WORDS BY STEPHEN YU
Regardless of whether you owned a pair of heavily worn Osiris D3’s, or if Avril Lavigne was your introduction to the term ‘sk8r boi’, it’s never been easier to tap into that cool skater style. While in the old days, getting seen with a skateboard and not being able to ollie meant you were a poser, now it’s safe to be seen in a Thrasher tee even if the closest you’ve got to skating in real life was playing with a tech deck when you were a kid. But, to stop yourself from looking like you’ve fallen through your teenage cousin’s wardrobe, better invest in some of the skate world’s more fashion-savvy brands before you put together your ultimate skater outfit. Here’s our rundown of the best skater-owned or genuine skateboard clothing brands on Farfetch. No helmet and knee pads required.
PACCBET (pronounced Rassvet) is the Moscow-based skate brand founded by former Comme des Garcons backed darling Gosha Rubschinskiy and pro-skater Tolia Titaev. Perfectly capturing the spirit and effortlessly cool aesthetic of the Russian capital’s skate scene, Rassvet’s offerings take comfy skate staples like tees and elevate them with Gosha’s trademark post-Soviet graphics from local artists which reference sputnik style space programs and bygone Olympics. Retro-futuristic pieces like this plaid shirt turn a street culture staple into something more contemporary through an oversized cut.
Paccbet means ‘Sunrise’ in Cyrillic with the brand signifying a new era dawning with Russian skate and streetwear rising to prominence in Western fashion. Those unconvinced of Gosha’s skateboarding credentials will be delighted to hear that alongside Tolia he opened a multi-brand skate store in Moscow called OKTYABR, which alongside some of the best skateboard brands also sells actual skate hardware like this deck complete with Soviet-style iconography.
From the Lower East Side to Tokyo, London, and Paris, Supreme has transported the gritty street style of New York skateboarding into every corner of the Earth. Try going a day in any of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities without seeing the brand’s now-iconic box logo and you’ll understand just how far this little skate shop has come. The undeniable king of skateboard brands, the James Jebbia owned outfit has recently moved away from well-constructed workwear and military-inspired silhouettes in favor of artwork and graphic-heavy sportswear pieces that have made it a hit with the youths of today. As big fans of referential pieces and spin-offs, these skater pants from Supreme features imagery taken from the Vietnam War that was also used on The Smiths ‘Meat Is Murder’ album artwork for a double dose of cultural education.
One secret behind Supreme’s rise to the top of not only skateboarding but fashion and streetwear too has been their ability to collaborate with the world’s most exclusive and sought after brands. With multiple-year partnerships with skate staples like Vans and Nike, heritage brands like Barbour and Timberland, and Damien Hirst artwork on Supreme skateboards, as well as tees featuring music icons like Neil Young or Morrissey, Supreme has grown its appeal to those outside of the skate and streetwear markets. It’s not often that high-fashion houses like Louis Vuitton or Jean Paul Gaulthier open their doors for collaborations, but Supreme is perhaps the only brand welcomed in with open arms. Their long-standing partnership with Comme des Garcons has resulted in one of their most memorable and lusted-after spins on their Barbara Kruger-inspired logo.
Fusing 90s skate style with London subculture, Palace is responsible for catapulting the UK skate scene to international dominance. Founded by OG British skate shop Slam City Skates owner Gareth Skewis, and South Bank legend Lev Tanju, Palace has built a name for itself with its lo-fi skate videos, classically British tongue-in-cheek slogans, its penchant for sportswear, and for having the gulliest skate team in the world (we’re looking at you Shawn Powers and Jamal Smith). From Stone Island-esque techwear, to joggers designed just for bunning in, Palace is one of the few brands that can somehow work with 90’s garage favorite Jean Castelbajac and Salomon in one season without it looking weird. This track top is equal parts Sopranos, and luxe sportswear, which says everything about Palace.
In 2012, well before it was a thing, Aries was already fusing the high-quality fabrics and expertly cut silhouettes of high-fashion with the punky trashy aesthetic of streetwear. The brainchild of Fergus Purcell – the graphic designer behind Palace’s iconic Penrose triangle logo the ‘tri-ferg’ – and Sofia Prantera – the women at the helm of Silas, the legendary nineties skate-affiliated graphic tee brand – Aries creates gender-neutral clothing that blends Purcell’s trashy aesthetic with Prantera’s sophisticated sensibility. The resulting collection of easy wearing and effortless garments see vivid colors and loud prints incorporated on soft shirting and tailoring fabrics and streetwear staples like this tie-dyed t-shirt.
‘Off The Wall’ since 66, Vans skateboards shoes were quickly adopted by sidewalk surfers thanks to their rugged construction and super sticky waffle soles. Decades after the Van Doren Rubber Company was initially founded, Vans have slowly become the shoe of choice for every countercultural movement whether that’s in music, art, or extreme sports. What’s most amazing is that their vulcanized soles which were once favored by 70s skater style gods Z-boys of Dogtown are still considered some of the best skate shoes around today. While classics like Old Skools, Slip-ons, and Sk8-His are essentials in skater style, it’s their retro remakes like the Epoch with its fat sole that make Vans one of the best skateboard fashion brands.
Although footage of the Bones Brigade skate crew in Nike Blazers, and New York-icon Gonz street skating in Air Jordan I’s may make you think differently, Nike didn’t enter the skateboarding market successfully until 2001 with the launch of Nike SB shoes and the release of the sneaker that defined 2000s skater fashion – the SB Dunk Low. With its cushty padded tongue and collar, alongside Zoom Air insoles, the SB Dunk was one of the first shoes that skaters wanted to wear both on the board and off it merging skateboard and sneakerhead culture. Collaborations with the era’s most popular skate companies and brands only added to the shoe's collectibility, with the Tiffany, UNKLE, Supreme, Pigeon, Raygun or Heinken dunks acting as many millennials entry point into the world of sneaker collecting. Now, with help from Virgil Abloh and Ben & Jerry’s, the SB Dunk is having a bit of a revival so there’s never been a better time to add to your collection.
Rewind to 2002 and you’ll find Soulland’s co-founder and creative director at the forefront of the Copenhagen skate scene. Fast forward to 2020, following on from collaborations with Nike SB and everyone’s favorite ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’ character Eric Koston and it’s clear that skateboarding never left Adler’s life. The Danish label combines artisan level construction methods with locally sourced materials to create sustainable menswear with a twist but retains a youthful street edge through Silas’ skate-inspired graphics as seen with this silk shirt.