Maria Falbo – Interview

The first time I met this girl was on a photo shoot some 5 years ago down at Lloyds in Bristol. I was quickly impressed by her smooth skate style and wardrobe to match. As a student in fashion although I’m not sure on the XXXL hoodies that she assured me as a point of view from a fashion students were definately all the rage.

On the 8th of March 2008 she joined fellow sponsored skaters such as Lucy Adams to teach at Projekts Skatepark in Manchester in aid of National Women’s day. Jenna Selby caught up with Maria Falbo at this event to find out more.

Hey Maria, hope you’re good, break us in gently can you just give us a quick synopsis of how long you’ve been skating and the range of sponsors you have as I know there are a few.

Urmm 5 or 6 years-ish. On and off, mostly off in winter. I’m a summer person, winter upsets me greatly. My sponsors are Nikita Clothing, Rockstar Bearings, Rogue Skateboards and Vestal Watches (flow.)

Blimey, how did they come about…have people seen you skating or you just happened to be in the right place at the right time – or were you just generally pimping your wears?

All of the above I guess! Secret recipe!

Skating for Adrian Lopez’s Rockstar Bearings must be a good hook up. I hear he flies all his Euro riders out to the States for various tours?

Not actually met him yet, but he seems like a hero. He’s always keen on pushing girl skaters, and brings them together. The team is sick; I really like what they’re doing with the whole Rockstar thing.

Have you been on any tours yet or are there any plans to go over this year?

I was supposed to go to New York last year but festivals cropped up and took over my summer. I’m going for all of July this year. Think all of the girls are gonna be over there. I really can’t wait. Were filming for a girl’s video that Rockstar will be releasing in the future. Good times.

A Lo does seem to be representing some of the best female skaters in the world on his ‘Chicas’ team – Evelien Bouilliart, Louisa Menke and Lauren Mollica to name but a few. Have you had a chance to skate with any of them yet?

I’ve skated with Evie and Louisa before at various places. Not met the US girls yet though. Keen!

Skating with Evelien must really push you to try crazier stuff as she is actually crazy herself!

She is. I love her. One of my favourite people. Always up for a good time, and always gnarly. Big love ‘lil one‘.Haha!

She put me in a headlock after the Girl Skate Jam once and although she’s tiny she’s bloody strong…can you dish the dirt on her super powers?

Lots of cereal. She loves it.

Nikita, another big sponsor, that team really seems to be taking off this year.

Yeah, Nikita are so good, they are really on it this year. The brand is just getting better and better. Super stylish. I think it’s gonna blow up soon. The deal… they give me clothes and motherly support, thanks Claire and Michelle. In return I have to do some competitions and just wear it as much as I can. Pose here and there, you know.

I hear they’ve set you up for a front cover of Cooler mag in the next few months, that’s pretty exciting…

Yes an example of how they are on it. They are really pushing the brand and the riders. I don’t really know much about it, but think it’s out in July. I’m really stoked about it.

They also sponsored the Girls comp at Projekts in Manchester on the 8th March.

I think the competition is really good for promoting the girls skate scene. Literally all of the UKs girl skaters came up for the weekend, loads of fun.

It was to represent international women’s day was it not?

Yes yes, spice girls – girl power. Girl DJs and all- Natalie Esquire & Squirt. Lots of girly support too.

You offered skate coaching there?

Yeah, a few of us did some coaching before the competition. Girls of all ages can come along and play and get taught for free. All quite chilled, fun and games.

£300 squids for first place right?

It was good money for a girl’s competition. New clothes!

It’s all about the hips for you at the mo?

It’s all about the hips, lips and tits! Maybe some grinders on the rail would be nice. I have the fear of them though.

Skating wise, you’ve got the slick style which surely will help your cause; does that take many hours of practice? Do I really?!

I think it’s really important to make tricks look nice. If it feels horrible and sketchy then I just won’t do it until it feels better. Bad attitude I guess. And that’s the fun part after you’ve learnt something, giving it style.

Although Projekts is your local and your current abode is Manchester living the high life studying fashion, you weren’t always a northern lass you actually grew up in a little place called Sherborne, Dorset – known best for where Tara Palmer -Tomkinson went to school!

Yeah, I’m a southerner at heart, I love Manchester though. Top city…it’s got it all. My heart is in Manchester’s Plattfields park, my true local. Big up platys crew.

I hear it’s pretty ghetto though in Sherborne…you only had like 2 servants instead of the standard 4.

What Sherborne?! Yeah you can’t go out without bullet-proofs. Hardcore. Not at all. It’s just a lil old town full of (gold plated) charity shops and (rich) old people.

What could have enticed you to start skating in such a small place full of posh people?

They opened a new park, and everyone at school bought boards and started skating. Good old days. Straight after school we’d go to the park till it got dark and learn everything together.

It must have been a fairly close-knit skate community down there, do you miss it?

Yeah, it is dying out now though. Everyone grew up and moved away. RIP Sherborne Skatepark massive.

How’s the scene compared to Manc – not scale wise but parks and general spots?

A lot smaller, the parks are usually all metal, and street spots are quite rare. Manchester has a massive scene.

Did you find you would learn a different type of trick down there to Manchester because of the spots on offer?

Yeah I guess so, the parks here are so different and people learn different tricks. Manchester seems to have a very distinct style too. Lazy arms…

How do you think your skating has developed, style and trick wise since the move?

I skate different things now, and bigger things. Central Skatepark has made me skate faster and bigger. It’s good to skate wood rather than metal. Last year I started to skate a lot more mini too.

I guess you were also less likely to get busted so more street skating available?

What at home? No one really skated street at home, apart from car parks at night or when it was wet. We used to sometimes go to Bristol at the weekends. Little treat on the train.

You’re currently studying Design Management for Fashion Retail at the moment, are you hoping to work in the skate industry eventually or move further into the fashion field?

I’m not sure; I guess something skate related would make sense. I’d love to work in design or merchandising. Who knows?

Are there any companies lined up to work for?

I have a year out of uni next year to do work experience. I’m planning to work with Nikita for some it and then I’m going to Barcelona for 6 months to work for a designer. I’m really excited about it all.

As we near to the end of the interview, perhaps you would be so kind as to help out all those young skaters worried about making a serious faux pas next in next season’s fashion. As a fashion stylist of the future perhaps you could help them discern between the 5 following items:

1: Pink skinny jeans or baggy bloomers blader?
Style pink skinnies I say

2: Psychedelic leggings or new rave tank top?
New raves come and gone. Some tye dye leggings.. Go wild.

3: Granny aerobic trainers or your little brothers P.E. plimsolls?
Granny trainers for sure…Rob them!

4: Turbans or flat peaks?
Pink wig.

5: Bum bags or briefcase?
Brown paper bag. Save the planet.

So there you go kids, straight from the Spaghetto child’s mouth, follow this advice and you’ll never go wrong…Cheers Maria,any last words?

Yeah, cheers to: Copson Street, Plattfields crew, Lottie and Elly, my cat Rocco, Lauren Rose Lavender Wilson. Bitches, hoes & bros.