If you've ever worn a Saturdays Surf NYC T-shirt outside the confines of the cobbled streets of Nolita, you've definitely gotten the once-over. The big, block letters reading "Surf NYC," begs the question—at least for a Japanese tourist who stopped one R29 editor—"Where's the beach?" Or better yet, "Where can I score a joint?" Cali-missing stoners aside, we've got to give props to Morgan Collett, who, along with Saturdays' co-founders, Josh Rosen and Colin Tunstall, identified an apparently irrepressible market for urban wave-riders and beach bunnies. Two years on, the boys boast a flock of fashion-followers that's made their Crosby Street store-cum-coffee shop the best place for a street-style photographer to capture gorgeous Condé staffers lingering over an extra latte in hopes of chatting up the very eligible Collett. Speaking of street style, we're raising single ladies' blood pressures with Morgan's own modeling—the dude (who's practically become a Wikipedia entry on downtown casual-cool) tries on four of his favorite outfits and lets us in on why we all want to look like him.
Click through to see NYC's hottest surfer show off his cult style.
How would you describe your summer style?
"I'm inspired by the feeling of beach culture in the '50s and '60s. I feel like a lot of people say that, but it's really true. Back in the day, all the surfers in California would have sharp haircuts, fitted clothes, and would be at the beach all day. I think this is a great look for summer—it's all Saturdays' spring '11 collection. The Dora chinos are an extremely soft brushed cotton with a slim fit—a perfect summertime pant. This shirt is my favorite and, thus, it's called the 'Collett'—an awesome boat-neck collar. This shirt is a great striped top for summer."
So, it's not baggy shorts and Quicksilver T-shirts anymore?
"I wear a lot of chinos, short-sleeve Oxfords, solid-pocket tees, canvas shoes, and all that. I feel like the cycle has come back, and even though there's that surfing lifestyle of being free and surfing all day, and that 'non suit' culture, surfers are paying more attention to style."
But it wasn't always that evolved...
"I was born and raised in Southern California, and we really didn't pay too much attention to style. We just surfed as much as we could, and would wear our friends' clothing lines. I never combed my hair; my dad would always say I should, but I wasn't having any of it. I laugh now because I walk around with a comb in my pocket."
How did that change? You look so sharp always!
"After I moved to NYC, I started to pay more attention to how I dressed and what I was trying to represent with my style. I think as you get older, your style becomes part of who you are.
"I mean now, I like to keep my haircut clean and my clothes sharp, even if I am surfing at 5 a.m. or at the beach all day. When I was a kid, I could care less, really. As long as the clothes fit, I was good to go."
But you can still do the whole T-shirt and board-shorts look.
"It's summertime! It's super-important to have good board-shorts and T-shirts for summer—something that we do at Saturdays quite a bit! These are my favorite board-shorts, the Jail Break board-shorts. They're double-lined 100% nylon; We wanted to make a fit that was a bit more tasteful and not so baggy. I think we nailed it."
Do you ever match your surfboards to your outfits?
"HAHAHA, no, not really. My friends are really talented shapers, so I usually tell them they have free creative control when they shape my boards."
"My friend Tanner shaped me this board. It's an 8'0 hull. It's got super-thin rails, so it's a bit difficult to surf, but when there are waves, it's a really fun shape to play around on. I asked him for a modern-style board, and we decided on the checker-board nose. I just brought it out from California, so I am really excited it's here for summer."
How does surfer style translate to fall and winter dressing?
"Actually, this fall/winter 2011 season will be Saturdays' first fall collection. For us, it's all about layers. The last thing you want is to be freezing, especially here on the East Coast surfing in below-freezing water with snow on the ground. Big parkas, sweaters, fleece, and flannels are key. I think surfers' wardrobes change depending on the part of the world they are in. We wanted to make a collection that could be worn out to the beach in the dead of winter, and still be able to translate to our lives in Manhattan."
Clearly those Converses are your best friends!
"Love Converses. I pretty much wear them with almost everything. I think it's a cool look to mix canvas shoes with a more dressed-up look, like a suit or something like that. I used to wear leather shoes often, and now it's straight canvas."
Do you have any other go-to wardrobe staples? Accessories?
"Vans Authentics are all over my apartment. I think I have them in eight different colors. You can't go wrong with a good canvas shoe. I've really gotten into watches, lately. I only have an old Timex with a canvas band, but I feel like it's important to have a good watch."
So, dressing up—do you do it? And how?
"Yes to dressing up—100%. I feel like it's all about the moment, really. The feeling I have when I wake up in the morning dictates how I am going to dress. Some days, I won't have any meetings that might require a dressed-up look, but I just want to look sharp. Or the exact opposite, I dress down for more formal occasions. It can have the same effect. All in all, it's about the individual. The wardrobe he or she decides to go with is merely the statement for that particular day."
"I would consider Saturdays' current collection a mix of casual and sophisticated. Here, it's a bit more of a dressed-up look with a Saturdays Crosby button-down, and a plaid shirt with the Dora chino again in black. I'd wear this out if I wanted to dress up a little bit, or if I had a meeting I wanted to be a bit more presentable in."
Morgan with iced coffee from the store.
"Other ways I dress up is with clean chinos and sharply pressed Oxford shirts. Short-sleeve Oxford shirts were big in our inspiration when designing the Saturdays collection. This Esquina spring Oxford shirt is one of my favorites for summer. You can wear it with shorts, denim, or chinos, and you get an instantly classic '50s style. My friend Matt owns this denim line called Baldwin and they are PERFECT! These are the only jeans I am wearing right now."
Your hair looks awesome. What do you do to it? Any grooming secrets?
"I get it cut from my boy Joey at Freeman's. He's been cutting my hair for a while now and always does an amazing job. Plus, I love the environment there.
"I use Baxter of California Soft Water Pomade
. It has a strong hold and a shine finish, and you get that really sharp look. It's the best. If you're going for a clean haircut, get it cleaned up every three weeks. That way it always looks sharp."
You sell your own line of clothing. Do you design for yourself? Who's your target customer?
"My business partners and I all collectively design our collection. Saturdays has basically been a melting pot of our own personal styles, likes, and interests. I am really stoked to wear only Saturdays' clothes. I feel like if I didn't, I wouldn't be doing a good job, and people wouldn't like our clothes. Every season, I get so excited because I get to sell a collection that is EXACTLY what I want to wear."
"Our target customer right now is men from the ages of 16 to 60. We have such a clean aesthetic, and our clothing line is really trying to represent a timeless feel. It's heavily influenced by surfing and New York City."
Sex Wax. Enough said.