Noah Collins, More Than A Surfer
On the surface Noah Collins is a globe trotting sponsored surfer, but when you dig beyond the mountain of rad surf videos you'll find a young talented designer blending surf culture with high fashion.
Though it’s only natural to think of Collins as a surfer, the more I dug into his design and film projects, the more I felt like he’s a born creative who just happens to be an incredibly talented surfer.
From a clothing design standpoint, what stuck out to me is his ability to marry surf style with formal wear. Namely talking about his recent collaboration with surf company House of Ballet, where he handmade eight original button down shirts. For the capsule, Noah teamed up with friends Cory Gehr, Blake Myers, Joey Blue, and Gilbert (couldn’t find his last name) to produce a beautifully shot campaign that has the dreamy LA vibe mixed with the fun reckless surf attitude you’d hope for out of this talented crew. The garments themselves, cut and sewn by Noah, elegantly tie in screen printed elements with his signature wide pattern look.
Personally, I love the small details in this collection like the thin cuffs with flared openings on the sleeves. Each release has its own unique yet intricate additions to recognizable silhouettes that showcase Noah’s originality when it comes to rethinking traditional garments.
Collins doesn’t come from a fashion background or any formal design schooling. His interest in clothing design was sparked in part from hemming his own clothes and watching his mother reupholster furniture.
"There’s also the fact that I’m not the tallest human being and I’ve got tree trunks of legs. So, nothing really fit, and mom showed me how to pull all the clothes I had apart and re-hem them so they fit perfect. And then I just … It was just like opening Pandora’s box, I guess. At first, you’re learning the basics, but soon you come to appreciate every stitch.”
-Noah Collins via Monster Children
It’s all about “the art form of constructing textiles” that keep Collins’ captivated in his design work. He’s not really in it for the fame or creating a big brand, he’s in it for his own interests and just to generally make cool shit. Skate culture inspired luxury fashion has been around for more than a decade at this point but the lines have been definitive between surf fashion and the rest of fashion. I believe that Noah Collins has this special opportunity to help spark a new wave of luxury fashion inspired by surf culture.
“I’m just trying to let it all happen naturally instead of forcing it. The world doesn’t really need a new clothing brand. I’m just focusing more on the art of piecing textiles together and trying to figure out more expressive ways of doing it. I’m trying to keep it as more of a creative outlet. Learn it, get as schooled on the details as possible and have it as something that adds a feeling of satisfaction and joy to my life.”
-Noah Collins via Monster ChildrenThinking back now on how and who introduced me to Noah’s work, it all makes sense. A couple of fun-loving surfers with talent and curiosity in other forms of art showing me Noah, another fun-loving surfer with a lot of talent and knowledge in design.