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Surf • Skate • Snow

We’re proud to say that one of our favorite surf brands, M.Nii, has been selected as one of GQ magazine’s Best New Menswear Designers in America, 2014.

Being dubbed “The Great Surf Revivalist” in the male fashion tome’s annual Style Bible issue is a lofty title to live up to. But given that the current M.Nii is a resurrection of an Oahu shop that designed custom trunks for JFK back in the day, designer John Moore (left, above) must be used to measuring his work against high standards by now.

Keep reading to see our editor’s picks from the M.Nii collection.

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We’re big fans of Herschel Supply Co. backpacks here at Men’s Shop Daily. (Some of us even carry our laptops to work in one every day.) So when we heard about the brand’s new beach-ready collaboration with artist Kevin Butler—especially as we sat in our rainy Seattle office—we were all ears.

The creator of a well-loved series of illustrations matter-of-factly titled Rad Cars with Rad Surfboards on Them, Butler teamed up with the good people at Herschel Supply to produce a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by the rad Californian lifestyle. Keep reading for quite a rad (if we do say so ourselves) Q&A with Butler, in which he offers rare insights on cars, surfing, art, burritos, and of course, his new collab with Herschel Supply Co.

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Reflecting on the rough weather thus far in 2014, and our New Year’s resolution to get some fresh air in spite of it, we decided to take a closer look at one of our favorite outdoor brands: The North Face.

You probably know that The North Face protects you from frigid conditions so that you can enjoy all manner of al fresco pursuits—from extreme sports to a corner-store beer run—in comfort and style. You might also guess that the brand has outfitted explorers, researchers, and daredevils on journeys to the furthest (and highest) reaches of the planet, from the Arctic Circle to Mount Everest. But did you know The North Face’s roots reach back to 1960s San Francisco, and that The Grateful Dead helped launch the brand’s first store?

Keep reading to learn more about The North Face’s nearly five-decade history of counterculture, innovation and environmentalism.

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If you find yourself moved by shapely posteriors, platefuls of hummus and selfies of guys (and girls) who could crush a normal human with a flick of their triceps, check out the #fitspo hashtag on Instagram. (That’s short for “fitness inspo,” or inspiration.) If, however, you’d rather be motivated by the more esoteric advantages of exercise—quiet sunrises, crashing surf, picturesque wilderness—look no further than the Insta feeds of some of our favorite Active & Outdoor brands.

Keep reading to fuel your New Year’s resolutions with photos from Nike, The North Face and more. (But first, check out the Nike clip above. Our takeaway: Humans possess an infinite capacity for greatness. But sometimes, you should just get out of LeBron’s way.)

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With temperatures plummeting and our Snow Shop open for business, we can think of no better way to set the stage for ski season than to gaze upon the stunning, strange, retro-futuristic glory of perhaps our favorite piece of Nordstrom memorabilia of all time. Behold, WinterSki ’77-’78: Saga of Light.

Continue reading for more skis in space, naked people modeling eyewear, and cryptic quotations. (Sample: “We drifted, transported through the essence, nearly weightless.” Huh? Long live the late ’70s.)

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What happens when our Men’s Shop video team goes to Las Vegas during Market Week? They run into Pharrell. They get down to brass tacks with up-and-coming design heroes. And they make some movie magic—amidst three furious days of menswear trade shows.

Watch the exclusive Q&A clips above to hear what inspires and influences some of our favorite brands—from motorcycles to surfboards and punk rock to poetry—then shop our Editor’s Picks after the jump.

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The above images from our recent catalogs (yes, by the way, we put out the occasional swimsuit issue… and lingerie catalog, if you’re into that kind of thing)—coupled with the fact that it’s 72 degrees but steadily drizzling here at our Seattle headquarters—have made it quite apparent that, in order to squeeze the most out of the last weeks of summer, an epic vacation may be in order.

As indicated above, your fastidious better half is likely to have her vacation game all buttoned up. Make sure you’re worthy, starting with the nucleus of every man’s tropical travel bag: an up-to-date, well-fitting swimsuit (or three). Also: sunscreen. And: a few travel tricks up your sleeve (what sleeve?).

Tip: Take her somewhere she hasn’t been. Read on for three lesser-traveled destinations, courtesy of Nordstrom PR pro and resident paradise-seeker Brie Cross. (If you missed it, read part 1 of this post for Brie’s favorite spots in Cali, Panama and Mexico). Then, keep scrolling to check out our favorite swimwear.

1. Cartagena, Colombia. “Colombia’s hottest party city on the coast. Stroll the colonial town, stay out late and soak up the vibrant Colombian culture. Panama hats required. Stay at Hotel Casa Pestagua or Alfiz Hotel. For longer stays, try to sneak in a couple days at Tayrona National Park and stay in the Ecohabs—or do a day trip to Islas del Rosario.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @anajumelo | @rafaelgsterling | @gabrielagabrielaa
@xiomilozanog | @lizzienichuipeir | @luivybaldom]

2. Andalusian Coast, Spain. “A couple hours south of Seville (arguably one of Spain’s prettiest cities), you’ll find the Andalusian Coast—packed with tiny towns, each more charming than the next. Go inland to the white-washed Vejer de la Frontera for a day trip, but be sure to soak up Spanish holiday life in the many beach towns. The rustic El Palmar is a favorite surf spot amongst locals.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @thalia_marin | @silmarse | @rusian_roulete
@davidbujalance | @churumbele | @lidatrujillo93]

3. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. “Visit this quiet (-ish) surfer town on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica for ultimate, laid-back pura vida. Jump off waterfalls in the next town over, or hit the waves morning and sundown at one of the world’s smoothest surfing spots.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @byemilyb | @lauraquirosortiz | @kimberlynsb
@jonburke | @brookieobx | @courtneyallison]

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Now that you know where you’re going, let’s talk about what to wear. Check our previous post for the pros and cons of swim trunks vs. board shorts, and shop our Editor’s Picks below—ranging from understated solids to prints that’ll ensure your travel partner is not distracted by the “scenery” (by which we mean the European guy in a thong on the next beach blanket over).

Tommy Bahama | Ted Baker | Zanerobe [floral] | Hobie
Zanerobe [spots] | 55DSL | Lightning Bolt | RVCA

Digging prints? Try these trunks by Topman—they fit great, and the price is nice ($22 to $52 each).
From left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5




Now that we’ve got your attention: There’s plenty of summer left. (In fact, it’s only just begun here at our Seattle HQ.) If you haven’t already, it’s high time you plan an epic, romantic, once-in-a-lifetime getaway for you and your significant other. Forget bringing home flowers and wine once in a while; a tropical trip (especially a *surprise* one—ladies love that stuff) will put you in the safe-zone of her (or his) good graces for an entire month or two—bare minimum.

Once the tickets are booked and you’re firmly ensconced in paradise, you can be sure she’ll bring her A-game to the beach (see above). Make sure you do the same (see also above). Before we dive into what to wear, though, here are a few thoughts on destinations she’ll love—courtesy of Nordstrom PR pro, and resident travel junkie, Brie Cross. To illustrate Brie’s suggestions, we crowd-sourced photos from our favorite all-encompassing, ever-growing treasure trove of excellence: Instagram.

[A note on the photography up top: Gratuitous Kate Upton shots are a dime a dozen these days...and for that, we are thankful. However, we felt our highly refined readership would prefer to draw vacation inspiration from these artful swimwear images of model Monika Jac Jagaciak, shot by Greg Kadel for German Vogue.]

1. Big Sur, California. “If you want to stay domestic, visit one of Cali’s most beautiful beaches. For the ultimate in West-Coast luxury, stay at the Post Ranch Inn. [Note the infinity pool, top right.]”

[Photos by Instagram users: @gaelcl | @deemoran6 | @postranchinn
@heavyyymaiden | @random_slaps | @r1chmiro]

2. Bocas del Toro, Panama. “Central America’s latest it destination. One look at the bungalows on the water, and you’ll be ready to book your tickets. You’ll also be close to the Costa Rican border for a mid-trip getaway to Puerto Viejo.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @amiluk | @misspatacon | @kristinpanke
@lacyjayde | @renatass | @breedle_]

3. Tulum, Mexico. “A beach oasis on the Yucatán Peninsula, with perfect white sand and turquoise water. Stay at Coqui Coqui or Posada Margherita for posh beachside accommodations, or Coco Tulum for minimalist cabanas on the sand. Tulum Strip is packed with excellent restaurants (Casa Jaguar is a favorite for ambiance, food and the occasional celeb sighting) but head to town for nightlife, too. Make time to visit the local Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba, and Chichen Itza for a day trip. Swimming in some of the approximately 3,000 nearby cenotes is a MUST.”

[Photos by Instagram users: @raphreponty | @ashleekerford | @d_taylor77
@griselleme | @ashleekerford | @zoranaj]

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Unless you really want to get ‘international,’ you’ll likely need something to wear at most of these beaches. Start with our Editor’s Picks for two styles of swimwear essentials: Swim Trunks and Board Shorts:

Swim Trunks: The Classic. They can run a variety of lengths (we highly recommend above the knee, for the best looking proportion)—but the defining characteristic of all swim trunks is their elastic waist. It’s the most flattering on a variety of physiques—and the most forgiving, if you finish of your date’s taco platter at lunch.
L-R: Boss Hugo Boss | Volcom | Marc by Marc Jacobs | Brooks Brothers
Shop All: Swim Trunks 

Board Shorts: Ready for Action. Developed in the 1970s for surfers, board shorts are still a smart choice if your idea of a day at the beach includes action sports more rigorous than snoozing, reading, and applying tanning oil to your partner in crime. (Their lace-up waist keeps them from staying in the water after you get out.)
L-R: Brixton | Patagonia | Sundek | Lightning Bolt
Shop All: Board Shorts 




[Intro photos by Greg Kadel for German Vogue. Instagram images by the individual users as noted; if you see your photo and would like it removed, please contact us via the 'Email the Editor' link to the right.]

We’re intrigued by the overcast, introspective side of Ezekiel captured by 19-year-old photographer Michael Cukr for the California brand’s summer lookbook. (Reminds us of home here in Seattle—where it happens to be sunny and 70 today, by the way).

Read a Q&A with the photographer on Ezekiel’s site, and check out Cukr’s portfolio for much more.

Young Master: Diving further into Cukr’s body of work, we’re seriously digging everything from his intimate portraits to abstract surf shots. Check out a few favorites below, and more here.



Thomas Campbell is a soft-spoken guy with larger-than-life ideas. He grew up skating and surfing in California in the ’70s and ’80s, a scene in which, he says, exploring different forms of do-it-yourself creativity was second-nature—be it making music, taking photos, drawing graffiti, or writing a ‘zine.

Campbell parlayed the creative ethos of his youth into a full-time career—or, more accurately, a self-sustaining lifestyle. He lives in Santa Cruz, travels the world, meets interesting people, and “makes stuff.” His artistic output ranges from sculptures to films to paintings—to the the swim trunks and T-shirt below, made in collaboration with California surf and skate brand Element.

Campbell—who was profiled alongside other likeminded, DIY, oddball geniuses like Shepard Fairey and Harmony Korine in the 2008 documentary Beautiful Losers—has also put out three surf films, which are widely revered for their break from the aggro, adrenaline-rush intensity of “extreme sports” in favor of a more meditative, nostalgic homage to surf culture. Beautifully photographed at locations spanning the globe, these excerpts from Thomas Campbell’s Sprout (2004) and The Present (2009) should offer a welcome respite from your Monday-afternoon malaise:



[First video via Element; surf-film excerpts © Thomas Campbell and Woodshed Films, via YouTube. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]