etnies and Grizzly have teamed up on a capsule collection dedicated to withstand the brutality of skateboarding
In exciting news from the world of skate, heritage brand etnies and leading griptape company Grizzly have teamed up to create a capsule collection, based on Chris Joslin and the brutality of skateboarding. The sport is not for the weak of heart, and if anyone knows that, it’s Chris Joslin. One of the biggest influencers in the sport today, and at only 19 years old, has been called “the greatest skateboarder that ever lived” by Erik Bragg, director of Plan B’s TRUE. Joslin’s childhood experiences and rise to the top are just as inspiring, if not more so, than what he can do on a board. In 2014, Chris secured a highly coveted spot on the Plan B team, and killed it in his part for their film, TRUE. In 2015, Joslin was nominated for Skater of the Year, and won Best AM from The Skateboard Mag. He’s consistently been at the top of TransWorld Business’s Exposure Meter, landing at the top in the year-end tally. Always pushing the limits of what man and board can do, Chris’s dedication to the progression of skating was the perfect inspiration for etnies and Grizzly, two of his sponsors, to create their newest line. As etnies puts it, the etniesXGrizzly collection is meant to provide the essentials necessary to survive “A Day in the Life of Chris Joslin.”
The etniesXGrizzly collection is based on living a day in the life of Chris Joslin, something most of us will only ever imagine. This kid is tough, and as etnies and Grizzly know all too well, what he wears has to reflect that. Transworld Business spoke to etnies Vice President James Appleby, Grizzly Co-Founder Sean Apgar, and the man himself, Chris Joslin, about the new etniesXgrizzly collaboration and what it means to them as individuals, their brands, and skaters worldwide.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How did the etniesXgrizzly collaboration come about?
James Appleby: It was a pretty simple process, actually. Based on Chris Joslin being a premium team rider for both of us, I arranged a meeting at the Agenda Tradeshow in Long Beach with Sean - with the help of Kelly Hart- and proposed a concept that would not only support both of the brands, but also give something extra in terms of product and promotion for Joslin. Chris is such a unique powerhouse and we are so proud for him to be part of our brands, that this partnership with etnies and Grizzly made total sense.
Sean Apgar: This came together pretty organically- I've always been a fan of etnies. I bought my first pair from Val Surf in 1992. When James approached me at Agenda Long Beach, it was a no-brainer for me and Grizzly. Joslin is a huge part of the Grizzly Team as well as etnies, and it was an easy play.
What went into the making of this collaboration?
JA: We focused on product inspiration drawing from the 90's black/ white era from Vision and other influential brands. This mixed in with Grizzly's natural street wear influence made the product work really easily across footwear and apparel. We decided to make sure all the pieces made sense to both brands and things that Joslin would wear every day when skating.
SA: We worked closely together on the patterns and logo lockups, and etnies took the lead on product development. It’s been super fun working with the team.
Do you remember how you both first met Chris Joslin?
JA: Joslin came into the etnies world with an air of mystery, to be honest. His name was getting bounced around a lot before we ever got to meet him. Ryan Sheckler and some of the team were pushing hard to get him on etnies, and he was then out filming with Manzoori for his intro part for a month, before I had the pleasure of actually meeting him in person. He was an enigma of only being seen on footage before he came into the office. We are very grateful to the team, and that we went with our gut on embracing Joslin into the etnies family.
SA: I met Chris at the Grizzly Grand Opening. Torey has been talking about him for years. The dude is nuts on a board. I went on a couple missions with him skating after that. We skated one day and Chris landed 3 bangers in one day. I was trippin'. Both him and Torey knocked out some heavy tricks that day.
What does it mean to have Chris Joslin on your team?
JA: Having Joslin on the team can be described best as an expression; in a nutshell, the sound that comes out of me most often is, "F*CK YEAH!" His ability to create content, make his own exposure and authentically connect with the product and the etnies brand is explosive. He is supportive in our product development and innovation, and as his skating develops and his needs increase, it pushes us to make better product and keep innovating.
SA: Chris is the man. He is incredibly easy to work with on both the business and skateboarding end for us. He supports Grizzly 110 percent. You can see that in the streets, magazines, and throughout his footage. Chris is super loyal to the company and Torey's friendship with him makes everything a breeze. We have more projects in the future planned for him.
What can we expect from the etniesXgrizzly collaboration?
JA: You can expect a cohesive footwear and apparel collection that makes sense to Joslin. The collection will include products that he swears by, inspired by what he uses the most. But in terms of marketing, you can expect a true partnership from Grizzly and etnies. With nothing but love from Torey and the Grizzly Team and magic from Manzoori and Joslin for the video part. Not to mention a unique music score by Mario Rubalcaba, Randy Randall and Bionic Ear to support the mood of the video.
SA: Expect quality product. Like James said, this is a true partnership. The video Manzoori filmed is amazing and shows just that.
When is the collaboration available? Where can we find the collection?
JA: The global release of the etniesXgrizzly collaboration will be on June 23, 2016. To celebrate the launch of the collection, etniesXgrizzly will be having a kick-off party at the Grizzly Flagship in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 23 from 6 PM - 10 PM. The products will be available on etnies.com, grizzlygriptape.com and finer skate shops globally.
What does the etniesXgrizzly collaboration mean to you, Chris?
Chris Joslin: I'm stoked on the collaboration because etnies and Grizzly have supported me since day one. The two brands continue to progress and this is just another example of how committed they both are to skateboarding. Thank you to etnies and Grizzly for this amazing opportunity!
Any last words?
SA: Thanks to everyone that contributed to this! Thanks to James for taking lead on the project! Thanks Kelly Hart for always looking out. (Pro Grip Coming Soon)! Haha. Thanks to the design team, sales, marketing. Thanks Manzoori! Thanks Torey and the #grizzlygang. Let's roll.
JA: Just to say Thank you to Torey and Sean for having the vision to partner with etnies and support us as much as they have. A Thank You to all the team behind the scenes making it all happen across our product, marketing, film and photography team; the unsung heroes. And of course a special thank you to Chris for being part of the skate team and an inspiration to us. The future is exciting and we are psyched to be part of it. #BuiltbySkateboarding