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the gonz

Eugene Riconneaus' shred aesthetic

A cult shoemaker on the inspirations behind his skate aesthetic and shredding the halfpipe

Shredding the halfpipe resulted in frequent visits to the local bootmakers to patch up the teenage Eugène Riconneaus’ damaged shoes. There, the French skateboarder and future designer discovered the craft of bootmaking and “fell in love with leather” just as he was also falling for the opposite sex.

“I started to draw shoes as a way to seduce my girlfriends,” says Riconneaus, who learned his craft during an apprenticeship at British bespoke shoemaking firm John Lobb. Today he draws inspiration from muses like models Charlotte Di Calypso, Mary Charteris, Chelsea Schuchman and actress/singer Lou Lesage. “There is a woman’s name inside each of the shoes in my collections,” he says. “It could be the name of a friend, a lover or a woman I knew for just one night.” Here he picks his most memorable 1993 moments.

Kate Moss by Mario Sorrenti for Calvin Klein’s Obsession

I just fell in love with that picture of her. She was one of the first women I desired in a magazine!”

Skate style

"The Skytop by Puma, the Gazelle by Adidas and the Airwalk were some of the defining skate shoes in 1993. My friend and I cut up the sides of the Skytop so they were less high and more comfortable to ride in. I actually launched my first skate shoe when I was 18, the Calcuta (above), and it was inspired by the Skytop.

Stephen Sprouse CyberPunk capsule collection for Bergdorf Goodman

He’s one of the first designers who helped me discover what I wanted to be. In his work, I found the answer to pairing my lifestyle with urban culture and fashion. I think he was one of the first designers to look for new inspiration in places outside fashion.

Mark “The Gonz” Gonzales

In 1993, Mark Gonzales was the first skater to kickflip his namesake, the ‘Gonz gap’ (a skate spot at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza named after him when he ollied it in 1986). His style influenced me throughout my youth.

Skate artist Jim Phillips

Everyone had his ‘Screaming Hand’ sticker on their skateboard. All of the colours he used to create his designs inspire me and my work now.