What do skating, the original Chicago house scene, the 90s UK rave scene, and a boys choir all have in common? Not a whole lot really... but if you add them all together and add just a dash (or a whole lot) of irreverent humour, you’ll find the result is one of the biggest names in streetwear today.
Originally known as the Palace Wayward Boys Choir, the name originated from a squatter’s house (home to the OG Palace crew) in London right near the famous Southbank skatepark. As mates joined the group along the way, the name evolved and was eventually stripped back once again to be the brand that we all know and somewhat fear a roasting from today. With their earlier collections of clothing consisting of medusa-head rip-offs (famously worn by Rhi-Rhi) and double Cs from Chanel, Palace have pioneered their own distinguished no f*cks given attitude and transcended it into trend-setting design.
From his humble beginnings as an internet café–based skate blogger and videographer, Palace creator Lev Tanju has really been out here hustling. In an interview between Fergus Purcell (designer for Stussy, Marc Jacobs, and more) and Highsnobiety, it was revealed that Tanju approached the legendary illustrator with an already complete business plan, and the only missing piece was a logo. Soon after that, the instantly recognisable take on the impossible Penrose triangle was born. With some help from London skateboarding institution Slam City Skates, and a little brand called Supreme, the ruthless, hilarious and seemingly unprofessional skate-wear brand become the forefront of street fashion.
The path that Palace skates has been unconventional, unpredictable, and extremely successful. The use of VHS-quality cameras in the 2010s seems ridiculous, placing Mitsubishi pressed contraband on t-shirts could be seen as questionable, and clapping back at customers on the Gram seems like a definite recipe for failure, yet, the London-based brand has people lining up all over the world to sell out garments in record times.
Founded in 2009, Palace has ollied higher and grinded further than many brands, and although their list of collaborators isn’t as long as some – it’s the quality that counts. In fact, the achievements on their wall would destroy any sort of cool-o-meter held against them. So far, they’ve had a Wimbledon champion don their adidas apparel, an internet-breaking collaboration with Ralph Lauren, and a launch party that Susan Sarandon attended. With such an impressive amount of accomplishments in a comparatively short amount of time, we’ve taken the time to bring you a list of their footwear collaborations.