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Amphibious Urban Professionals

Oct 26 2019

Saturdays NYC and the Creative Power of Surf-to-Street Living

Founded in 2009, Saturdays NYC’s flagship location on Crosby Street is a coffee shop and boutique frequented by a mix of skaters, bankers, and downtown professionals. It is 17 stops away on the A Train from Rockaway Beach, one of the many spots where its co-founders Morgan Collett and Colin Tunstall surf in the mornings before work—sometimes in the freezing cold and always at ungodly hours. As the authors of a growing line of menswear products, their time chasing waves has led them from designs driven by Americana beach culture to new silhouettes and dyeing techniques discovered during trips to the coast of Japan. Surfing to them is not a moodboard concept, but rather an engine for the creative process itself. It is a release valve for urban chaos, but also a source of inspiration, one they share with friends like Acne Studio’s Jonny Johansson.On a morning in New York, Collett, Tunstall, and photographer Alessandro Simonetti take us on a trip from the fringes of Rockaway Beach, to the Saturdays warehouse in Ridgewood, to their store at the center of downtown New York.

“I came to New York to work in publishing and Morgan moved here to work in the fashion industry, but we always still had a passion for trying to get in the water and go surfing. Both in the mornings and on the weekends. A lot of people didn’t realize this eight years ago when we formed the brand, but there’s actually a whole community of people living in New York City who do this. A lot of people need to get out of the city, because it’s a sensory overload.”—Colin Tunstall“Growing up in Southern California, I could literally just paddle across the bay, run across the boulevard, and be in the ocean surfing. That was my childhood. I had no idea the ocean was so close when I moved to New York. It was a pleasant surprise. New York is a vibrant, diverse, and opportunistic city. I love the everyday battle of hustling here and then to still be able to go in the ocean and surf whenever there’s a swell. That’s the biggest thing for me—being able to combine these two worlds.”—Morgan Collett

“When we first started our brand, we couldn’t relate to how a lot of brands were using surfing as a side note in their Spring/Summer collections. But now you can see fashion getting involved in surf culture in a way that you would never see eight years ago.”—Colin Tunstall“Jonny Johansson of Acne Studios and I have a close relationship, and I think you can see that for him, the time he spends surfing isn’t separate from his work. He’s drawn so much inspiration from it, in the same way that he’d go to a museum in New York to look at artwork.”—Morgan Collett

“When we conceived of Saturdays, the idea of being able to bring a community together was always a part of it. When we saw the space on Crosby St., we jumped at it because it had the backyard. We thought that would be an integral detail for the ability to get people to come and hangout and spend time and chill. And when we go there, we’re really happy to see the mix of people—people who are into skating, who surf, people who work in high-end fashion, who work on Wall Street. And everybody somehow fits in and feels comfortable.”—Colin Tunstall“For us, it’s always been about doing things with purpose and meaning—especially when it comes to creating this community and looking for inspiration for our next collection. It’s never been about hitting budget. It’s like, ‘Let’s do this, because it feels right.’”—Morgan Collett