di Erika Scafuro
Betta Dal Bello is a stylist and surfer who lives between the island of Fuerteventura and Milan, where she is now and where she still living the hard and uncertain time due to coronavirus emergency.
In her life she deals with many things, she also runs a production company, and she never has never been so far from the sea (which she misses a lot).
Her charming story is a balance, like she is always riding a wave, between the frenetic rhythms of a city of fashion and the slow rhythms of an island. But not only. Betta has been able to recognize the moments when life made her to meet the things she could no longer do without. And she allowed the dreams and passions that she had always inside her, to really come true.
1) “Wild stylist” and “free surfer” as you wrote on your Instagram bio. If you had to choose, which of the two represents you best?
“It’s very difficult to answer in the right way. I think the real value I’ve given myself, over the years, is the combination of these four words together. Being in balance between these two realities because one compensates the other. I am Betta Dal Bello because I am these two things. Then if I have to tell what’s in my heart, I am so thankful to my stylist work because it made me travel a lot and I lived unbelievable experiences, but my heart is in the water”.
2) When and how did you discover surfing?
“I discovered it during a trip to Mexico. I have always been very linked to a certain type of underground culture, skate, snowboard…from where come many of my friends and surfing fascinated me a lot. But they were different times, there was no the communication that there is now, nor the possibility of seeing what is seen now. I was very fascinated by surfing but I didn’t know how to approach it. Then I made this trip to Mexico with friends, not aimed at surfing. I ended up in Puerto Escondido and told my friends that I would stay there. It was as if I had always known that surfing would conquer me”.
3) When did you understand that surfing would become such a strong passion that you have chosen to move to the Fuerteventura island?
“I understood it immediately. Surf has really changed my life immediately when I made that trip to Mexico. Before that I wanted to become the director of Vogue Italia, then my dreams changed. From that moment on, I worked to have the opportunity to move to a place where I could always surf, but with the possibility of continuing to do my job as a stylist. I didn’t want to destroy everything I had done so far. So I thought Fuerteventura could be the right place”.
4) I tried to find a point of contact between fashion and surfing and maybe I found it in the concept of “search”: if fashion is the search for an aesthetic taste, surfing is the search for a mix of sensations that make us free and authentic. How do you combine the frenetic rhythms of Fashion Weeks of Milan as opposed to the slow rhythms of the island of Fuerteventura?
“They exist because they are both there. One could not exist without the other. One gives me a great creative spur, even if for me can be complicated to stay into fashion world with its labels. Because I am as you can see, I have no filters, so sometimes I struggle with this situation. I keep the good, the creative spur, everything I can still learn from the world of fashion. The moment I am most tired I think of all the beautiful waves I have ridden in my life”.
5) Which surftrip locations do you prefer that have you visited so far?
“A trivial answer, however, the Hawaii islands. Because if you like surfing sooner or later you have to go. Because there you understand where it all comes from. Although today Hawaii are a commercial and touristic place and unfortunately the native Hawaiians are very few, I had the good luck to know a couple of them and so you can breathe the reason for many things. The connection with nature. It’s the first time on a journey where I really realized how much man could be connected to nature”.
6) In Fuerteventura you also manage The Floater, a production society. What exactly do you do?
“It is a production society that supports anyone who wants to come and shoot on the island, not only on Fuerteventura, but on all the Canary Islands. This was a dream I always had. I said to myself, with all my experience and all my work, I have to take this thing and take it where I want to go. I knew that I would end up on an island, even if I still didn’t know it would have been Fuerteventura, and there I wanted to bring my work baggage there. At the beginning I created this job a bit because I have always been a stylist, and while traveling I saw the work of the production societies, a cool job and very connected to mine. And so I wanted to create it too”.
7) How did you approach the world of fashion?
“Like for the surf. I had it inside. I knew exactly that was what I had to do. Since I was a child I have always been tied to the image. I once read an article on Elle magazine that talked about stylists, I was still in high school, I went to my mom and I said to her “I know the work I would like to do”. After graduation I moved to Milan and started working for Elle. It was what I always wanted to do. In high school in my room I had photos of Kate Moss photographed by Mario Sorrenti. For me, fashion is a medium to create a photograph”.
8) Of all your moments spent in the water riding waves, is there a precise moment that you remember most of all and that makes you excited?
“I have many. Perhaps the last trip to Mexico I made with The Seea for the “Rhythm of one” campaign when The Seea decided to shoot with the girls involved with the brand. We acted as surfers, models, we photographed ourselves among ourselves. We went to Mexico for a week to surf, we were 9 women. To today it is the most beautiful moment, also because it happened exactly one year ago”.
9) The suspended time experienced during the Covid emergency has put us all to the limit. How did your free and authentic surfer soul live it?
“At first, I just wanted to escape. As I have done in all my years of work, I am always on the road. Then after I sat down I tried to face all the bad emotions and I understood that surfing taught me a very important thing which is waiting. Because surfing is a connection with nature, with what is happening around you and a great connection with the present. And if the sea is not good, if the waves are not there, you have to wait. I took this philosophy and put it in everyday life of this moment. So I sat down and waited. Trying to keep my mind active I invented ‘Meet my dudes’ (live streaming on Instagram, ed)”.