April 21, 2024


Normal is boring

Skateboarding Professional Crafted a Global Clothing Model

Right before he was 20, Keith Hufnagel experienced reached a skateboarding fantasy: having paid to skate by means of sponsorship deals and prize money from competitions.

A long time of doing work as a pro, together with overseas travel and infinite photograph shoots, persuaded him he essential a second profession. In 2002, Mr. Hufnagel and his spouse at the time, Anne Freeman, pooled their price savings of $30,000, established a garments manufacturer, HUF, and opened a retail store in San Francisco, that includes really hard-to-obtain trend objects he experienced spotted although wandering the world.

“We did not have a company program or anything at all,” he claimed in a 2019 interview with the on line retailer Goat. “We just created it happen.” HUF Globally Inc. now has its individual retailers in New York, Los Angeles and Japan, and the brand is also marketed by other vendors.

Considering that 2017, TSI Holdings Co. of Japan has owned HUF.

Mr. Hufnagel, who had been under procedure for mind cancer, died Sept. 24 at his residence in Los Angeles County. He was 46.

He showcased road fashions that appealed to people today who would never dream of hopping on a skateboard or leaping over a fireplace hydrant. “We constantly acquire care of the skateboarders,” he instructed the Guardian in 2011, “but you have to imagine of the even bigger image simply because now you are promoting to the world.”

Keith Thomas Hufnagel was born Jan. 21, 1974, in New York, and grew up in the Peter Cooper Village spot of Manhattan. His mother was a nurse, and his father labored at a life-coverage business. Young Keith experienced his very first skateboard at 4 and commenced having severe about the sport in his teens.

Keith Hufnagel tried using ice hockey and BMX bicycle stunt using but normally came back again to the board, even soon after chipping two front teeth in one particular skateboard spill.



Plazas in entrance of Manhattan banks—equipped with concrete benches, abstract sculptures and other obstructions to skate about or over—became his habitat, the purely natural assembly put and university for skaters. When he noticed older skaters vault around objects though sustaining manage of their boards with their feet—a trick known as an ollie—“I’m like, I want to do that,” he mentioned in a video interview, “and I was just a tiny rat who was hardly ollieing.”

In the 1980s, he informed the Guardian, skateboarding was not stylish in New York. He concealed his board when passing via neighborhoods “where youngsters would steal your board and punk you out.”

He tried ice hockey and BMX bicycle stunt driving but often came back to the board, even just after chipping two front tooth in one particular skateboard spill. By his late teenagers, he was touring to Europe for competitions.

Just after graduating from higher college, he briefly attended San Francisco Point out University, then dropped out to aim on skating. Recognised for his impressive ollies, he joined an elite team of skateboarders who make a living from the sport. His peers integrated fellow New York skaters Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci.

His survivors incorporate his spouse, Mariellen Hufnagel, their young children, his mom and a brother.

HUF apparel sells for top quality prices. A Space Godzilla tie-dye T-shirt is detailed on the web site at $48, and reflective trousers can cost as a great deal as $120. Still Mr. Hafnagel admired the resourcefulness of thrifty skaters who stored their shoes intact with glue.

“Shoes are not affordable and when you are acquiring it for $120,” he mentioned, “and you’re heading as a result of it in a week, your parents are not stoked.”

Generate to James R. Hagerty at [email protected]

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