June 17, 2024


Clothes that smile

Skateboarding Pro Designed a Worldwide Clothes Model

Ahead of he was 20, Keith Hufnagel experienced attained a skateboarding fantasy: receiving paid to skate by way of sponsorship specials and prize cash from competitions.

Yrs of functioning as a pro, which includes abroad vacation and unlimited picture shoots, persuaded him he required a 2nd career. In 2002, Mr. Hufnagel and his wife at the time, Anne Freeman, pooled their price savings of $30,000, established a outfits model, HUF, and opened a shop in San Francisco, that includes tough-to-uncover fashion objects he experienced noticed while wandering the world.

“We didn’t have a business prepare or anything at all,” he reported in a 2019 interview with the on line retailer Goat. “We just designed it take place.” HUF Around the globe Inc. now has its possess merchants in New York, Los Angeles and Japan, and the brand is also sold by other vendors.

Since 2017, TSI Holdings Co. of Japan has owned HUF.

Mr. Hufnagel, who had been underneath treatment for mind most cancers, died Sept. 24 at his residence in Los Angeles County. He was 46.

He showcased street fashions that appealed to people who would in no way aspiration of hopping on a skateboard or leaping about a fireplace hydrant. “We generally choose treatment of the skate boarders,” he explained to the Guardian in 2011, “but you have to consider of the more substantial picture mainly because now you are advertising to the planet.”

Keith Thomas Hufnagel was born Jan. 21, 1974, in New York, and grew up in the Peter Cooper Village place of Manhattan. His mother was a nurse, and his father labored at a everyday living-insurance firm. Young Keith had his very first skateboard at 4 and started finding significant about the activity in his teenagers.

Keith Hufnagel experimented with ice hockey and BMX bicycle stunt driving but often came back again to the board, even right after chipping two entrance enamel in a single skateboard spill.



Plazas in front of Manhattan banks—equipped with concrete benches, summary sculptures and other road blocks to skate close to or over—became his habitat, the natural conference spot and university for skaters. When he noticed older skaters vault more than objects although maintaining control of their boards with their feet—a trick known as an ollie—“I’m like, I want to do that,” he stated in a movie job interview, “and I was just a tiny rat who was hardly ollieing.”

In the 1980s, he told the Guardian, skateboarding wasn’t trendy in New York. He concealed his board when passing via neighborhoods “where young ones would steal your board and punk you out.”

He tried out ice hockey and BMX bicycle stunt driving but normally arrived back to the board, even soon after chipping two front teeth in one particular skateboard spill. By his late teenagers, he was traveling to Europe for competitions.

Right after graduating from superior faculty, he briefly attended San Francisco State University, then dropped out to emphasis on skating. Regarded for his highly effective ollies, he joined an elite team of skateboarders who make a residing from the activity. His peers bundled fellow New York skaters Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci.

His survivors include things like his wife, Mariellen Hufnagel, their children, his mom and a brother.

HUF apparel sells for premium selling prices. A Place Godzilla tie-dye T-shirt is shown on the internet site at $48, and reflective pants can cost as a lot as $120. Nonetheless Mr. Hafnagel admired the resourcefulness of thrifty skaters who retained their shoes intact with glue.

“Shoes are not affordable and when you are obtaining it for $120,” he explained, “and you are likely by way of it in a week, your dad and mom are not stoked.”

Generate to James R. Hagerty at [email protected]

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