Surfing + Espresso Bar + Apparel = Saturdays Surf

Surfing + Espresso Bar + Apparel = Saturdays Surf ....and now a bi annual magazine!
We caught up with Colin Tunstall, one of the co founders of Saturdays Surf The downtown NYC surf shop on Crosby St (with new locations--the West Village, and their Tokyo flagship,) and talked to him about his pseudo return to publishing as the editor-in-chief role in their first issue of Saturdays Magazine.  while ringing in their 3rd anniversary. More after the jump...





A surf shop in the middle of downtown NYC. How did this happen?
It just happened. We didn't have a business plan. I think we came up with the concept in June and were open in August. My business partners [Morgan Collett, Josh Rosen] and I we're spending time surfing in the area and thought it would be great to have a shop / brand that catered to the NYC Surf community. We noticed a lot of people who choose to live in the city for all the great opportunities and had a passion for a surfing. We opened in 2009 midst a tough time for retail so we were fortunate enough to find a space in Soho with a backyard that could become a place for any one that surfed or was interested in surfing to come by and hang out. We created our own blend with La Colombe and started selling coffee. Surfers love to talk about the waves as much as they do actually surfing. 

We always had a idea to create a line of clothes that reflected this same attitude. We were fortunate enough to put together some tee shirts and they began to sell. We were able to grow this into a full collection of clothes and accessories, and now a magazine.

...and now a magazine! What is Saturdays' mission in building this lifestyle apparel brand-- which already has a great blog-- into a print form?
We live in NYC with inspiration constantly beaten over our heads. One of the great things about owning your own company you can do whatever you want. I've drawn inspiration from a lot of sources that usually weren't associated with surfing. But when you tie them together they don't seem too far off. From Art Paul to Herb Lubalin to Alexy Brodovitch.

Its funny seeing a lot of illustrators i've worked with doing artwork on Surfboards. Brian Rea, Paul Sahre, James Victore.
The mission is to make stuff we like... & staying balanced. Sounds simple or cliché but thats been our line in the sand.
I've always been fascinated with the idea of publishing a magazine. Its one of those thing you dream of doing but when given total freedom to do whatever you want and your paying for its a little scary. We choose not to include any advertising as it reflects our brand. Keeping it cover to cover editorial content keeps the concept streamlined. Its funny when you pick up a magazine and judge it based on the first 20 pages of all advertising. I know it pays the bills but we're not looking at the magazine a money maker at this point. It's niché. We've been fortunate to have a base of supporters + we have our own retail outlets + 100 wholesale clients around the world we can sell our magazine in starting out.
The first issue includes 15 Q&A's from a variety of backgrounds and 9 Image portfolios with some sort of reference back to our brand in different ways.

There is a beautiful balance of imagery and display type featured throughout. What typefaces are you bringing into play here?
Miller, Gotham, Geometric Slab. 
- Miller, from working both on the Big Black Book for Esquire and also working with Chris Dixon at NY Mag.
- Gotham, I got from Paul Martinez. He helped with designing the typeface while at GQ.
- I got Geometric Slab from Paul as well while working at Marie Claire.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
From my friends and the city.
On the design side its been the opportunity to work with great Creative Directors. Paul Martinez, David Curcurito, Chris Dixon, Fred Woodward. Those guys collectively schooled me.
I pick my photo-editing friends brains as well. My friend David Carthas is probably sick of me asking him for photo reference.

Will the future issues carry a similar design direction in regards to graphic cover treatment, type etc?
I think so. The idea was "Balance" Hahaha... Yes, there's a reference to Surfing there. But really, its about balance--the city/surfing. The cover is split in half representing this.
Also thought it would be rad after a bunch of issues to see them lined up with all different color blocking on the spine.

Before Saturdays Surf, you were in publishing. Now that you're dabbling back in your roots, do you find yourself missing print?
Yes! Haha. Obviously. I was freelancing at a bunch of magazines while I was starting Saturdays. Its funny, the last job I did was creating the Esquire iPad's first couple issues. It was amazing experience to re-think what you could do with the content for a magazine and also coming up with new concepts. It was literally endless new ways to play with the iPads capabilities and design concepts. In the end I appreciated magazines more than ever.

What's next for the brand?
We've been growing pretty quickly. We're focusing on infrastructure, getting some helping hands in the office. Also looking for fun projects and creative outlets we can play with to help define our brand.

And the big question: East or West coast waves?
They're too different. Good and bad for different reasons. Both is the best answer :)
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