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INTERVIEWS

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

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.

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Read the entire interview here.

Image Via GOAT

INTERVIEWS

Shecks Guests on the Latest ‘The Nine Club’ Episode

Pro skater Ryan Sheckler talks about growing up in Southern California, starting skateboarding at the tender age of two, his over two decades of career, and his personal struggles in the latest podcast episode of “The Nine Club”.

He also discusses starting his skateboarding company, the Sandlot Times, and the story behind the name.

The Nine Club is a skateboarding podcast started and hosted by professional skateboarder Chris Roberts in 2016. The show is co-hosted by Roger Bagley and Kelly Hart.

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INTERVIEWS

Vans Skateboarding Drops ‘Lizzie’ Video

Get to know more about Lizzie Armanto through the lens of the persons closest to her in this 35 mm film directed by renowned filmmaker Greg Hunt and presented by Vans Skateboarding.

Lizzie is an X Games gold medalist (Barcelona, 2013) and the first-ever woman to make it to the cover of Transworld Skateboarding in 2016.

She was also the first female skateboarder to do the loop, a 360-degree vertical ramp on which the rider turns completely upside down while maintaining contact between the wheels of the skateboard and the ramp’s surface.

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INTERVIEWS

New Episode of ‘Neighborhoods’ features Leo Heinert and Marco Hernandez

The second episode of “Neighborhoods” featuring pro skateboarder Leo Heinert and photographer Marco Hernandez is now live on the Jenkem Mag channel.

Heinert and Hernandez toured the back of the Boston Market parking lot, Gifford Playground, Greencroft Playground, and their other childhood spots in their hometown Staten Island with the Jenkem team.

Produced by Jenkem Mag, “Neighborhoods” is a series where skaters revisit their old stomping grounds and share stories of growing up in their communities.

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