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The Complete Guide To Palace Skateboards

Everything you need to know about the London brand

The  Complete Guide To Palace Skateboards Everything you need to know about the London brand

If someone asked you what the Penrose Triangle is, most of you (myself included) would not know how to answer, unless you have done some high-level geometry studies. I'll tell you, after reading it of course:

"The Penrose Triangle or the impossible tribar is a triangular impossible object, an optical illusion consisting of an object which can be depicted in a perspective drawing, but cannot exist as a solid object."

But I'm equally sure that if I showed it to you, you would all say the same thing: "But that's the Palace logo!"

Palace Skateboards is for sure the English streetwear brand that has been more successful than the others outside the United Kingdom, becoming one of the most well-known, recognizable and hyped brands in the world. We have therefore decided to write down a complete guide, telling you about the origins, connections, key characters, references and all the useful information on how and when to buy Palace.

 

The Origins

It all starts in an apartment near Waterloo station south of the Thames, in London, towards the end of the '00s, where Lev Tanju and his skater friends lived. In reality that was not an apartment but a real point of reference for all the UK skaters, the boys had formed a skater family. The apartment in question was falling to pieces, it was filthy and nobody in their right mind would have enjoyed living there but for 100 dollars a month it was fat that ran off given the prices of current London and the time. The conditions of that house inspired the boys that a bit 'to defuse their condition and a bit' ironically renamed the apartment The Palace and its tenants became "Palace Wayward Boys Choir". Many of those who lived at the Palace had established a bond that went beyond mere friendship and decided to tattoo the initials of that nickname that distinguished them but above all shared them, PWBC. Lev is the son of a former Turkish professional footballer and an English woman who owned a restaurant in Clapham, in south-west London - when Jack Nicholson was in town that was where he used to go to eat. Right next door there's the iconic Southbank skate park where the kids spent their days, skated for days without stopping, ate junk food and partied every time there was a chance; enterprising and talented skaters, thanks to the intuition of one of them, who would soon change their lives forever.

Lev Tanju founded Palace in 2009 and within 10 years the brand is a phenomenon - I think it is useless to tell you why this name was chosen. A relatively young brand but already a leader in skate wear, it sits at the same table with Supreme, BAPE and Stussy, strongly characterized by the background of Lev and the others who managed to maintain a strong British flare that makes Palace a brand different from the others, with a very strong identity.

 

The 'Tri-Ferg'

After choosing the name, which was very simple, there was a logo to be designed to reflect the experience of the "The Palace rebel boys", which was not easy at all but Tanju was on the safe side. He chose an extraordinary illustrator, Fergus Purcell aka "Fergadelic" who besides having designed the logos for his brands Tonite and Silas, had already worked with Stussy. Tanju went to Purcell with a precise idea and a strategy that Fergadelic made his own immediately and turned it into the logo known as "Tri-Ferg". An evolution of the Penrose Triangle (see above) by Oscar Reuters that presented, and still presents, the word Palace on each side of the triangle. Perfect.

 

Palace Clothing

If there is a recognizable brand immediately this is Palace. The references are precise and are those of Italian high fashion of the late '90s (Moschino, Versace, etc.) which were then the brands that characterized the British Club Culture of those years. Think of the first tee released by Palace and designed by Lev with the famous jellyfish symbol of Versace, or the references to cult films, also from the 90s, as Terminator by James Cameroon. Most of the Palace collections are extremely "simple": tracksuits, sweatshirts, tracksuits and technical pants, popular and immediate items that reflect the aesthetics and the idea with which the brand was born and the personality of the founder and the lives of the boys of The Palace.

 

The Skate Team

When the boys still lived at The Palace and were the rebel boys' choir, there was an idea that dominated Lev's thoughts: he wanted to be able to make enough money to pay his friends, roommates, brothers to skate. They all wanted to be pro-skaters to stop worrying about how to pay those 100 dollars a month and keep partying every day like they used to. In the end, they made it with the likes of Blondey McCoy, Lucien Clarke and Benny Fairfax who were an integral part of Palace's first skate team.

 

The Music

The connections between the brand founded by Lev and the music are very strong. Will Bankhead was a tenant of The Palace as well as a skater, but he also had another passion besides skate, music. He designed the first boards for the brand but being perhaps the most prepared person of England on dance music, he decided to found his own independent record label: The Trilogy Tapes. A Vinyl was also released in collaboration between Trilogy and Palace: CHICAGO DETROIT LONDON.

 

The Collaborations

Wimbledon is in chronological order, the third Grand Slam seasonal tournament but without a doubt the one with more charm than Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open as well as the oldest and most prestigious. Wimbledon is the history of tennis: rain, strawberries with cream, absurd hats and the obligation for tennis players to wear exclusively white technical clothing. It comes by itself that winning on the English grass means surrendering to history, well: on July 14th, 2018 Palace won Wimbledon. In reality, it was German, Angelique Kerber who won the symbolic plate of victory in the women's tournament and did so by wearing the adidas x Palace.

A collaboration that attests that the two brands have been connected for years now and that over time they have become part of one another. Something more than a simple collaboration, the two "souls" have merged, mixing the origins of the two brands: Palace's skate culture and the cultural heritage of the adidas Originals and the study of the German brand's technical materials. 

Last in chronological order is the collaboration with Ralph Lauren. At first glance, they would seem two very distant brands: One born in 1967 in the United States and a symbol of preppy fashion, the other recently founded and the emblem of skatewear. If you want to know everything about a job that only has cultural implications of absolute level, we refer you to the article that we published at the launch.

These are only two of the collaborations that Palace has created over the years. Don't forget even those with Umbro and Reebok Classic.

 

The Shops

When Supreme opened the London store in 2011, inside you could only find another brand besides the one founded by James Jebbia, indeed Palace. In 2015, the first shop arrived, at Brewer Street in London, with the black and white scalloped marble flooring that recalls the taste and aesthetics of the brands to which Lev was inspired at the time of the foundation. Italian high fashion we said at the beginning, Moschino, Versace, Prada, those same branches that were an expression of the fashion linked to the Garage music of the end of 2000.

26 BREWER STREET
LONDON W1F 0SW
020 7287 5048
MON-SAT: 11-7  SUNDAY: 12-6

The second arrived two years later, in New York. The choice of the second "outpost" Palace was simple, the Big Apple is the capital of streetwear and home of the largest skate brand - but not only - in the world, Supreme. The scene is dominated by a large P-shaped fountain with a cherub in the centre peeing while holding a P, inception of references! Marble floor here too, a wall adorned with a large velvet flag and a gigantic video wall.

49 HOWARD STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10013
212-933-1573
MON-SAT: 11-7  SUNDAY: 12-6

Four months ago we told you about Palace's third flagship store, in Tokyo - the first in Japan - opened on November 3rd, 2018. The opening of the opening was preceded by the FW18 lookbook shot by Jurgen Teller in the Japanese capital and by a psychedelic video starring one of the faces that best reflects the Palace aesthetic, Jonah Hill.

5-9-20 JINGUMAE
SHIBUYA-KU
TOKYO 150-0001
03-6427-2587
MONDAY-SUNDAY: 11-8

 

The Drops

We have already explained to you how the droplets in the Supreme guide work which we advise you to reopen in case you missed something.

On-Line: Palace, unlike Supreme, drops on Friday but always at 12:00. As with Supreme, buying a Palace item has become very difficult given the enormous success of the brand and the hype that surrounds it right now. Everything we told you about Supreme also applies to Palace: you arrive prepared with the items you want to buy, ready with a credit card and good luck.

In Store: Get ready, on Friday morning it's very difficult to get into one of the 3 stores in the world. You will find a row to which you will have to refer, here no precedence or entry on booking; at Palace, you do the old way: you line up (often they are quite long) you wait for your turn and when it is time you enter. Once inside you will not be treated "badly" like in the Supreme stores, also because one of the fundamental things that Lev's mother taught him is good editing first of all. When customers come in they say good morning, they ask themselves if they need help but without becoming petulant or obsequious and when they leave they greet each other with respect; Mom's teachings always come in handy.

 

Where and how to buy Supreme at resell price

Same story as Supreme. The items fly away in record time and the resell remains the only way. Increased prices and the risk of buying fakes are two of the difficulties encountered when entering the murky world of the market but to avoid unpleasant surprises these are the sites where to buy with confidence:

  1. Grailed
  2. StockX
  3. GOAT
  4. depop

In addition to the classic marketplace sites, there are real communities on Facebook where you can sell and buy with discrete security but we suggest, in case you are buying an item from a private seller, to ask within the group, for a "legit check" - acronym LC- which consists in verifying the product's authenticity. Trust only when many users have given their positive opinion on the subject of the legitimacy check and in case you do not trust it, then forget it. We suggest a few groups to subscribe to:

  1. Palace Italia
  2. Palace Talk EU
  3. Palace Drop Talk UK/EU
  4. Laced Up Community

 

We hope to have been exhaustive in telling you the story of one of the most hyped brands in the world and letting you know more about both the origins and how to buy Palace when and where.