A Label We Love: Mollusk Surf Shop

The California surf spirit is alive and well, as evidenced by Mollusk Surf Shop’s San Francisco and Venice Beach shops. Inside you’ll find surfboards (naturally) and coastal-inspired art, as well as the supersoft tees and sweatshirts with sun-washed graphics that we love. We asked the founders of the eight-year-old house of cool, John McCambridge and Johanna St. Clair, to share their secrets for capturing the endless summer.


Above: One of Mollusk’s signature graphics. San Francisco friends can stop by Madewell at 845 Market Street on the evening of May 16th to meet the Mollusk duo and take home one of their limited-edition screen prints (gratis!) while they last.

Where do you find inspiration for the designs of your tees and sweatshirts?

Old movies, travel, European magazines, vintage Brazilian record covers and people watching in Dolores Park.

The California-inspired art on your site is fantastic. Which prints do you find emulate the surf spirit of San Francisco and Venice Beach the most?

We love the work from “It’s All Around You,” the photography of Kanoa Zimmerman and Barrett Gentz. Thomas Campbell’s work is always iconic, and we can’t resist Nat Russell’s silk-screened posters.

Mollusk’s book collection is off the charts. What factors do you keep in mind while curating the shop’s literary mix?

We like photography books, like the ones from Akira Kobayashi and Slim Aarons. We also like books that focus on the handmade, ranging from Pacific Northwest hippie houses to Cuban poster art.

What local spots do you and your clientele typically hit up after a day of surfing?

Our friends Dave Muller and Lana Porcello have the perfect post-surf restaurant around the corner from our San Francisco shop called Outerlands.

In your mind, what are the four quintessential colors of California?

Capitola green, bright khaki, olde yellow and lots of indigo.

What’s on your current soundtrack?

Michael Hurley, Alice Coltrane, Orlandivo, Jonathan Richman, The Left Banke and Little Wings. (Our eight-year-old daughter is singing backup on their new album!) We also enjoy listening to whatever the great Andy Cabic, friend and frontman of Vetiver, is spinning.

Which stores, shops and stops are essential to living a California surf lifestyle?

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Amoeba Music, Gjelina and the Bolinas Free Box.