The Daily Grind Video

Aussie hunk Ryan Kwanten has already stolen hearts as lovable Louisiana playboy Jason Stackhouse in the insanely popular HBO vampire series True Blood.

But now, Ryan is going back to his roots as the first ever U.S. “mambassador” for popular Australian streetwear brand MAMBO.

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Ryan brings us a taste of Australia as a model, spokesperson and even designer for the Aussie-based brand. The 34-year-old actor is designing a few t-shirts of his own to include alongside MAMBO’s beach ready basics for Spring 2012, which you can cop at any Bon-Ton store across the nation, plus online. 

MAMBO is definitely gear for the cool kids. Think skaters, beach bums and tight bodied surfers and you’ll begin to imagine the skimpy bikinis, colorful board shorts and comfy flip-flops MAMBO markets. But it’s not just the clothes that give off that effortless cool, it’s the vibe and attitude that Ryan and so many other Australian tastemakers so effortlessly exude. 

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GlobalGrind got the chance to hit up the U.S. launch of MAMBO earlier this week at Drive-In Studios in New York City. Amidst all the aforementioned skateboarders doing their thing on the half pipe, Aussie models like Nicole Trunfio and Jessica Gomes playing kissy face, model waiters proffering Aussie-inspired munchies to the svelte crowd and a performance by psych-poppers the Ill Fits, GG got the chance to chat with Ryan himself.

We got the scoop on that covetable Aussie attitude, his can’t-live-without article of clothing and the best advice for wannabe surfers.

Check it out below, plus peep photos from the event in the accompanying gallery!

GlobalGrind: What made you want to be a part of the MAMBO brand? 

Ryan Kwanten: Believe it or not, it’s quite an extensive relationship. A., It’s the very first pair of board shorts that I wore. B., They still design and always designed in this small little beach town that I’m from and C., I feel like I love what I do (in the same way as) the MAMBO designers. We both take what we do with a sense of humor and I feel like in my business, I know too many people taking it far too seriously. We’re not curing cancer, we’re just providing a bit of entertainment. It’s the same in fashion, too many designers and labels take themselves far too seriously, so it was a really easy amalgamation for me, a really easy something to say yes to. 

Will we see you in any modeling campaigns for the line? 

Absolutely. It’s releasing next year in all the Bon-Ton stores. There’s over 250 of them and you’re going to see my little face in all of them.

On the clothing topic, what’s your most beloved piece of clothing that you own?

I really love a  good, soft t-shirt. Coming home after a hard day of work and putting on that kind of softness, there’s a comfort and a security blanket that one gets. Americans call it putting on their sweats and for me, it’s the same sort of thing. You can then go out onto the beach wearing that same (shirt)! For me, it’s just simple. I’m a simple man with simple pleasures.

What do you think it is about Australia and Australians that people all over the world really gravitate towards? How would you explain that attitude?

I think it’s an adventurous spirit. As Australians, it’s almost a right of passage for us to travel the world. We get kicked out once we finish college. We go and see the world and come back with new eyes, or go and stay overseas and that’s ultimately what happened to me. I came to New York for three days, and here I am 10 years later. 

Americans have a workaholic attitude and New Yorkers are known for being neurotic. How can a New Yorker get that Australian spirit, aside from wearing the clothes? 

I’ve always loved this quote and I feel like everyone can get something different out of it, so I’ll give it to New Yorkers. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” That’s Emerson. If you’re right from the inside that’ll radiate out. That represents the individual in all of us, so I feel like that’s what New Yorkers can get from it.

You’re a surfer? 

Love surfing. I’m a beach baby. I could surf before I could walk.

What do you love most about surfing?

The sense of liberation, the therapeutic nature of being out there in the ocean. The boundlessness. If I could sum it up in one word it would be that: boundlessness.

What is your best word of advice for anyone who wants to take up surfing? 

Don’t give up! So many people have. Maybe they get hit by a wave, or hit by the board the first time and it becomes a little too much. I would say don’t give up.

But I say even before that, learn to swim, be comfortable in the water. Once you’re comfortable in the water than you’ll be more comfortable in taking any kind of craft into the water. It’s not a funny answer, but, learn to swim!