When it comes to making a positive impact from a cultural perspective it is hard to look beyond SATURDAYS. Since opening their doors in the summer of 2009 the retailer has developed into an established name far beyond its initial outlook. With surfing, living and working the cornerstone of the full fledged label, it is not hard to see how SATURDAYS have opened a new space in Tokyo with great success. No matter what your perception is of SATURDAYS, you can only appreciate their vision and values which make them a refreshing entity. James Oliver caught up with Morgan Collett, one third of the labels founders to talk about their roots, to fashion, to the new store and of course surfing. Full interview at POST NEW. (Photos: Clement Pascal)
James Oliver: Can you please go into a bit of detail about how SATURDAYS NYC started?
Morgan Collett: We started SATURDAYS because there really wasn’t anything like it in Manhattan. I grew up in Southern California and surfed my entire life. Surfing was all we did as kids, the surf shop helped raise us. It was an incredible time for me and we felt like that was missing from NYC. Surf culture was popular but the way it was represented in NYC did not speak to any of us. We all surfed as much as we could here in NYC and it really was confusing when spring would roll around and all the stores would throw up surfboards in their windows. One of the biggest moments for us is when the DKNY wall on Broadway and Houston was changed to a Hollister wall. My partners and I all worked in fashion at the time and when this happened it was pretty crazy. The DKNY wall was a NYC staple for over two decades and then it was gone, to be changed to a “surf brand” owned by Abercrombie & Fitch. We couldn’t relate and desperately wanted to create something that would have the ability to combine surf culture, style, fashion, NYC, with a lifestyle we could associate ourselves with. So, we began talking about it over the month of June in 2009 and through opportunity and excitement we opened our doors in August of the same year. Basically we closed our eyes and went for it.
JO: What is the concept of the store and brand?
MC: The concept of the store initially was to be a fully functional surf shop. There were no surf shops in the Manhattan area and so we wanted to create one. In the beginning it was exactly that. Boards (or however many we could afford to carry) third party clothing brands, coffee, and gear (wetsuits, leashes, wax, fins, etc). Over the course of the first year it grew organically with t-shirts then quickly into a full ready to wear collection for men. We all had backgrounds in men’s fashion sales, design, and publishing. I don’t think we could have planned it, it just kept happening and we kept working our ass’s off. With the development of the brand we really wanted to incorporate the feeling of the store into a line of clothes that people could relate to. Now SATURDAYS is an idea you can feel when you walk into the store. The entire store is SATURDAYS apparel and slowly we are developing more categories. Eyewear, shoes, etc. We want to make clothes that men can wear, that can be timeless and exude a sense of style we like.
JO: What does surfing mean to you?
MC: To me, surfing is the purest enjoyment. I’ve surfed since I was six years old and still it’s all I think about. Even this morning skating to work down Mott Street I look up at the fire escapes that line the buildings and pretend I am getting barreled. My mind is always there even if I can’t make it to the beach for a month.
JO: It seems like you are aiming to create more of a culture around surfing, living and working rather than purely clothing. Can you go into a bit of detail about this?
MC: We basically wanted to develop something that incorporated everything we were into. We all skated a bunch, surfed, snowboarded, which was our base, but we also live in NYC, which was a huge addition for us. This city is incredible and there are people from all over the world here, people trying to make it in basically every realm imaginable. Art, music, fashion, photography, hotels, production, movies, accounting, stock trading, I mean this city has it all. It’s impossible not be to influenced or inspired when you come here, we wanted to build all of that into SATURDAYS.