In just two years, London’s Palace Skateboards has gone from humble skate gang beginnings to official high-grading as 2012’s European 'Skateboard Brand of the Year'. After their blazing victory at the skate industry’s Bright Awards in Berlin in February, which was already hot on the heelflips of their celebrated latest video offering Tres Trill, this week Palace drop their rad new project: a six-piece S/S12 collection in collaboration with Manchester sportswear dons Umbro.
I’ve always been reluctant to do any of those dumb obvious collaborations that make streetwear perverts happy: big garish headphones made out of Tyler the Creator’s bogeys or whatever. I don't think anyone saw this thing coming and that’s what I set out to do. Suuurprise, bitches!
Here, Dazed Digital exclusively premiere the line’s time-warped VHS launch video; directed by Ewen Spencer, produced by Palace and soundtracked by young London legend Joy O. We sat down with Palace chief Lev Tanju for a pow wow all about it…
Dazed Digital: So why Umbro and why football?
Lev Tanju: We’ve been offered collaborations with loads of people before, but we’ve always turned them down because to me they seemed a bit soulless. We all love and play football, and Umbro is wicked and super-English and I've liked it since I was a kid, so I thought it would be a fun project to do. I’ve always been reluctant to do any of those dumb obvious collaborations that make streetwear perverts happy: big garish headphones made out of Tyler the Creator’s bogeys or whatever. I don't think anyone saw this thing coming and that’s what I set out to do. Suuurprise, bitches!
DD: What’s your favourite bit of gear in the collection?
Lev Tanju: I love the Trill Tops; I think they work good for just throwing on and going skating, but they’re smart too. But for me the Italia '90 England football shirts we've done are the killer pieces. It’s just completely mental that Umbro let us rework a properly iconic bit of English football history, and put a big Palace triangle on the front of it. I don’t think anybody’s really been allowed to mess about with something like that before.
DD: What’s with the boozy Italia 90 pub scene reenactment video?
Lev Tanju: I had the idea for the video from the start. I just wanted a funny little launch clip to tie in with the release of the line. As a skate company if we ever have any money, it generally goes on a skate trip or paying our pro riders or funding our extensive research into hoverboards. The great thing about working with sportswear companies is that you can talk them into renting out a pub for the day and paying for all your friends to come down and have a proper knees-up. It was a great day, having to wake up and go straight to the pub and it be work. We just knocked about all day drinking and playing darts, then Joy and Bankhead came down and we had a rave.
The Palace Tailored by Umbro range is available at Slam City Skates, Hideout, Present and all good skate shops across the UK