Don’t Do It is a slogan/campaign Consolidated Skateboards popularized more then a decade ago. In response to Nike’s attempted, failed, then re-launched entrance to the skateboard industry.
Yesterday I posted some iPath Grasshoppers on the blog and referenced how long they have been making Vegan skate shoes and the fact that the brand was recently sold again. Shortly after posting I read an interview Chris Nieratko did with Ryan Lay about leaving iPath. If you haven’t kept count the brand was acquired by a design and licensing company called KloneLab. What a name. How Appropriate.
Chris points out in his interview the death of and co-opting of some core skate brands by larger sports distributers and mega-companies. They see skateboarding as a trend or growth market and have little to no longterm interest in the “sport.” The core brands on the other hand are rooted in skateboarding with their employees part of the culture. As skateboarders we generally don’t look at what we do as a trend or have much interest in seeing the industry grow in an unsustainable way.
While I have not posted Nike, I will probably still post iPaths if they offer nice Vegan skateboard shoes. Though in the interview with Chris, Ryan mentions that iPath is slated to be a “lifestyle brand.” If that sounds familiar, it may be because a few weeks ago Simple, the one time skateboard shoe manufacture called it quits as a company. Now I’m not going to make an argument that skateboarding could have or would have saved Simple. However i have a feeling its not long before iPath goes down the same route. Bummer. Maybe iPath/KloneLab can branch out into soap shoes and heelies. Free-style walking I hear is making a comeback.
I am very disappointed to hear that ipath was purchased by the aforementioned “klonelab” and i hope their fate isn’t like that of simple shoes.
I used to support ipath in the beginning. I had the cricket, grasshopper and 1985. But I haven’t really been able to get behind the company in the last 5 years because their priorities obviously shifted.
Only time will tell.
I think Nike SB were doing something decent, raising the profile of skaters to be on par with the Tiger Woods in their marketing. And by supporting independent skate shops.
Talking to one owner, they said that Nike has been trying this for 15 years and genuinely cares. But with the launch of the Paul Rodriguez spin off brand, and recent 6.0 incorporation of SB designs I think it’s going to be the end of the good will. They’re clearly looking to make SB designed products mass market shoes, maybe throwing skate shops a bone in the form of limited edition dunks that hipsters, not skaters go crazy for. I don’t exclude myself from that group owning the denim dunks they dropped last February.
I still resent them for putting leather piping on the canvas Janoski shoes. Long term I see Janoski and Koston 6.0 shoes being in malls, 20% cheaper than skate shops, because they’ve got the bulk buying power. I know most skaters, and their parents will probably go for the cheaper option instead of ‘supporting their local’.