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The Campaign

Mr P. My Way: Mr Matt C Bauer

The photographer and creative director tries on the latest Mr P. collection for size

Mr Matt C Bauer – social media doyen, father, husband, surfer, photographer, model and generally busy person – is not the type to surf the snooze button when the alarm goes off. He is up, out and onto a board most mornings. “For me, getting in the water, in the ocean, is something that is cleansing,” he says. “It’s my moment where I can really find peace. No matter how stressed or how bad a day I had the day before, going to the ocean I can clear my mind and come out completely positive and excited about the day ahead.

“I love getting up before the sun. I love the idea of being up while others are sleeping. It’s motivating. It’s like earned hours. I love being first into the office. It gives me an opportunity to work while others aren’t.”

Work for Mr Bauer is social media content. He co-founded a boutique media agency, Rosewood, in 2013 with his friend Mr Amir Mohamadzadeh to provide content for global brands including Red Bull, J.Crew and Gap.

Their open-plan office in Venice Beach is filled with iMacs, a turquoise salt-crusted shortboard and a Mr Keith Haring-inspired surfing print. We met Mr Bauer there to talk surfing, social media and the joys of Los Angeles.

Why did you choose to live in LA?

LA is truly a land of opportunity. If you have a dream, you can make it happen in LA and that’s really what brought me here. I never said, “I gotta live in LA.” It just happened. It’s the perfect environment to connect to people who have that same motivation and drive to do something that they want to commit themselves to.

Do you see yourself staying here?

I have learned to do my best to take it day by day. I am someone who will be looking far down the path of life and I’m trying to build these big milestones because I’m constantly pushing myself to grow and to succeed, to just become a better version of myself. But right now I’m really trying to just enjoy the moment. And, with that, we’re very happy here.

When did your big break come?

I think that breakthrough moment for me was deciding to leave my job at Nike to start my own company with lots of risk, and the promise of nothing. To get to that point in what was my dream career and then to actually walk away from it was a very tough decision.

Did your look change when you opened Rosewood and you were suddenly the boss?

I definitely feel more conscious of trying to set an example. I think it’s more powerful to lead by example versus making rules. So, I think that I’m a little cleaner, a little more consistent.

Do you have a routine for getting ready in the morning?

I don’t want to make a million decisions in the morning if I don’t have to, so I love to keep things simple. I love the basics. I love the look of dressing in a minimal way. For me, versatility is key. I want something that sees me through the day and makes me feel confident.

You have a one-year-old daughter, Kaya, do you dress differently now you’re a father?

Practicality is obviously hugely important now. You’ll usually see me in something comfortable. But the colour palettes, muted colours, stay the same. You’re not going see this completely different individual. I think that’s important.

Does surfing influence the way you dress?

I think surf culture has the most impact. I look to the 1960s, an iconic time for surfing, and I see pure, timeless design that I’d be happy to wear for ever. That look, that mentality of “I don’t need a lot to be happy” and of just being out in the water or on the beach in very minimally designed clothes is important to me.

Where did you learn to surf?

I started surfing the East Coast in New Jersey – trekking through 3ft of snow, everyone evacuating and we’re going to the beach. That really got me into it. But I love Californian surf culture. That’s why I gravitated towards Venice, towards Los Angeles. This is where surfing as an industry was really born. The clothing brands, the lifestyle, the spots are so iconic.

Are there any surfers whose style you particularly like?

When I think about how surfing has changed my look I think back to the iconic surf film by Bruce Brown, The Endless Summer. I think about Robert August and Michael Hynson in LAX airport – they’re wearing suits, carrying surfboards, and Bruce Brown is wearing his white sneakers. That image was really burned into my brain. Out there, but also classic and perfect.

You’re also a photographer. Has this changed the way you see style?

Totally. If you look at my photography, you’re going to see minimalism, tone and colour are hugely important to me. And that’s directly reflected in the clothing I wear. Everything is pared back. There are no graphics. It’s always just beautiful tones, colours, maybe some patterns, some stripes. I love the look of clean, beautiful colours and shapes.