We’re still fascinated by Palace. It’s the only brand outside of Supreme to truly transcend skateboarding into the world of mainstream fashion. The fact that its namesake was a London flophouse remains one of our favorite aspects of its story considering the exclusivity of its high-profile collaborations with Ralph Lauren, Mercedes Benz, etc. And Lev has consistently made us laugh year after year since The PWBC Weekly News days. Noah Johnson does a fantastic job of putting it all into perspective with his latest profile for GQ.
And there’s a twinkle in his eye as he recalls the Ralph Lauren collaboration. That pairing had followed other successful partnerships—with Umbro, on a reproduction of an old English football shirt, and with Reebok, on a couple of pairs of trainers—and together those projects spoke to the very essence of Palace’s identity: that they could be more than just a skate brand, and that a skate brand could be about more than just skating. Skaters in New York had taken cues from hip-hop and basketball culture and flipped them to make something of their own, and Tanju was bringing the worlds of English house music and football into skateboarding. In doing so, he created a skate brand that could act as a platform for his biggest dreams and a world of new opportunities for the skaters who mattered most to him. “There was nothing that Lev was interested in that he thought Palace couldn’t be,” says Fergus Purcell, his longtime graphic designer. “He had the instinct that other people could relate to. And he almost had a fuck-you attitude to the skate industry as it stood, because it actually closed lots of doors in a kind of bullshit way.”
Read the entire piece here.