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Kenzo Vans campaign skating Los Angeles
Photography Ari Marcopoulos

Three LA skaters talk life in lockdown and fronting a new fashion campaign

Vans and Kenzo unite on a new collection, as modelled by members of Cali’s skate community

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to find yourself hanging out in Los Angeles, you’ll be fully aware of skateboarding’s cultural impact on the city. Launching themselves out of Venice Beach’s iconic skate bowl and into the air, with the vast blue Pacific Ocean behind them, or rolling down the city’s streets, dodging between gridlocked cars, skaters are as integral to LA as any number of its legendary landmarks. 

As part of a new collaborative campaign between Vans and Kenzo, the city also provides the backdrop to a series of photographs of its skating community, which serve to launch a new collection combining the two labels’ aesthetic. 

Shot by legendary photographer Ari Marcopoulos, who’s known for capturing subcultural communities around the world, a group of seven friends – united through their love of skateboarding – are seen hanging out on the sidewalk wearing pieces from the just-debuted offering. 

On the line-up? Denim jackets, hoodies, and tees, as well as accessories including bucket hats, bags, and (of course) a series of Vans’ classic sneakers, with many pieces emblazoned with floral prints hauled from Kenzo’s archives by its new creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista. Rounding things off is a limited edition Kenzo skate deck created in collaboration with LA social enterprise The Skateroom, from which all proceeds will go directly into a skate project supporting young, vulnerable Jamaicans. 

As the collection lands on (digital) shelves this week, we spoke to some of the stars of its accompanying campaign about getting their start in skating, what life in LA is like under lockdown, and the first thing they’ll do when it lifts. 


“My name is pronounced like ‘Uh-Moy-YAY!’, sort of the same way you’d say Kanye Or Beyoncé, and I from a small town in Arizona called Tucson. I’m still kind of figuring out what I ‘do’, but I’ve been super-blessed to have done a lot – I model, I make music and multimedia art, and I shoot photos for fun. I like to constantly try new things to keep learning and challenging myself. 

I’ve been skating on and off for maybe nine years now, but I don’t consider myself a skater – I’m just a girl who refuses to sit around and watch her friends skate. I’ve had one concussion and split my head open from bombing a hill on Halloween night, but no bones snapped or anything too crazy… to be honest I think that’s why I still try. It’s a huge part of my life and I love its community – so many different people from different walks of life come together just to ride around on a piece of wood with four wheels. It’s so much bigger than people try to shrink it to be. It’s not just a ‘hobby’, it’s magical.

Working with Kenzo and Vans was amazing. They got one of my favourite photographers, Ari Marcopoulos, to shoot the campaign and he made the whole thing so much fun – it just felt like a normal day hanging out and skating with friends. The first pair of Vans I vividly remember having was around high school when I would draw all over them (I was super inspired by Tyler, The Creator and Lil B). I wore them forever, like to the point you could see my socks through them. My mom hated it. 

When I come out of lockdown, I just want to hug all my friends, eat a good meal with them, and then travel and model more. But I’ve really enjoyed being alone and away, which is crazy – I’m such a people person.” 



“There was a skatepark in the neighbourhood I grew up in, and I’ve been skating every day since I was ten years old. For me, it’s the ultimate feeling of freedom. Being able to travel both long and short distances, the feeling of community… skateboarding has opened a lot of doors and honestly led me to all the people I care about today. I got sponsored by Babylon LA at 18, and I met so many friends through (founder) Lee Spielman, just hanging out in the bowl in the back of the shop. 

I’ve worn Vans since I started skating and my very very first pair were black Sk8-Hi Pros. We had a great time on this shoot – skateboarding in Malibu, the energy, and the team was amazing.

During quarantine, I’ve continued skating, but I’ve mainly been #stayinghome, spending time with family, and watching a lot of documentaries. When we get out of lockdown, I will single-handedly shovel the sand out of the Venice skate park, barbecue, share my White Claws, use my camera. I can’t wait to see my friends again. I’m looking forward to a few more campaigns, but i’m mainly going to focus on my acting and my health.”



“I started skating because my brothers used to skate, and then I just never stopped – I love it because there are so many new tricks to learn, it’s like a never-ending challenge. During lockdown, I got an electric guitar so I’ve been trying to learn how to play, but it’s so hard! I also continued skating out on the street, creating videos. Working with Vans and Kenzo was one of the sickest experiences ever. Shooting with all the homies and with a legend, Lee Spielman from Babylon, was dope. I was so inspired afterwards!”