MOST POPULAR BRANDS
We visited 5 key skateparks in London and took note of which brands were most popular, speaking to a wide range of skaters to understand their viewpoint on the rise of "skate fashion".
Out of a total sample of 700 skaters, Vans and Nike appeared to be the most popular shoe of choice, with Supreme making up the most popular hoodie/t-shirt selection.
Most Popular Brands
the rise of palace skateboards
It comes as no surprise that Palace is heralded as the most popular UK skate brand. The brand's roots took hold roughly eight years ago, when a London-based skate crew known as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir introduced a series of crudely-made, satirical "reports" on the then current state of skateboarding.
Collaborations with a range of fellow British (and beyond) brands outside the skate industry appear often including Umbro, Reebok and adidas. But it's not just sports. Palace has even worked with the Tate Britain gallery. One could argue Supreme paved the way for brands like Palace. Perhaps the impossible triangle couldn't exist without the box logo. But that's mostly an irrelevant argument, as Palace has carved its niche in the cool-consuming culture at large not by following a formula, but by simply doing what it wants.
“We’re not a skate company—we’re a family, really. We’re all brothers, pretty much”, says founder Lev Tanju in an interview with Vogue in 2013.
Most Popular "Independent" Brand
How Skateboarding Became a High-Fashion Obsession
As skateboarding has grown in popularity—it's poised for its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo—several companies have emerged that increasingly toe the line between a skate brand and a chic clothing line. Supreme, which started as a Lower East Side skate shop in the early '90s, has ballooned into a global streetwear powerhouse that's earned its founder James Jebbia something near a $40 million fortune. Newcomers like London-based Palace Skateboards have also helped hasten the crossover. Both companies have a cultish appeal and sleek retail stores that smack of a boutique sensibility. Similarly to streetwear behemoths like Kith and Undefeated, they regularly host much-hyped product drops that attract huge crowds—but they also stay true to skateboarding's roots by sponsoring skaters and releasing skate videos.
Skateboarding "is probably bigger than it's ever been," says contributing Thrasher editor Michael Burnett. "Everyone's generally more aware of skateboarding, so maybe that's just how [the sport] seeps into" the fashion world, he reasons. After all, perennial sportswear brands Nike and Adidas have been sponsoring skateboarders for years, while New Balance entered the skate shoe market in 2013.