Daniel ‘Snowy’ Kinloch, James Edson and Jethro Haynes debut Wayward, London’s newest skate company. Here they tell us why – even though it’s been 15 years in the making – there’s never been a better time
If there’s a crew embedded deeper amongst London’s skate scene than PWBC, it’s yet to be known. Amongst its OGs are Daniel ‘Snowy’ Kinloch, James Edson and Jethro Haynes, whose affinity with the community stretches back 15 years. Albeit with details that no one can really remember, except that they came to London from Lancashire (Kinloch), Sheffield (Edson) and Basingstoke (Haynes) and found each other through the then-fledgling local skate family, which later became affectionately known as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir (PWBC).
“I needed a place to live, so me and some friends moved into a cheap warehouse across from the Whitechapel Mosque that we called the ‘Ice Palace’,” recalls Haynes. Although Kinloch and Edson didn’t technically live there – “I was more like a pet”, Kinloch laughs – the house had a constant incoming-outgoing of housemates. It was huge, and so cold (hence the ‘ice’ part of its name) that they pitched an army tent in the middle of it to keep the heating in a centralised spot – “like Lawrence of Arabia”, jokes Edson. At that point, they were a bunch of like-minded friends trying to get by and also “religiously partying” around Aldgate East. While, what sounds like an improbable climate for success, was, in fact, a breeding ground for it. Lev Tanju – who would occasionally crash on the couch, like many – would go on to launch the incredibly infamous brand, Palace. Tim Chave and Barry Edmunds became Tim & Barry, the dynamic photography/filmmaking duo, and Haynes made a career as a multi-disciplinary artist, amongst many others. Edson went on to open the Wayward Gallery on Vyner Street in 2008, and ran it through to 2015, and Kinloch carved out a name as a professional skateboarder for brands such as Nike and as the team manager at Landscape Skateboards. Now, comes their own company, Wayward, a nod to their roots (and, presumably, their lifestyles).
“We had strong ideas to what we wanted, nothing like X-Games pro shit. It’s a wayward, rag-tag team of skateboarders” – James Edson
“It’s a continuation of the Wayward Gallery but in a different form – we just wanted to do something that was true to it”, Edson explains. “We’ve wanted to do it for years,” “but we were all doing something else,” chimes Kinloch, who was pro with Landscape Skateboards until last year, he parted ways to startWayward, alongside Edson and Haynes. He continues: “We were all looking for something else to sink our teeth into creatively after doing loads of good stuff – like the PWBC photo show in 2015 . We could have launched it years and years ago but life has a habit of getting in the way.” While it was never intended to exist as a mainstream entity, with the success of skater-founded brands bridging both insider and outsider worlds, there’s no doubt that it’s become increasingly attractive commercially. “Skateboarding wasn’t always cool,” recalls Haynes. “When I was growing up skateboarding, people just wanted to kick your head in.” But with expansion comes a crowd, and as brands leapfrog onto a subculture as a way for men in suits to sell ‘product’, people have begun to look towards companies with authentic weight behind them – of which Wayward is anchored with. “It was nicer back then because there was more camaraderie”, explains Haynes, “which is the ethos of Wayward. We want something a bit different, more left field”, adds Edson, “but fucking solid, as well. Aesthetically and in every way”, finishes Kinloch.
For the past few months, clips have been appearing on Wayward’s Instagram, introducing its team – naturally, made up of a mix of friends and family. “We had strong ideas to what we wanted, nothing like X-Games pro shit. It’s a wayward, rag-tag team of skateboarders,” laughs Edson. “Everybody that’s on it right now is so stoked” says Kinloch. “It’s in their hearts”, adds Edson, noting that the team includes Charlie Allen, Dan Emmerson, Kinloch himself, and Josh Jennings, the latter whom, alongside photographer-turned-model Vic Lentaigne, fronts Wayward’s first lookbook, shot by Kinloch and Edson.
A steady support for Wayward has been building since November when it premiered the first batch of boards – of which Haynes, not only Wayward's co-founder, but also its resident artist, was tasked with designing. “Jethro’s vision is sick and he can listen to our gibberish and conjure up a picture,” laughs Kinloch. For the first collection – premiered here – the trio wanted to cement its homage to Edson’s much-loved skate/art haunt, Wayward Gallery – where Haynes also held two shows.
The gallery’s t-shirt, which featured Mickey Mouse staring at a cannister of opium, is revived. Whereas the board designs – of which Romeo Beckham owns one – utilises Haynes’ underwater photography whereby pictures from the Red Sea and Cornwall are blown up, mirrored and quartered across two of the boards. Without any context, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were created digitally, but everything is hands on. Kinloch, Edson, and Haynes laboured over the details of each of the six pieces of clothing – dropped at midnight today; a hoodie, two long sleeve tops, and three t-shirts, alongside the three boards, which have already been taking up shelf space in Palace’s Soho store as well as Slam City Skates, Manchester’s Note, Black Sheep and Slugger in Sheffield, to name a few – to ensure they are of the utmost quality. “The first collection”, says Haynes, “we wanted to keep super simple, that’s why everything is black and white.” However, the boards are a different story: “They’re like the outskirts of our minds, but on skateboards”, explains Kinloch. “Apart from the logo board, there isn’t any branding on them – it’s as much an art piece. “You can hang them on your wall,” offers Edson, gesturing towards three boards hung in a row on the wall of Wayward’s Hackney Wick studio like masterpieces. “It’s sort of like a big art project”, he adds, “but more punk.”