Season after season, fashion’s ride-or-die affair with skateboarding seems to grow stronger. Last fall, the French It brand Vetements showed hoodies emblazoned with deconstructed logos from the skateboard bible Thrasher, earning fans like Kanye West and causing a run on original Thrasher paraphernalia. In January, Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche presented his street-luxe men’s collection (think sagging trousers and white dress shirts paired with black fingerless gloves) on a runway bordered by miniature half-pipes and lit-up skate ramps. And in March, the New York skate label Supreme threw a buzzy Paris Fashion Week bash, where Kim Jones, Rick Owens, and Chloë Sevigny (who has done collections with the 1980s skate staple Vision Street Wear) rubbed elbows with throngs of street rats to toast the 22-year-old brand’s latest retail outpost in the city’s trendy Marais neighborhood.
A more recent crop of indie labels is also receiving attention from fashion editors and skaters alike. Palace Skateboards, the cult London label founded by veteran skater Lev Tanju, offers T-shirts featuring appropriated Versace and Chanel insignias; they are carried by the über-hip designer emporium Dover Street Market. Bianca Chandôn, a unisex sportswear brand launched in 2014 by the professional skateboarder Alex Olson, is inspired in part by the ’70s Fire Island scene and ’80s New York club culture. The latest collection takes cues from Olson’s grandparents and their ’50s-era wardrobe of short-sleeve shirts in pastel colors. “I’m trying to celebrate an older style of dressing before it goes away for good,” says the designer.
Meanwhile, Dime, a freewheeling skate crew from Canada, puts out sweatshirts, jackets, and accessories that have the overtones of Saturday-morning cartoons. (Exhibit A: a T-shirt with a drawing of a hippo saying “OK.”) And Alltimers, a New York–based skate line started in 2013 by Rob Harris and Pryce Holmes, toys with unexpected pop-culture ephemera like pins in the shape of, say, a Lamborghini or Grimace from McDonald’s, skate decks with an image of the actor Ryan Gosling, and an eight-minute video of skaters navigating all manner of New York City garbage.
Konstantin Satchek, the brains behind Quartersnacks, a popular website and clothing line dedicated to “NYC skateboarding and all the people, spots, and bad decisions that help make it wonderful,” says he isn’t all that surprised by the revival. “Skating was such a definitive thing in so many people’s childhoods. It would be cool if more people added to the culture.”
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