Fashion Takeover — Judgement Day: Skateboarding in 2023

Words by Frozen in Carbonite
Logos by Requiem For A Screen

The Algorithm became self-aware at 2:14 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, August 29, 2023.

In a panic, they tried to pull the plug.

Three billion followers were lost that day — every Instagram account reset to zero. The ensuing confusion wreaked havoc in the skate and fashion industries. Who were the influencers? Did Instagram pros even exist anymore?

In addition, tariffs imposed after the re-election in 2020, combined with a crippling worldwide recession, decimated already-slim profit margins in the skateboard industry. Furthermore, in a Handmaid’s Tale-esque move, the U.S. government went for broke and erected two walls — one on the Mexican border and another separating us from our neighbors to the north. This virtually eliminated both the skateboard industry’s supply of wood and access to Mexican board factories.

A few brave souls fought back. Speedboat runs from Nova Scotia to Boston unloaded decks right off at Eggs. Cesna flights from the Canadian border — some shot down by F-22ss — airdropped pallets of decks onto the bricks of Embarcadero. This barely covered S.F-based pros’ monthly boxes. Kids had to choose between a new iPhone 27 and a new deck for the year. Even pros skated boards until they felt like wet noodles, and could cut garlic with the razortail.

Heads of the skateboard industry held a summit in Paris to develop a plan. They concluded that in order for the industry to survive, it had to partner with another — an industry that had derived, uh, “inspiration” from skate culture for years.

Fashion, baby!

For the skateboard industry to continue, its leading brands had to merge with the dominant fashion houses. What follows are their teams and brand narratives.

Keep Reading »

Halo Effect — The Oral History of the First Hundred Dollar Skate Shoe

Collages by Requiem For A Screen

There’s no shortage of talk about a deck’s notorious resistance to inflation. But what about shoes? While something like a Lebron in 2019 is substantially more expensive than a Jordan in 1999, skate shoes have hovered around the same average $70-80 price tag for the better part of two decades, even as skateboarding itself has grown and adapted to new trends, technologies, and customers. Meanwhile, every fashion house in Europe has been raking in the money these past few years, pushing puffy sneakers reminiscent of old skate shoes.

We tracked down the principal figures behind the first three-figure skate shoe, released in 1997, and got their story on what was as much of an anomaly as it was a watershed moment for skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and style of footwear design. (Keep in mind that, adjusted for inflation, $100 in 1997 is the equivalent of $156 in 2019.)

+++++++

What was the skate shoe landscape like at the start of the nineties?

Don Brown, Chief Brand Strategist at Sole Tech: Airwalk, Vans and Simple were the only other shoe brands. They had become so mainstream and rigid — and there was a dip in the economy, so they scrambled to get sales wherever they could. Pierre [Andre Senizegues, founder of Sole Technology] was doing the distribution for Etnies at the time, bringing it over from France. When skateboarding crashed, vert and freestyle were pretty much eliminated. There was a whole generation of upstarts, like Rocco and them, and everyone in skateboarding rode for Etnies at some point.

Chad Muska: There were a hundred riders on Etnies, or something crazy like that. Even that High Five video had so many people in it. The shoe industry then was like, “Oh, this company is going to give you free shoes. Maybe there’s a chance you get paid.” It was so secondary to boards. There were early pro shoes, like the Half Cab, the Natas, and the SLB, but I think the real start of the skateboard shoe industry being serious was when they began making videos.

Keep Reading »

Branding Masterclass — Trucks

Words by Frozen in Carbonite
Collages by Requiem For A Screen

Few choices in life communicate as much about their owner as the skateboard truck. Board companies vary by woodshop, clothiers get bought out by global conglomerates, shoe brands come and go at the mercy of the vicissitudes of fashion, but the Big Three (plus one?) truck brands remain with consistent brand narratives that — for whatever reason — synergize with the most mindblowing slogans in the culture.

With that in mind, and with no end in sight to the #trend of starting brands, we will deconstruct the marketing tactics of the Big Three (plus one?) truck companies, focusing on their most iconic and immortal slogans.

Join me, won’t you?

Keep Reading »

Only Love Can Do That

Front door of Andre Page’s old office ♥

“You Americans are too serious about the pro board shit, in Europe you just turn the homie pro. Fuck it! It’s not about being ‘pro’ at skating. If you are a sick character, you should be pro!” Chris Milic and Jesse Alba interview Hjalte Halberg for Solo mag, with a resulting transcript that you can read in everyone’s voice inside your head.

Wise words: “Bro, you just skate and put it on the internet.” — Genesis Evans, who practices what he preaches considering he uploaded a a clip of his L.A. trip to the new Sahbabii song within like…24 hours of it being released.

Thrasher has Nick Ferro and Mark Humienik’s Calzone part, YouTube has Mark Wetzel’s Calzone part, and Big Cartel has Calzone DVDs.

One of the most astute eyes for spots out there. Chris Jones’ new part for Free is obviously great. And P.S. Casper Brooker went pro this past weekend. Congrats G.

Mostly park footage, but still heavy on the smiles: Louie Lopez IG remix to some Sade.

If you want to get bummed out, Vice did an article on how the city of Seattle is suing 35th North (the city’s longest standing skate shop) over a D.I.Y. bowl they built in the middle of the woods. Never not saying shout out to Europe in situations like these.

New Jerry Mraz footage in the promo for a new board company called Adult Inc. Guessing there’s ledges at the top of that L.I.E. hill from the old Bronze videos now?

Strobeck has an over two-hour interview with The Nine Club.

Chapter six of Elkin raw tapes is now live.

Dude I don’t even know how many years ago 2017 was, but apparently the Theories guys still want to talk about the best videos from that weird ass year. It’s dope that one of their fave videos was “Theories in Chicago” ;) ♥ My fave was Josh’s Inkwell part.

North interviewed skate photo collage god and frequent Quartersnacks contributor, Requiem For A Screen, in their latest issue, and just published the piece online.

That Sixth Sense era raw footage clip that everyone was re-posting last week actually got uploaded in 2011, but gave us a good excuse to fix a typo in an old post!

The cultural institution known as the Delancey McDonald’s finally reopens today!

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Anthony Davis what the shit.

Quote of the Week: “The only jobs in London are working for i-D or Dazed.” — Sean Kinney

Ghosts of Christmas Clips Past

Collage by Requiem For A Screen

This past year, nobody else incited as many smiles and reminders of the glorious escapism that skateboarding provides. Thank you Jamal Smith, 2017’s Q.S.S.O.T.Y., for inspiring us to enjoy the world on a skateboard. Sadly, we can’t fly you to Canary Islands like Thrasher can (…not yet), but just wanted to say thanks :)

Iron Claw’s new 11-min video, Not Not a Video, is now online. Shout out Colombia.

Even as an institution that often gets chastised for Rihanna songs in skate clips and bad filming, we gotta chime in here: wtf is with the choppy frame-rate, wtf is up with the darkass clips, and wtf is up with that Morrissey song in Antonio’s new Berrics part? The skating though…is absolutely F U C K E D.

Oddly enjoyed this way more than expected, probably because they skate a bunch of weird shit that nobody bothers with, e.g. they got two clips at the Gristedes on 96th Street — a Weed Maps “Summer Trip to New York” clip with Jaws, Tommy Sandoval and Boo Johnson. I think we ran into Jaws at a rave when he was filming this.

Rolling Stone has a great mini-doc with Josh Stewart about making independent skate videos in 2017, via the lens of Traffic’s Look Left.

Jenkem has a “Day in the Life”-ish feature with The BX’s Public Housing Skate Team.

Style god Jimmy Chung is featured in the new teaser for Chris Mulhern’s upcoming Love Park documentary, 15th & JFK. Anyone know a release date?

“Mean Streets” volume 10 from LurkNYC with more weirdness at Chase.

Boil the Ocean is on entry #6 of its annual “Top 10 Parts of the Year” wrap-up, and Slam City’s blog has some words on the year’s best videos.

…aaannndddd Village Psychic made a “Best of 2017” mix of the year’s ACTUAL S.O.T.Y., regardless of what the yellow t-shirts may have told you.

“Belgrade is the best city I’ve ever been to in my life.” The Rios Crew continues to inspire skateboard travel dreams far outside the conventional Euro destinations with each new clip. “Dunja,” their latest, hits Serbia’s capital, Montenegro and Croatia.

“Platano” is the new montage from our friends down at Andrew Skate Shop in Miami.

Jason Lee’s Video Days part was a starting point for a $3.6 billion crossroad.

Vol. 4 of Elkin raw files. You think Thrasher is gonna give us a Louie “West End” one?

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: It’ll never not be funny that Kyrie was just like “nah, I don’t wanna play with this dude anymore.” He lost yesterday, but this was sick.

Quote of the Week: “You should just make Q.S.S.O.T.Y. ‘The Max Palmer Award.'” — John Choi

Official 2017 end credits song ♥