Standing well over six feet tall, professional skateboarder Brian Anderson is a larger-than-life figure in every sense of the term. Turning pro in 1998, the Connecticut native enjoyed an illustrious career, winning a Thrasher “Skater of the Year” award and a World Cup of Skateboarding title.

It was away from the park that Anderson truly made his mark, however, having been involved in numerous extracurricular fields including art and fashion, where he walked the Paris runway for Adam Kimmel in 2012.

Last year, Anderson came out as gay, making him the first pro skater to ever do so publicly. In a sport that’s been dogged by accusations of homophobia over the years, Anderson’s decision was seen as a watershed moment. For many, his choice to speak up transcended skating, and has resonated with an audience on a wider national level. For this special Street Style segment, we caught up with the big man and asked his thoughts on his two life loves: skateboarding and fashion.

What do you think of fashion’s current obsession with skateboarding?

I think that we’ve always given things to each other. It’s good. Skateboarding gives back to fashion and high-end labels will give back to skateboarding. I think it’s interesting. It’s nothing that upsets me. Some people think that when fashion “steals” from skateboarding it’s an issue, but we borrow from each other, so I think it’s all good.

Which independent skate brands are leading the way right now?

I love what Magenta and Skate Mental are doing. There are so many good things coming from Europe.

How do you feel about Nike’s ascendance to the top in skateboarding? Is it a good thing? Does it have a negative impact at all?

I think it’s good. As I’ve said in so many other discussions, a lot of people that I work with work at Nike are people who skateboard. It doesn’t feel fake or forced in any way because everybody I work with is a skater. Everything gets big, and of course people are going to find difficulties with that, or disagreements, or be unhappy with it, but we all skate. Everything gets big. I think people think too much about it. There’s nothing wrong with it and they support good people who do good things.

Check out more of Brian’s work and style below, and take a more in-depth look at Nike SB’s Brian Anderson apparel collection here.

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