Salvage/Public T-shirts pay tribute to traditional surf culture

Going Public


There are some things your man refuses to compromise on.

  • Moving his big screen TV out of the bedroom.
  • Playing video games until 4 a.m.
  • Getting rid of ratty, old T-shirts touting corny sayings (if you see "I'm With Stupid" one more time…)

Actually, we might be able to help you with that. Take a look at Salvage/Public, a new line of organic, surf-inspired men's T-shirts. No juvenile phrases or cartoons here – just clean, simple designs that pay homage to Hawaii's traditional surf culture, like "1779 – Surfing an essential part of Hawaiian culture," a nod to the earliest written account of surfing. Or "Pigs, Logs, Fish, Guns, Eggs," a list of different surfboard types. Or "1912 – Duke Kahanamoku wins Gold"… well, you probably don't need an explanation for that one.

The line is the brainchild of Joe Serrao, a Kamehameha graduate who grew tired of working in commercial real estate and decided to combine his passions of fashion and surfing in a new mission: to "salvage" areas of traditional surf culture and make sure they're not lost to the "public." That means photographing and screening pivot fins and Alaia surfboards in addition to key surf phrases and dates in his Kakaako studio.

While Serrao may not sound like an average Joe, he still designs with the typical guy in mind. He's adamant about a black, white, and grey color scheme (though there's a fun, colorful neck label made from repurposed Aloha print sewn on the inside), and adopting a nostalgic, vintage aesthetic (your man might not even realize these shirts are brand new).

Serrao also special orders 100-percent-organic, lightweight cotton shirts made in the U.S.A. that are so super-soft, your guy won't mind if you switch out a few from his closet.

In fact, he'll love them so much, he might even consider putting the toilet seat down.

Whoa. One compromise at a time.

$48, available at Oliver Men's Shop, 49 Kihapai St., and coming soon to Owens & Co., 1152 Nuuanu Ave. For more information, visit