Palace Skateboards is known for its famous Tri-Ferg logo, sense of humor and creative talented skate collective. The British brand has pushed beyond its originally intended audience of skaters and has become fashionable in menswear, streetwear, and hip-hop circles. Today Palace is one of the most in demand independent skateboard and streetwear companies, yet its authenticity keeps its brand fresh and relevant.
The brand started winning notice around 1999 when a London-based skate crew known as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir satirized the state of skateboarding with a series of videos produced by Lev Tanju. The “reports” mixed bootleg video clips of pros with local skaters to lampoon the cliché, hipster London skate scene. Skaters saw the videos as pushback against the big brand, corporate skateboarding, and Palace still holds that reputation.
“I just wanted to make some skateboards that looked nice and skated good,” explained Tanju.
In 2010, Tanju and PWBC formed Palace Skateboards and enlisted two graphic designers Fergus “Fergadelic” Purcell and Will Bankhead who created a minimalist design that skaters saw as clean and modern. The pair both have a following outside skateboarding, and Purcell has since been named design director at Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Palace Skateboards Imprint Moved Past T-Shirts
The first round of T-shirts sold well. The resulting collaboration ultimately appealed to circles from fashion to hip-hop while holding onto the original core audience. The imprint expanded into an empire of ultra-limited-edition hoodies and T-shirts. Palace has been worn by notables such as A$AP Rocky, Drake, Rihanna, and Virgil Abloh.
Customers say Palace Skateboards products can be difficult to find, although a few influential international online shops such as End, Norse Store, Svpply, Couverture and The Garbstore stock them. The Palace Skateboards shop in Soho, London, for instance, displays only a small selection of T-shirts, sweatshirts, rain jackets and a pile of caps alongside a display of shoes, socks, skateboard decks and skateboard wheels.
Tanju has worked with brands such as Umbro, Reebok and Adidas. Palace Skateboards recently reunited with Adidas Originals for a brand new SS17 collaborative collection reminiscent of the early days. Silhouettes include wardrobe essentials such as two archive-inspired short sleeve T-shirts, the long sleeve tee shirt and French terry track pant. Accompanying footwear revisits the Palace and Adidas staple archival theme with contemporary 3-stripes silhouettes.
Skate team members Chewy Cannon, Benny Fairfax, Lucien Clark and Rory represent Palace in the streets.