Russell Athletic has a long and rich history in sports apparel. From its humble beginnings as the creator of the first sweatshirt in 1926 to later making uniforms and apparel for athletes throughout the United States, the influence of sportswear in fashion couldn’t be understated — especially given their recent collaboration with BOSS, further blurring the lines between tailoring and sportswear.
While Russell Athletic isn’t in the uniform game anymore, they’re going back to their roots in a different way by empowering a new generation of skaters to express themselves with its range of high-quality blanks. They provided three emerging skate brands in North America with a uniform set of Russell Athletic apparel to create a one-off capsule collection: California’s Meow Skateboards, New York’s GangCorp, and Montreal’s Studio Skateboards. Each brand used staple wardrobe pieces like crewnecks, sweatpants, and shorts and documented their collections through a self-shot lookbook.
Meow Skateboards was started in 2012 by Lisa Whitaker, founder of Girls Skate Network, a website dedicated to supporting women skaters around the world. Her brand ethos is all about having fun and creating high-quality products to support an all-female team. “Our collection took inspiration from Russell Athletic’s sports heritage and mixed it with a traditional Meow aesthetic,” says Whitaker. “They provided the perfect canvas to bring our ideas to life.”
GangCorp is a label rooted in the streets of Lower Manhattan. What started as a series of crew skate videos evolved into a brand capturing global attention through their unique style of raw street skating. “This collection was inspired by our fans that have given us a global presence all over the world,” says GangCorp founding member Duron Simons. “Throughout our journey, our fans have given us motivation, joy, and passion to keep creating great luxury streetwear products, and now all of our hard work is finally being recognized across the world.”
Finally, Studio Skateboards is a Montreal-based brand and crew founded in 2008. Studio SB’s design language draws heavily from the art world — from classic Saul Bass flips to niche Picasso references. Their capsule is inspired by founder Jai Ball’s summers spent loitering in parks around the city. “Montreal park life (city parks, not skateparks) is such a big part of skating and growing up here,” he says. “I see kids doing the same thing we did 20 years ago — skating, hanging out, building community, and enjoying the dog days of summer.”