Suspend the fact that Playboy is now making skateboards from your mind for a minute – because that is a disgrace – and allow yourself to become immersed in this profile on What Youth regular Austyn Gillette on their now TSFW (Too Safe For Work) website. The writer behind it, Rob Brink, is not just a friend of Austyn’s, but is also credited with inventing the somewhat jokey term “Team Handsome” of which Austyn Gillette, Alex Olson, and the late Dylan Rieder were the marquee members, so this isn’t full of mainstream crap.
The meat here is talking about FORMER, which A.G co-founded with Dane, Dylan, and Craig and how it is perhaps the first and only credible brand to bridge the shrinking divide between skateboarding and surfing and also roasting the current state of affairs of retro trends and social media.
“And that true place is the heart and soul of cultures like skateboarding and surfing. The desire to manifest a feeling inside of you into something tangible outside of you. To counter the inanity of popular culture and create what doesn’t yet exist, if for no other reason than to have fun or inspire oneself and circle of friends—an ethos often appropriated but never duplicated, by mainstream fashion—the subject of decades-old animosity between the two worlds that only seems to be intensifying as more and more of skateboarding’s influence, including plenty of stolen designs, seem to be popping up on runways, in advertising and on the racks of department stores all over the world—Thrasher’s logo being the primary source of “inspiration” for many at the moment. “Skateboarding’s always been pretty noisy,” says Austyn.
“It’s just a noisy, rebellious sport. I hate calling it a sport, though, but there’s just something about it—you hear it, then you see the person doing it, and you don’t know why it’s so cool, but it just is. Everybody knows that. Skateboarding has a big presence and has been cool ever since it started. Bigger brands outside of skateboarding are drawn to it because it’s rebellious. They’re just buying into this thing we built now that it’s already cool and accepted. There’s nothing behind it other than that.”
Watch our Afternoon Interview with Alex: