Words: Brian Blakely
Photos: Aaron Smith
HUF recently posted a photo on Instagram of two hipster girls with the names, “Dylan” and “Austyn” on their shirts. With that subtle introduction, Dylan Rieder and Austyn Gillette were officially HUF’s newest riders causing the skateboarding world to once again break out into question. Why? What? How? Before we knew it, this duo was sitting soundly on one of skateboarding’s few remaining skater-owned shoe companies, and in tasteful fashion. Hear what Austyn had to say about making the switch and why HUF proved to be a better fit over some of these current larger-scaled skateboarding shoe brands.
So the big question is how and why did this all go down? Were you and Dylan planning to ride for the same company all along?
I’ve been getting this question a lot as of late and to sum it up I would say that it was a real easy decision. I was talking to a few other companies as well as Dylan and we came to the agreement that we wanted to both ride for the same company. I realized that this wasn’t going to be possible with the companies we were both talking to at the time, so I gave HUF a ring and here we are now. The idea for both of us to ride for the same company was the plan the whole time, but it was just matter of finding the right fit as far as companies go.
HUF doesn’t seem like the type of brand that will force you to rock huge logo t-shirts during Street League like other shoe brands, is this part of the reason why you chose them?
I chose HUF because it is one of the last skater-owned brands. In this day in age, it can be very difficult to find a company where your boss actually skates and understands where you are coming from. I believe that advertising a brand that you are sponsored by can be achieved in a more tasteful fashion.
Why did you choose HUF over some of these larger-scale brands like Cons, Adidas and Nike? Seems like they’re snatching everyone these days, did they make you any offers?
I think being hands on with a company and having voice in a company is worth more than anyone can offer.
Do you have any pro models or collections in the works?
You’ll have to wait and see.
How do you feel about Keith’s vision with the brand? It seems like because it’s still fairly new that there’s plenty of room to grow?
Keith as a person and skateboarder has successfully proven that a simple thing done well will always carry more weight and longevity. I feel that HUF as a brand has a lot of room for growth and I’m excited to be a part of something that represents pure skateboarding and nothing else. In the end that is why we are all here.