Are skate brands being “hijacked” by mainstream media
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Controversy has been seeping into the skate community concerning whether or not something should be done to defend against the appropriation of skate culture.
It’s difficult to determine whether it’s appropriate for non-skaters to wear iconic skate brands like Thrasher.
The three retailers, who have a combined pull of over 4,500 stores, perpetuate ignorance of skate culture by bringing stolen fonts and logos to a nationwide arena of consumers.
This iconography isn’t always recognized as stolen, so consumers who purchase these items unintentionally perpetuate the ignorance of the clothing’s origins.
This isn’t the first time that so-called “skate appropriation” has occurred.
Vogue Skate Week was a prime example of skate culture being hijacked by the mainstream media.
There have been signs of complete disregard to learning about the culture as well. An article from Vogue in June 2016 coined the term “flip kick,” solidifying their alienation from the culture.
Vogue produced a number of skate-themed articles for the week supposedly dedicated to skating. One even highlighted “Gosha Rubchinskiy’s New Skate-Scented Fragrance.” If it doesn’t smell like sweat, asphalt, and pad see ew, then I highly doubt it’s even remotely “skate-scented.”
Key members of the culture found the idea of “Vogue Skate Week” to be wholly inauthentic.
The Grand Poo-bah of skating, Thrasher editor-in-chief Jake Phelps, voiced his concerns in an interview with Hypebeast.
As Phelps eloquently stated in response to the Thrasher’s rise in the fashion industry, “We don’t send boxes to Justin Bieber or Rihanna or those f—-ing clowns.”
In the end, each person has the freedom to make the decision whether or not to wear skate brands like Thrasher. There’s no skate or die rulebook saying that Thrasher is off-limits to anyone who can’t at least ollie off a curb.
The issue of appropriation only arises when people wear the brand just because it looks “cool,” making no attempt to learn about its origins and history.
If it’s unclear whether or not it’s appropriate for you to be wearing Thrasher, this quote by Phelps may sum up the answer.
“The pavement is where the real s–t is. Blood and scabs, does it get realer than that?”