Supra going out of business was one of the bigger stories from the end of 2019. Erik Ellington was a founding member of the brand that left before it hit its lowest point. He provides some insight into why he departed, and the brand ultimately failed, starting at the 1:14:15 mark of the latest episode of The Bunt.
There was a stage of buyouts that happened where there was some capital investment that came in, and bought out some of the original partners. It was kind of ramped up to sell. Then, it sold to a retail group. When that happened, it was sort of the beginning of the end. They started implementing a lot of their employees into the mix. [ A skate company is] something that comes from a creative aspect. It’s an art project. Skateboarding is such an expression of the way we do something as opposed to someone that’s trained at MIT to come in, and do that job.
Once that part of it is cut out, and all of these formal employees come in thinking they know how to edit a video, or put out this content, or drive this revenue… all this other bullshit. That was a very bad sign. It started to look very unattractive to me. At the time, it was a large part of my income. But I was like, “Fuck, this is looking a little weird.” I started thinking about what I wanted to do outside of that. I had some ideas. Then, there was a second group that came in, and bought it out… It looked so awful. It was the opposite of what we started, and the worst possible thing. I was like, “You know what? I don’t give a fuck how much money I’m getting paid. I quit.”
Listen to the entire interview above.