British newspaper The Guardian attempts to discover how Palace Skateboards went from a local cult label to the backs of hip-hop royalty by talking to the brand’s founder, Lev Tanju.
The piece outlines the label’s beginnings in 2009 when Tanju went to the factory that produces his now iconic tees and asked, “Can you make the logo as big as it will go on the back of the shirt, as far as the seam will allow?” Clearly a very likable person, the 33-year-old continues, “Dads come in and buy shit, it makes me so happy. We have sons and dads coming in. I’m like ‘yes’ – because dad wants to be cool at work.”
The article even touches on Palace’s cheeky product descriptions, which are written by Tanju himself. “I sit in front the TV with a takeaway and type on my iPhone absolute nonsense in bullet points and people find it funny,” he says. Apparently, the numerous culinary references are down to his penchant for the Food Network.
’90s graphics are a recurring theme in Palace’s collections, which resonate with the brand’s older customers, while those that are just discovering the label appreciate the retro appeal.
Perhaps most revealing, but certainly not surprising, is that the brand almost never “seeds” (or sends products to “influencers” in hopes of further exposure) to celebrities like Kanye West, whose daughter North West has been spotted in the brand’s likeness. However, he does let on that, “If Elton John rang up, I would be like, ‘Sure Elton John.’”
Read the full piece here.
- Photo: Sarah Lee / The Guardian