Palace skateboards

Palace skateboards has emerged as one of the most influential streetwear brands of the past decade. With its roots firmly grounded in skate culture, Palace has managed to transcend its niche appeal and become a globally recognized name at the forefront of fashion.

A Brief History of Palace – From Humble Skate Shop to Streetwear Powerhouse

Palace was founded in 2009 by Lev Tanju, a professional skateboarder who opened a small skate shop in London’s Soho neighborhood. Frustrated by the lack of brands catering to skaters, Tanju decided to launch his own clothing label, adopting the name “Palace” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the posh surroundings of his shop.

The fledgling company quickly gained a cult following for its irreverent take on skate fashion, characterized by bold graphics, cheeky slogans, and a distinctly British sense of humor. Palace’s iconic Tri-Ferg logo, featuring a triangular motif said to represent Tanju’s childhood love of dinosaurs, became an instant classic.

As demand grew, Palace opened more London shops and began expanding internationally. Collaborations with major brands like Umbro, Reebok, and Adidas introduced Palace to a wider audience. Today, the brand operates stores globally and drops exclusive collections online and at its retail locations.

Palace Skateboards Shop

Palace’s original London skate shop helped launch the brand to cult success

The Palace Aesthetic – Irreverent, Cheeky Streetwear with Skate Credibility

More than perhaps any other streetwear label, Palace has defined its image through a distinctly British lens. The brand’s graphics frequently feature cheeky slogans, pop culture references, and tongue-in-cheek jabs at class and authority.

Recurrent Palace motifs like the Tri-Ferg logo or its “Ultimo” slogan tee underscore the brand’s skateboarding roots. Yet the label maintains a playful, irreverent edge that resonates in the wider sphere of youth culture and music.

Palace’s apparel captures this aesthetic beautifully. The brand’s hoodies, tees, and caps often feature bold graphics and cheeky illustrations. Past designs have incorporated everything from Renaissance art parodies to pop culture in-jokes.

Palace Streetwear Designs

Examples of Palace’s irreverent take on graphic streetwear designs

Collaborations with artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and photographers like Juergen Teller further cement the label’s cultural cred. For fans, donning Palace threads is a way to telegraph their savvy understanding of street culture.

How Palace Shaped Streetwear and Hype Culture

When Palace emerged in the early 2010s, the streetwear landscape looked very different. Heritage skate brands like Supreme still dominated, while high fashion houses had yet to embrace elements of street style.

Palace arrived at just the right moment to capitalize on this shifting dynamic. As the hype around limited-edition skate brands grew, Palace’s drops became heavily anticipated events. The rapid sell-outs of Palace collections helped fuel the modern streetwear hype machine.

The brand also benefited enormously from its associations with music and celebrity culture. Early fans included artists like Tyler, the Creator who amplified Palace’s cool factor. Today, the brand has been co-signed by stars like Bad Bunny and Rosalía whose fans eagerly snap up exclusive Palace merch.

On the fashion front, Palace’s irreverent sensibility and British roots stood apart from American skate labels. Runway designers increasingly looked to the brand for inspiration, cementing streetwear’s high-low mix as a major trend.

Palace Runway Inspiration

Palace’s aesthetic has influenced major fashion houses and runways

Through its diverse collaborations, inimitable voice, and impeccable timing, Palace helped pioneer much of what defines today’s streetwear scene.

Why Palace Became Collector Catnip

With its limited production runs and coveted collaborations, Palace gear was destined to become collector bait. But the brand’s phenomenal aftermarket success speaks to its cultural cachet.

On resale sites, common Palace tees can sell for triple their retail value. Rare colorways or exclusive collabs can fetch prices in the thousands. In 2021, an uber-rare sample jacket from Palace’s Adidas Originals collection resold for a whopping $35,000 USD.

This collector frenzy stems largely from Palace’s mastery of scarcity. By keeping releases small and sporadic, the brand engineered a hype machine that instantly turns new gear into grails.

But Palace is also obsessively collected because it represents something bigger – a cultural moment, a revolution in how we think about streetwear. For collectors, owning a piece of Palace history is akin to capturing lightning in a bottle.

What’s Next for Palace?

Over ten years in, Palace retains its cool factor and hype. But how can the brand maintain its relevance in an increasingly saturated streetwear space?

Industry watchers predict Palace will ramp up collaborations with handpicked, cred-worthy artists and brands. Pop-up shops and events will continue engaging local communities worldwide.

Interestingly, Palace may also be moving toward wider distribution and accessibility. In 2021, the label was acquired by Carlyle Group, hinting at major expansion plans in the works.

But Palace’s irreverent spirit remains unchanged. As long as the brand balances retail growth with its anti-establishment ethos, it will likely continue leading streetwear into the future.

Conclusion: Palace’s Indelible Mark on Streetwear

In just over a decade, Palace Skateboards has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential names in fashion. Its cheeky, ironic take on skater style has shaped streetwear as we know it today.

By mastering scarcity and hype, Palace engineered an atmosphere of frenzied collecting that revolutionized how streetwear is consumed. And by staying true to its roots, the brand has retained an authenticity that resonates across subcultures.

Palace’s future looks bright, even as streetwear moves into the mainstream. Thanks to its savvy and irreverence, this beloved label seems destined to remain the irrepressible heart of the scene it helped create.

 

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