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INTERVIEWS

How Keenan Milton’s Death Led to the Founding of HUF

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GOAT just dropped a nice interview with Keith Hufnagel conducted by Jimmy Gorecki. As you would imagine, the conversation surfs a lane between classic skate tales and sneaker / streetwear culture. What resonated with us the most is the story of how Keenan Milton’s passing indirectly led to the founding of HUF. This is particularly timely since the 19th anniversary of Keenan’s tragic death was last Sunday.

Having a foundation in skate, what made you want to jump into retail?

I was living in LA from 1998 to 2001. Keenan Milton (fellow pro skater and close friend of Hufnagel since their DVS Shoes days) passed away and I was pretty bummed out. My wife and I at the time said, “Let’s get the fuck outta LA. Let’s just change it up.” We decided to move to San Francisco. I’d been traveling for a decade, seeing what was happening in Tokyo, New York, LA, London. I was hitting all these major cities and seeing this streetwear and sneaker culture happening. It was all over the place.

Around 2001, I was thinking about what’s going to happen after skate. What am I going to do? I know I can skate for a long time, but you don’t know how long you’ll be a professional for. I mean, some people do it for a long time, but I think I went in and out of being bored at times and when you go out and you try to film and get photos all day then sit in the car for six hours, it just becomes exhausting.

At that time I was talking with Anne [Freeman, my ex-wife] and she really wanted to do a women’s boutique brand. She did research on it and found that San Francisco was oversaturated by women’s apparel. So I was like, “Well, I’d like to do a streetwear concept store of what I see around the world.” And that was kind of how [HUF] got started. We didn’t have a business plan or anything. We just made it happen and had enough connections in the sneaker and streetwear worlds to carry the right products.

We were carrying brands from England and Australia like Perks and Mini, Stüssy and Supreme. Then we carried Nike, Vans and adidas. Back then, I always felt like San Francisco was missing this niche version of streetwear, so that’s what we wanted to bring out there. We filled a void in a city that really wanted it.

Read the entire interview here.

Image Via GOAT

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoeffler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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