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From The Thames To Turin: The Rise Of Palace Skateboards

Sanj Patel
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The history of Palace Skateboards started with a vision from Lev Tanju, a vision that would lead to a collaboration with one of the biggest football clubs in Europe.

Launching back in 2009, Palace Skateboards has been undoubtedly the UK’s biggest skate export, standing against the likes of Supreme, Stussy and BAPE as one of the leading brands in streetwear. A living embodiment of London’s skate scene, Palace is best known for its skateboard inspired clothing, references to popular culture and its unique history. The story all began in the late ’00s when Lev Tanju and his friends, who all happened to be skaters, were living in a flat close to Waterloo station on the south side of the River Thames. Being skaters, they were in perfect proximity to the iconic Southbank skate park which has been the heart beat of London skate culture since the 1970s. At the time the group were squatting in the flat and named themselves the ‘Palace Wayward Boys’ Choir’. When Tanju decided to set up a label, the name seemed obvious to him and thus the beginnings of Palace goes back to his squatting years.

Palace Skateboards Lev Tanju

Above: The history of Palace Skateboards started with Lev Tanju pictured at a Slam Jam anniversary pop up event from 2014.

Palace Skateboards quickly established itself as one of the top London skate brands becoming just as popular for its apparel as its ‘not taking itself too seriously’ attitude. Fast forward to today and any Palace piece is instantly recognisable. The brand reflects a nostalgic look back at the Nineties, especially with regards to popular culture & skating and has since moved onto sell out collections and highly anticipated clothing and sneaker drops. The London born streetwear brand is also well known for its collaborations with the likes of Umbro, Rebook Classics and more recently, the Juventus football team with adidas.

.History of Palace Skateboards Juventus

Above: The Juventus inspired Palace Palazzo knitted top with ‘MiniRisc’ sponsorship from 2017.

Rumours of the pair’s team up first started circulating in early May 20119, which was then followed by a surprise unveiling during Juventus’ fixture against Genoa in October 2019 and an official look book launched at the start of last month. Back in 2017 Palace also introduced a Juventus inspired football shirt with the Palace Palazzo knitted shirt which drew inspiration from the Turin team’s signature black and white striped kit. The shirt referenced the MiniDisk sponsored Juventus shirts from the 1997-98 season, swapping MiniDisc for MiniRisc in typical Palace fashion. Perhaps it was this hyped drop from 2017 that would put Palace on the path to the Allianz Stadium in 2019.

Palace Skateboards x Juventus

Above: The Palace Skateboards x Juventus collection which launched in November 2019.

Inspired by adidas’ kit template from the 2006 World Cup, the Palace x Juventus collection included a range of training jerseys, tracksuits, pullovers, accessories, and a special-edition kit. The new kit featured neon hits of green on the Juventus badge, mismatching sleeves, names, numbers, and the Palace x adidas crest on the right chest. Over on the training tops, the item dropped in either a black or white colourways and also incorporates the neon green that we see on the kit. On the back large Palace branding has been placed between adidas’ Three Stripes and a Jeep logo, Juventus’ main sponsor. Smaller pieces in the collection also include a co-branded football, beanie, backpack, scarf, hats and goalkeeper gloves.

BAPE x PSG Streetwear Football

Above: The PSG x BAPE football collection which dropped in 2018.

This isn’t the first time that a streetwear brand has collaborated with a football team however. Last year, PSG unveiled their latest collaboration with Japanese street wear giants BAPE, signifying a new streetwear shift for professional football clubs. Expect more from major super clubs to drop over the coming years. Football clubs are now less worried about isolating the fans of decades and more concerned with the huge untapped markets in Asia and the US where football has not only found the masses but brought with it a level of ‘cool’. Before the new found streetwear connection, football had never really managed to capture this new hype culture.

Palace x Reebok Ripple-Soled Workout Mid Sneaker

Above: The Palace x Reebok Ripple-Soled Workout Mid Sneaker

Fans of Palace will also be pleased to know that more recently Palace announced they would be re-uniting with Reebok again to create the ‘Ripple-Soled Workout Mid Sneaker’ in a trio of colourways. The sneaker is shown in bold tones of blue, red and yellow, complete with matching translucent outsoles and laces. Palace’s signature logo features on the heel of each shoe and “PALACE” is embossed below the D ring eyelets and extra-tall tongue for the chillier months. The history of Palace Skateboards might have started in a London squat but it just goes to show with the right vision, design and team around you, anything is possible in the world of streetwear!

 

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