Emerging from London's notoriously gnarly PWBC skate gang and masterminded by the notorious skater/film-maker/designer/knave-about-Waterloo Lev Tanju, Palace skateboards continue their vision-quest for skateworld domination this week with a collaboration with British sportswear overlords Reebok.
For the first Palace shoes ever, Tanju and his esteemed Palace cohorts Will Bankhead and Fergus 'Fergadelic' Purcell have reworked the most iconic British trainers ever made: the Reebok Classic and the Workout; putting Palace triangles on them, mucking about with the materials and colours and sticking jazzy insoles in them. The Workouts are good for skating and the Classics are good for chilling, and Tanju has made another VHS video clip to illustrate how best to wear them – exclusively airing on Dazed Digital today. Ahead of the ten day opening of Palace's new Covent Garden 'Pop-Up' shop, we caught up with the Palace Sultan to talk about how he gets his kicks.
Dazed Digital: How come you wanted to work with Reebok?
Lev Tanju: I'm not sure; it just felt right to do it. We're proud to be a proper English skate company, and Workouts and Classics are true staples of English footwear. I love them and I've always worn them. The Workout is also one of the best skate shoes ever. It wasn't designed to be skated in at all, but it works so well – it's kinda weird. One of our favourite London skateboarders ever, Toby Shuall, used to shred in them all the time and looked cool as shit. I like shoes you can wear to skate then go out drinking in after.
DD: Let's talk about the skateboarders in this video. Why'd you pick Blondey, Torey and Louie?
Lev Tanju: They're kind of the newer generation of guys on Palace. Torey is a killer; we met him in New York and then forced him to move to London and skate for Palace. Blondey's just turned 16 and he's a proper Southbank local and sick as fuck. Then Louie Jones, oh man, we've been skating with him for over 10 years. He's a young legend, really. They – all three of them – like Reeboks a lot, so I thought it'd be cool to get them loads of shoes and film a little clip.
DD: How did you go about designing the shoes?
Lev Tanju: It was pretty easy actually. We just wanted to take our four favourite colours of shoes and then sharpen them up by making them out of slightly classier materials. The black Workout is made from wax suede. So from far away they look like the old originals but when you get up close you see the Palace branding and the small details and changes that be like: "BLAM".
DD: The pop-up store opens in Covent Garden today. Do you like getting to play shop?
Lev Tanju: Yeah, it's always a laugh. I'm excited to sell the shoes in a proper sort of 'Palace environment'. With loads of hungover staff, basically.
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