The Madewell Assembly

Momo Hudes


The Madewell Assembly

Momo Hudes


The surf activist and artist dropped by our studio to talk about style and the importance of community when you’re hitting the waves. In celebration of Pride Month, Madewell is donating $5,000 to Benny’s Club to fund one-on-one surf lessons for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Learn more.


Feat. Momo Hudes

Describe your style in three words.

Comfortable, casual and intentional.

How did you put your looks together for the shoot?

I tried to keep everything true to my style, keeping it kinda minimal, but using some of my own accessories to make them more me.

If you could only keep one piece, which one would it be and why?

The black jeans I wore. Loved the fit of them—they were baggy, but not so baggy that the shape of my legs got lost.

Tell us about the roots of Benny’s Club.

Benny’s Club was founded to make the beach and surf culture a safe and inclusive space for all bodies and gender identities.

What was your personal surf journey like?

I learned how to surf when I was 11 years old, but it wasn’t until I started surf instructing at 17 that I really got confident and comfortable on a board. Being a queer person of color in a predominantly straight white sport, I never felt comfortable in the water, and as a kid that definitely held me back. I loved to surf and ride waves, but I never really wanted to go do it with the people who I would see in the water.

Surf instructing changed all of that because suddenly I was in the water with all of these dudes who knew who I was and were also looking out for me. That change in my surf experience is really what influenced me to start Benny’s Club, because although my coworkers were all white guys, just knowing people in the water, and having some sort of community, made my experience of surfing so much more fulfilling and fun.

What’s a good first step for someone who would like to try surfing, but is intimidated by the culture?

Take a surf lesson with a friend! Surf instructors are always super friendly and are also the same people out surfing in the area.


Based in NYC’s Rockaway Beach, the collective offers community and instruction to all that want to surf. Inclusion is built right into the name: a “benny” is slang for a nonlocal or outsider.

Madewell is proud to donate $5,000 to establish the collective’s first grant program. “It will work to alleviate the barriers to entry in surfing by providing five free private surf lessons to queer individuals,” says Hudes. Visit Benny’s Club.


Our limited-edition Pride styles give back. 50% of the purchase price of each piece will go to the ACLU Foundation and its mission to protect civil rights and civil liberties for all.*