) and I loved the look of the grain. I missed that look – digital is so no grain and way to perfect looking and I wasn’t digging that look. So I purchased three Canon EOS1VHS cameras and a bunch of film and have no regrets.

The most noteworthy moment of your career? 
In my early 20’s I took a water shot of Liam McNamara from the water at Pipeline and to this day it’s been said it’s the biggest wave every ridden/photographed at Pipe. To this day, I am very proud of this shot and thankful Liam dropped in and made the drop, but as I get older I have turned more of my interest to journalism type photos. On that note I have a shot of Kelly Slater being interviewed in Puerto Rico moments after his win and he begins to cry speaking about Andy Irons – I have a shot of him with tears coming down his face and to me this is by far one of the heaviest photos I have.  

What’s the goal with Sea of Seven? 
My short term goal would have to be able to make a full time living running my own company. If I can quit my day job and run this full time then to me I made it – long term would be that I could employ others.

How would you describe Sea Of Seven to someone who hasn’t seen it?
In short it’s everything: single fin meets vintage motorcycles – more like a 50’s style brand. If there’s one surfer I always seem to think of it’s Matt Archbold. I think, “What would Archy want to wear if he wasn’t sponsored?”

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