In our 11.2 issue we had a chance to share adidas Skateboarding's 15 year tribute to team rider, Mark Gonzales. To celebrate his contribution to the company's skate family, a special collection of footwear and apparel has been created, inspired by The Gonz' illustrations and creative influence. We decided to take a closer look at what he and the designers at adidas came up with.
Ealier this year, adidas released Mark's first pro model shoe and also had their designers collaborate with him on a special clothing collection, which he personally helped develop. “This collection was a true collaboration with Mark," said adidas Action Sport Design Director, Katie Becker. "Not only did we get his graphic input, but he actually worked directly with us on all cut and sew pieces. It’s definitely inspired by his wardrobe or things he wanted to add."
[ o ] Benjamin Deberdt
Mark has spent many years living and skating in California and New york. However, the brainstorming phase for the collection took place in Paris, where he met with the adidas designers. This explains why the collection has a surprisingly European feel. The famous king, Louis The XIV, holds the title of longest ruler of France. Gonzales' collection was obviously inspired by this theme.
“The colour inspiration behind the special collection Gonz Pro was to make it red, white and blue and then heavy on the black–much like the wardrobe of the 1700’s of France, like Louis the XIV.” - Mark Gonzales
During his time in Paris, Mark met with adidas designer Devin Ryan in a cafe. Mark was admiring Devin's sketchbook drawings of cats. When they all met up the next day, Devin said "he passed us his sketch book and said. 'I saw your drawings of your cats so I decided to draw some cats.' It was a trip." That's how the Skate Kat t-shirt was created. It was that simple... Meow.
GONZ "SKATE KAT" TEE — MODEL# G85000
When we asked adidas apparel designers why there was almost no mention of the word "skateboarding" on most of the pieces, they responded by saying, "The clothing is relevant to more than just skate consumers. It's still part of the skate collection, but it's more focused on the relationship of Mark and adidas. This is a similar approach to other signature collections within the brand. We make it all about the personality."
[ o ] Joe Brook
The Gonz' charming personality is well documented. "After dinner in a restaurant in central London, we were just paying the bill," says adidas Canadian Team Manager, Kevin Lowry, "All of a sudden, Mark started skating in the restaurant. My first reaction was pure shock, and then everyone started cheering and clapping as he skated. I could not believe my eyes, especially the fact that no one minded. He almost has a way with people to just get away with anything. Purely harmless action but most people would not get away with such a cheeky move."
[ o ] Sem Rubio
adidas Skateboarding is proud to call The Gonz part of the team, not only for the past 15 years of adventure, but for having such an impact on what skateboarding is today. The rest of the collection can be viewed in their Lookbook and in the exclusive release that took place in Berlin.
Collect the summer issue of Color that includes a six-page Gonz retrospective, featuring the legendary stories and iconic photos from the five photographers who have worked the closest with him.