: Salvage Public
John Hook &
Courtesy of Salvage Public
Salvage Public tells a different story of surfing and Hawai‘i through its designs.
Salvage Public is located at South Shore Market in Ward Village. For more information, visit salvagepublic.com or @salvagepublic.
Salvage Public founders (from left) Joseph Serrao, Noah Serrao, and Nāpali Souza.
At the base of Diamond Head, that picturesque icon of Hawai‘i, there once existed a surfing heiau, a shrine where kāhuna, Hawaiian priests of the day, would fly kites to let people know of waves on the horizon. It was the surf report of the time. Back then, surfers could be heard calling out, “Hō a‘e kou aloha he‘enalu i ka hokua o nā nalu”—show your love of surfing on the crest of the waves.
Salvage Public’s aesthetic is at the intersection of contemporary surf culture and indigenous identity.
“It was a way for Hawaiian people to say, ‘You can’t only talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk,’” says Nāpali Souza, co-founder of Salvage Public. “Using this phrasing to express that idea shows just how ingrained surfing was to the way things were. It wasn’t just a segment of the lifestyle, it was just life.”
Joseph Serrao hopes Salvage Public’s designs spart critical thought. “I think Hawai‘i is difficult, messy, complicated, ancient. If you spend more than a vacation here, you begin to realize that very quickly.”