Interview: Made For Skate 10th Anniversary at House of Vans London
Made For Skate just launched its 10th anniversary edition – updated with over 200 new pages – at the House of Vans in London. What began as a travelling exhibition of thrashed sneakers, has became the go-to source of skate knowledge in print. Sneaker Freaker caught up with Juergen, one of the masterminds behind the seminal skate shoe tome.
Congratulations on 10 years of Made For Skate! How are you and the team feeling about the new book?
Thanks, we feel great for the special edition! It’s a dream come true to re-visit a project after such a long time, and adding so much new content we didn’t have available 10 years ago.
This is a reworking of the original book, with over 200 new pages of thrashed skate shoes! Are the additions mostly old-school pairs, or new styles from the past decade?
We were able to add so much to the collection, like a 1960s Randy shoebox with a great tagline: The ‘Action’ Sneaker. There is also heaps of unseen advertising material. We have interviews about skate shoes with legends like Chad Muska, Cara-Beth, Stefan Janoski, and many more. We could’ve added an even larger chapter for women’s shoes, and more on artist colabs and DIY customs!
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Steve Caballero’s signature sneaker legacy. We were able to source all of his signature shoes – even rare unreleased samples. Also, we shot the complete collection of Geoff Rowley’s signature shoes. Sneaker heads will find new Nike SB content – even a focus on Nike SB fakes.
For the original book, you sourced the shoes with the ‘Made For Trade’ program, in addition to asking friends and connections. How did you go about finding even more shoes this time?
Since the book’s first release, readers and exhibition visitors reached out to us and donated really great, unique skated shoes! Also, we kept on looking on eBay for shoes we missed out on for the first book. We found a pair of Clarks Stunters from the UK! In the first Made For Skate, we only had the ad, but now we have the shoes too.
[Osiris designer] Chris Reid donated an original pair of D3 2001s, and Lance Mountain sent us one of his personally sprayed Stussy Blazers. Brands like Vans, adidas, Nike SB, Etnies, and New Balance also opened their vaults to shoot!
Were you and the team always working towards a 10-year update to Made For Skate?
In 2007, we had such a hard time to convince our publisher to create a book with over 250 pages. Even though we had 400 pages to fill, we always felt that wasn’t going to be enough to cover all of skate culture. Our second book, Skateboarding Is Not a Fashion, was over 600 pages, and gave us reason to update Made For Skate. We partnered with Vans, Nike SB, and adidas to give us the creative freedom and support to make this project happen. We’ve reworked and updated most of the original book, adding 236 new pages!
What’s changed about skate shoes since you published Made For Skate?
In 2009, skate shoes were still quite techy and puffy. That changed with the Nike SB Stefan Janoski, trending towards slimmer silhouettes. New players like Gravis footwear with the Dylan Rieder slip-ons made a real impact too. Vans added a Pro line to the Authentic, Old Skool, etc. There is also more tech in classic designs like Rapidweld and Flyknit in Eric Koston’s shoes. We’re so close to self-lacing shoes for our hover boards.
Besides the return to vulcanised construction, we saw a revival of the 70s rubber toecap. I was quite proud when we released the Made For Skate Nike SB Blazer in 2009. It was the first SB with a rubber toe cap – so it felt like we brought it back. Now, we’re currently seeing DC Shoes and éS rocking the 1990s footwear comeback and re-releasing their iconic models. Which is great!
A lot of skate brands are bringing back designs from the 2000s. Even Under Armour released a shoe that was super similar to the Osiris D3! Why do you think brands are doing this?
A$AP Rocky said he wanted to pay homage to the D3. If that was the case, I think it’d been better if he did it with the original brand – rather than rip off Osiris. Skateboarding culture is a strong force: many forget there are brands, artists and skateboarders themselves behind it. Some Sneaker Freaker readers may remember Jeremy Scott ripping off Jim Phillips’ graphics. It seems as though those outside the skate world think they can pull this off, because they’re much bigger than small skate brands. But, the skate community always kicks back.
Skateboarding is as popular as ever, and the shoes are still the centre of attention. Are there any outsider brands we should be keeping an eye on?
The new book’s last chapter is on a very special brand: Rone. It’s run by Tony Ferguson who rides for Girl Skateboards. The shoes are classic skate styles, but made in Italy with a high price tag. It’s a very interesting concept… great looking shoes.
There have been some amazing Made For Skate sneaker collaborations over the years. You just launched the new book at London’s House of Vans with a special Geoff Rowley Pro. Are there any other colabs on the way?
Yes indeed: we have three more Vans Signature and Classic Pro colabs for an upcoming Skateboard Museum exhibition. One shoe will be a collaboration with Powell Peralta of the Bones Brigade! We’ve got another surprise with a rider from the 70s and 80s – stay tuned!
What do you hope the new generation of skaters will gain from reading Made For Skate?
Hopefully, they see how the history of skate shoes is relevant for today’s models. For my generation, Airwalk was very iconic because it was Tony Hawk’s first signature shoe. You’ll see his latest Lakai ‘Proto’ shoe is influenced by the OG Airwalk ‘Prototype’! Younger readers will also be stoked to see the Vans waffle sole is relevant more than ever for modern skateboarding. Plus, we have a couple of great pages showing the tech evolution of P-Rod’s 10 signature sneakers.
The next stop on the book world tour is Berlin, where Stefan Janoski will be in attendance! Does that mean we might see a Made For Skate x Nike SB Janoski colab?
No shoes with Nike this time, but let’s see what the future will bring! For Berlin, we have a limited-edition Stefan book sleeve for that will be exclusively available at Civilist. There, we will display a rare SB Stefan Janoski collection. Earlier this year, we opened a gallery for skate art, and also presented Stefan’s first art show!
What else is going on in the near future with Made For Skate?
We’re coming to Guangzhou, China, then New York City in early 2020, then working on more options to tour the Made For Skate exhibition globally. We might be at a city near you soon!
When and where will people be able to pick up copies of the new Made For Skate?
Hopefully, very soon! The book is planned to be in stores for early- to mid-December. Right in time for a great Christmas gift for skateboarding and sneaker freakers! Get it at your local trusted book and skate shops… or Amazon, if you want to make Jeff Bezos even richer!
Made For Skate makes its next stop in Berlin on December 6. Follow it here.
All images by CAP10.