di Erika Scafuro
Irene Traina shines bright with light and color. You can sense it just from the content she publishes on her social accounts. Surfer, yoga teacher, stylist, outdoor and sport lover, her passions are clear.
During the long winter months, which Irene spent in the Algarve, she shared the light and colors of that region: she has been a window on the world during the months of lockdown, a breath of fresh air like the winds that whip the Portuguese coast. There, her days were marked by the rhythm of the waves that have suggested which direction to take.
If you had to describe in one word what surfing is to you, what would it be?
You spent 5 months in Sagres, Algarve, during which you also experienced the Portuguese lockdown. Did you take the decision to move there for the winter looking for the waves? How did the experience go?
“Actually when I went there I didn’t know what was going to happen, the restrictions from last year were in the air again and I certainly wasn’t going to spend another lockdown locked in my apartment in Milan or without the ability to get to my beach house. I chose to stay because a lockdown in that context I wouldn’t even consider lockdown. Having the opportunity to get in the water to surf, go running in the cliffs, do yoga in my garden a few meters from home, living in such a strong environment where the wind and the waves decide your day, shopping at the only market in the village feeding myself with genuine things, only one suitcase and always the same clothes, I did not miss anything, indeed. I lived by few but wonderful and strong things, listening to myself, and in that moment I actually had the chance to listen to myself and figure out what I needed to fix in my life. The ocean was my best friend and councilor during the winter. The moments when I had the best ideas were just while waiting for the waves and watching the horizon. I believe that nature helps us bring out the best in us more than we know, which is why we need to learn to observe and listen to it. For me, the ocean has been a mirror to my soul”.
What Portuguese spots do you recommend?
“Beliche is my favorite because it is located under a cliff that seen from the sea is incredible, both as colors and as majesty. Telheiro is wonderful too because it is never so beaten and is really wild. To reach them with a surfboard and wetsuit you need a lot of willpower: Beliche has a tough staircase and Telheiro you have to go down between the cliffs … but they are unique places”.
You founded The Wild Production, https://www.thewildproduction.com/, a photo and video production agency based in Sagres. How did this idea come about and what is your business?
“It came about because finding myself as I mentioned in lockdown and having to “reinvent” myself I reached out to a few brands proposing the wonderful locations I was in, casting, and some photographers I had met in the area to create photo or video content. I’ve been a stylist for many years, I’ve also done photo production so I know how this job works. The people I had by my side at the time helped me make contacts there. Massimo Pardini is a surf photographer who has been living in Sagres for 5 years, and together we are combining his knowledge of the place with my contacts in fashion and sports. The Algarve and Sagres in particular, are wonderful places for shootings of all kinds: outdoor, sports, but also fashion, adv…The light is different, the people are different (even for casting it is much more interesting to snap local people or “cool” foreigners passers by) and there are many professionals in these fields who have chosen to be based there precisely because of the quality of life and the power that place has. It’s a place of creative sharing and since we are both so involved and at the same time passionate about our work we would like to be able to pass on this love and vision to brands that need to suggest similar emotions. Bringing the client to see with our own eyes to live the same way we do. This is The Wild Production”.
You are also a yoga teacher and organize pre-surfing courses in Versilia, how do you prepare your students to face the waves?
“I would like to get them to listening outside, the wind, the air when it caresses their skin, the sound of the waves and have those elements help, as they helped me, with listening. Learning to observe and listen to yourself is a very difficult thing but yoga like surfing, really helps you get into the flow of your life. The mind conditions us, learning to observe it and calm it down also helps us “catch” the wave!”.
The flow of yoga and surfing, a deep connection with nature, green thinking, sustainability. How do you balance such a conscious path with the fashion industry you work for?
“Fashion is just a ‘fashion’, a trend, and man ‘thanks’ to Covid has understood how much we need contact with nature, and the more people live this contact with nature the more they live a sustainable life as a result, they learn to observe and love the planet. I believe that fashion is an industry but it is also made of people. And I believe that everything can be connected”.
On a practical level, how do you organize your time, between Italy and Portugal, based on your work as a fashion editor, yoga teacher and founder of The Wild Production?
“I’m still working on it…in five months I’ve revolutionized my life in my ‘cloud’, on a practical level it’s still evolving, with efforts and difficulties. Italy is bulimic, full of people and confusing, Portugal has a different attitude to life, more relaxed and calm. Trying to balance things isn’t easy but because the ocean has told me that these are the right choices, and yoga has taught me to observe myself, I know that it’s an adaptation path so things will sort themselves out and everything will find its placement in my days and my life”.