In Conversation: Hyphen Skate Co.
If you haven't heard of Hyphen then you're missing out. The independent brand does the perfect job in blending fashion with the street culture of skateboarding. Even though its early days for Hyphen you'd be silly to not expect big things for their future.
Where did the idea to start Hyphen come from?
Hyphen is something I have been sitting on for a while, my interest in both skateboarding and media respectively bought me to collate an idea to put both of my interests into one place. The name in essence represents connection with a nice play on words, integrating media and technology which is massively used in not just media but skateboarding as well. I wanted to create a brand which connects not only skaters but all creatives with the likes of fashion, art and music. A childhood dream of running a skate brand and creating my own content that holds it's place in an industry I favour for its outlet and self-expression has drove me to create Hyphen and make this all a reality.
What has been the biggest driving factor for you to start this brand?
The biggest driving factor would be that of pushing skateboarding for what it is. It’s not just about wood and wheels, to a lot of people it’s so much more. The expression that comes with this industry is infatuating and ever-growing, the invitation that it brings is propelling. Creating a platform in which I can express myself and encourage others who have similar interests to express themselves too is dominantly the biggest driving factor I have.
Which of your designs is a personal favourite and where did the inspiration come from?
My design inspiration primarily comes from creating clothes that I would want to wear. As it stands, I’m very much into old-school metal iconography, paying homage to old-fashion and music associated with the genre. I believe inspiration can come from anywhere, so regarding future design it will always be a representation of my interests at the time. My personal favourite so far would the ‘Grim’ tee, one of the first pieces I designed. I feel as though it perfectly represents my current inspiration and just looks HARDD, it goes with any fit.
If you could remove one thing from the face of the earth what would it be and why?
Stigma surrounding skateboarding and self-expression. It is evident there are still out-dated views of what external people such as older generations think of skateboarders. They think we’re a nuisance. In this current age, people are still having to fight norms set by small-minded people and I believe it’s so important to do so. More and more people are battling these views however stigma still exists which creates setbacks for people who just want to fully express themselves. Wear a dressing gown to Asda if you want, it doesn’t matter, what matters is being your authentic self. Stigma not only has an impact on skateboarding but in so many other areas too.
Tell us about the skaters you have on your team.
As it stands, there are two skaters on the team, Finn Naughton & Danny Brown. Their support for the brand and the vision I have has been beyond what I expected from them.
Danny is someone I grew up skating with. I have always looked up to him in terms of skate ability, his persistence with skating and the way he’s strived to push himself into the opportunities us small town kids always dreamed of. It’s sick, having him on the team just feels right.
Finn, I actually only met this past year. I moved away to go to university, so when I came back, I was gassed to see such a sick skater tearing up the local park. He’s one of the chillest guys I know. It was undoubtably a good decision to get him on board, his knack for content and ability was sick to see and the support he has shown has gone a long way in building the brand.
How important do you think it is for brands to be environmentally friendly?
In the current climate, the importance of this is definitely on the rise. Fast-fashion is becoming an increasing problem and it’s something I try really hard to stray from. It’s just so easy to fall into the trap these days, big named brands flog stuff for cheap prices and it’s hard for people to say no.
In my case all of the items sold are printed on demand, we get the order in, make it and ship it. Although this creates a longer process it eliminates any overuse of materials.
We know this is only just the beginning but what do you aim to achieve with future development?
I’ve got a lot of big plans, designing and making skateboards is on the cards for sure, hopefully in the near future. I plan to just expand in any areas that I can, I want to invite more aspects of skateboarding such as music, art etc. I would also like to expand the skate team and get some female skaters involved. I am going to continue pushing the clothing and I hope to collaborate with different brands, artists etc. Supporting creatives and like-minded people will always be a massive motivation for the future of Hyphen.
Ultimately, I want to create a space where everybody no matter what age, gender, different interests they may have a way to use Hyphen to express themselves.
Have you got anything on the works at the moment?
I currently have a few things in the works. Several drops and designs are to come soon with new ideas and supporting content. Making a skate video has always been something on my bucket list. I’m currently planning it for production and release this year, which gives me a lot to look forward to. I am in talks with a couple of different brands for potential collabs which I will talk more about once things are set in stone. As I mentioned earlier, expansion into skate decks and new product styles is definitely of a high interest to me.
I just want to use this year to push Hyphen as much as possible, explore new ideas, break boundaries and have fun whilst doing so.
Hyphen Skate Co. Links