Recently I sat down with one third of Saturdays Surf NYC, Morgan Collett, while on another successful visit to Tokyo and we discucssed the many elements of the brand and of course surfing. In addition to this, talented photographer Clement Pascal woke up early one more to join the trio on a surf trip prior to settling back into daily life at their office above the Saturdays Surf NYC store.
JAMES OLIVER: When did you first pick up a surfboard?
MORGAN COLLETT: I Started to surf around the age of 7 or 8 at San O in southern California.
JO: How did your family influence you when you were growing up?
MC: We are really close and have always been that way. My family has influenced me in almost every aspect of my life. I have an identical twin brother so growing up there was always a lot of brotherly competition. This helped make us stronger and strived to be the best we could be.
JO: What was the catalyst for starting Saturdays Surf?
MC: After being here for almost 3 years my 2 friends and I all were struggling to keep motivated at our current jobs. We saw a gap in the market place and we had this need to create something that helped describe our likes an interest. I think the major catalyst was obtaining our least for our first store location in Soho. Without this push it could have taken us longer to build our brand. But we were given an opportunity that had a lot of risk attached to it, but we didn’t focus on the risk but on the potential that lay ahead.
JO: What is the concept of Saturdays Surf and how is it different from
other brands in the same genre?
MC: I am not sure there were too many brands like it when we first started. We really set out to bridge our love of fashion, community, style, and surfing together into one concept. The cafe and retail relationship are very important to us. We wanted to create an environment that people were excited to spend time in out side of shopping and then create a collection that reflected a sense of style that spoke to us.
JO: Can you talk about the roles of each yourself, Colin and Josh and how you all work together?
MC: We all have some responsibilities that cross over from one another and then other responsibilities that are our own. This balance helps keep everyone in formed on all that is happening. Josh’s main roll is managing our 2 retail stores in NYC and running the operations of those environments. Colin is our creative director and is responsible for our branding that goes into our website, collection, magazine, etc. I am our CEO and manage our sales, distribution, and logistics. We all collectively design each collection and bring our own style to the table which in the end results in each new season. It’s been a collaboration between the 3 of us since the beginning on all topics.
JO: How does NYC influence you and your work?
MC: This city has so much going on and people from all over the world that it has a huge influence on my work. It drives me to be the best and I think there is this spirit in NYC that fills me with a strong work ethic and a sense of opportunity.
JO: What is the best thing about living in NYC
MC: I would have to say all of the people from around the world you get to meet and be connected to. All are part of so many different professions, interests, styles, ethnicities that you are always learning something new and meeting new people.
JO: Can you talk about the magazine and your approach to that?
MC: Yes. When we started working on SATURDAYS Magazine we wanted to create something unique and beautiful. Something that would represent the brand but not in a literal sense by photographing our collections but by curating a mix of individuals, artist, and so on who’s work and lives inspired us at SATURDAYS. Its cover to cover content and no advertising whatsoever which is also a special quality of the magazine.
JO: You recently celebrated 1 year of business at the Tokyo store and opened up in Kobe, can you talk about the Japanese market and how Saturdays Surf fits in?
MC: Japan has been huge supporters of SATURDAYS since our first T shirt collection. It has been our fastest growing market right along side the USA. There is obviously a strong fashion community in Japan that we wanted to be a part of but also there is a huge surf community in Japan which we were really excited to be introduced to as well. The combination of this and Japan’s love of NYC really helped pave a way for SATURDAYS in the Japanese market place. I think SATURDAYS is a unique brand in Japan because like NYC, we have bridged fashion, community, and surf culture.
JO: What are your ambitions for the future of Saturdays Surf?
MC: I want us to continue to put out an awesome magazine and push our products to the highest level of quality and design. I want us to continue to produce our own unique original content and get to team up with more inspiring people from all over the world. Perhaps having a few more locations in areas around the world we love would be really exciting too. But for now we are really excited on everything that has happened with SATURDAYS in the past year.