Skateboarding has been the talk of the town this year, with the sport finally making its debut at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Couple that with the influence of the Y2K era – undoubtedly the sport’s heyday – and skate culture’s inherently liberating spirit and ties to youth culture, and it’s easy to understand why it is so buzzy right now.
Hermes Spring/Summer 2022 men’s collection features the Hermes Stealth Skateboard bag which hides your deck subtly on the base of the Bolide Bag.
While fashion houses have teamed up with skate brands in the past, the renewed interest in skateboarding has got the fashion world sitting up and taking notice more in 2021, with numerous brands collaborating with skate pros or featuring them in their campaigns and designers turning to the culture as a source of inspiration.
On the ground, customers are digging the skater uniform too – think slouchy pants, Vans sneakers. the oversized graphic tees. In fact, data from fashion retail platform Lyst reported the term “skater” saw a 46 per cent jump in searches since April this year.
The graphic artworks from California skateboard brand Santa Cruz adorns the Puma x Santa Cruz collab.
H&M released a new Fall 2021 collection alongside No Fear, an American skate and streetwear brand popular in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. While Puma recently launched a collection with Californian skateboard brand Santa Cruz, showcasing the skate world’s aesthetic of bright Pop Art graphics on sneakers and apparel.
Even PacSun, the 41-year-old American skate retailer, is riding on the resurgence in fashion and pop culture by roping in A$AP Rocky, style icon and the patron saint of Gen Z cool, as guest creative editor this past summer.
Digital content creator and skate enthusiast Hanya Seah fronted the H&M x No Fear campaign in Singapore.
Luxury houses such as Tiffany & Co., Saint Laurent and Fendi have also dipped into the pool by releasing their versions of skateboard designs. Hermes took it a step further by debuting the Hermes Stealth Skateboard bag on the men’s Spring/Summer 2022 runway which integrated a skateboard deck into a classic Bolide Bag.
Besides selling a skateboard at $820 a pop, Saint Laurent also designs the skidproof adhesive grip in a variety of designs featuring leopard prints or a star motif ($160 each).
Monse staged its Resort 2022 show at a Manhattan skate park to complement the collection’s relaxed and utilitarian designs such as cargo pants, sports bra and hoodies. Its co-founder Laura Kim told Fashionista: “My best escape is the gym: working out, hiking, skateboarding. That’s why we’re showing in a skate park.”
As 16-year-old skater Christina Lai put it in the October edition of FEMALE: “The mentality towards skating, especially in Asian countries can be a little conservative, but once you try it, you’ll learn that it’s really liberating.”
Monse’s Resort 2022 show was held at a New York skate park.
Daphne Goh, co-founder of Singapore-based board sports and snowboarding business The Ride Side observes, skateboarders have always fascinated and intrigued brands globally, especially luxury brands looking to add a ‘street’ element to their campaigns.
She notes how a variation of skating known as surf skating – previously popularised by surfers who couldn’t hit the waves during the off season – is trending right now thanks to the renewed interest in board sports since the start of the pandemic.
Another popular form of skating that’s riding high right now is surf skating.
Simply put, a surf skate is a type of skateboard with spring-loaded trucks that replicate the feeling of surfing or snowboarding on land. The rider surfs the urban terrain and streets with the help of momentum as the back and forth motion generates force to push the rider forward.
Ahead, Goh gives us the 4-1-1 on skating’s popularity and how one can pick up surf skating.
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