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The new chapter of THAMESMMXX, Blondey McCoy's skate brand

Palace former pro skater has unveiled the 'Boarders' collection

The new chapter of THAMESMMXX, Blondey McCoy's skate brand Palace former pro skater has unveiled the 'Boarders' collection

Blondey McCoy is eclectic, it's hard to define him in just a few words, especially because it represents everything that is at the same time mainstream and subculture in today's fashion world. 

His life - and his career - are closely connected to London, specifically the Southbank. In the early '00s, he started skating with the so-called 'Palace Wayward Boys Choir'super young kids that dropped out of school and spent their days skating and partying. They all lived in a dilapidated South London apartment, ironically dubbed Palace, led by Lev Tanju who in 2009 officially founded Palace Skateboards, the perfect synthesis between those years' aesthetic and the Italian fashion of the '80s and '90s. The faces of the Palace rebel boys, that turbulent, intense, highly fascinating lifestyle was perfectly captured in Alasdair McLellan's pictures, the artist that more than anyone else was able to portray the English scene of those years, with its outskirts, skate, and music, through a language halfway between documentary and fashion. Thanks to Palace, McCoy becomes a pro skater. 

As with skateboarding, I don’t care to remember much of life before it.

McCoy doesn't remember exactly when he started skating, but since the beginning that deck is much more than just a means to land a trick, for Blondey it becomes the canvas to express his creativity. As with skateboarding, McCoy has a hard time remembering when Thames was created, his brand that in these days returns with a new collection and a new artistic direction. At 14 years old, during a trip to NYC, McCoy buys his first skate deck, and as soon as he got home he covered it with Thames stickers. 

The board wall served as my introduction to art, the type that seemed to seek no approval and need no validation – an attitude more compatible with the school of skateboarding than with actual school. 

The bond with the art world grows even during the years where McCoy is Palace sponsored. Starting from 2015 his creativity translates into two annual Thames collections, lookbooks, collaborations (it was a great success the one with Fred Perry) and retailing. More or less in the same period, Blondey put together his first exhibition, for him a new and unprecedented way to express his creativity, and since that first one also all the other retrospectives were accompanied by a dedicated merch, simply dubbed Blondey

Last January Blonder announced he was going to put Thames in a hiatus, and a few months later he bid farewell to Palace. He keeps expressing his creativity in other exhibitions, along with the merch, but meanwhile, he was signed with Kate Moss model agency, he starred in a Burberry campaign and walked in the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. A few days ago Blondey himself announced the return of Thames, renowned for its phase 3, under the name THAMESMMXX, which aspires to be a fully-fledged skate brand. 

In this sense, I was looking for a team of art directors as much as a skate team. That the riders meet these rather specific criteria, of being shit-hot skateboarders who are also creatively driven, is essential to my utopian dream for a skateboard company. It is the reason that the THAMES skate team consists of Sam Sitayeb and myself. 

The new collection goes under the title Boarders, and once again draws inspiration from McCoy's life: the items of the collection recall, in fact, the uniform Blondey used to wear in his school - before he was asked to leave it. The standout piece is unquestionably the knit sweater, featuring red trim on the collar/cuffs and a large embroidered Thames crown logo. The collection features moreover classic skate brand pieces such as graphic T-shirts, crewnecks, shorts, socks, and of course skate decks. 

Blondey McCoy's choice to revamp his brand, above all with these premises, makes his vision even more interesting and contemporary, in a fashion industry that has seen the attention and the interest towards the skate scene and aesthetic grow to the exceed, not always representing its values in the best way. 

The first pieces of the THAMESMMXX Boarders collection will be available from Monday, October 7 on the brand's website