Deciding the graphics for Alphabet Soup start the minute you start thinking about a new collection. Inspiration comes from everywhere. A billboard you drive past, a graffiti piece on a wall that happens to catch your eye, or a movie that happens to resonate with you. Designing for a wide age range such as 1-12 is no easy feat! It has to be cool enough for a 12 year old to wear, but also speak to a level of a 1 year old. This is why we create most of our graphics in house and put a lot of effort and thought into it.
For this Summer collection we hopped into a Delorean and set the date back to 1973 and arrived on the sleepy streets of Venice Beach, California. In the 1970s, surfing was a counterculture sport, frowned upon by much of mainstream society. This was the birthplace of the Z-Boys.
The Z-Boys got their start in 1973, when Jeff Ho and others opened Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions in Venice Beach. The first Z-Boy was Nathan Pratt, then fourteen years old. He was hired to work at the shop, and became an apprentice surfboard maker and the founding member of what would become the Z-Boys.
By 1974, this group of teenagers also included Allen Sarlo, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Chris Cahill, and Stacy Peralta. These surfers were notorious around Dogtown for being a rough-and-tumble crowd who dominated the surf. During a drought in the mid 1970s, the Z-Boys took their boards to empty pools, skating on the sides. It was during this time that the technique of coming out of the “bowl” and re-entering was discovered; the Z-Boys had invented aerial skateboarding.
Tony Alva photographed by Craig Stecyk
Our Spring Drop 1 entitled 'Locals Only' pays a homage back to this era, when the Z-Boys skated dried up backyard pools all summer long, inventing new tricks and writing history in the hot Californian sun. We hope you enjoy this collection and take your new threads on some great summer adventures, finding your own thrills where ever they may be!