In welcoming Lost Art and their latest Spring/Summer collection to Parade we threw a few questions their way about the infamous crocodile, the history of Lost Art and what’s next for the Liverpudlian brand.
When did the Lost Art crocodile come into being and how did the idea first come around?
The first time we used the crocodile was for a shop team competition in Leeds. Mackey was sitting on the 86 bus and saw a kid on there wearing a Lacoste tracksuit, and thought it would be sick to change the letters to read Lost Art and make it look like Lacoste? That was the only real time we used the crocodile, it wasn't even a thing until after we couldn't use it any more, that was when it became the subject of a few of our graphics.
Who’s the strangest celebrity who’s bought one? I know Daniel Johnston had one of the Sketch Stance jumpers...
There's not really any notable celebrities that bought it, maybe a few footy players? John Barnes did come in the shop once though, wearing a silver suit, to ask if we sold FUBU! Does that count? It was never really popular for that though it was more because the scallies, who the design referenced, got onto it and started wearing them which made it popular in Liverpool. "Get on this jarg Lacoste tee"
We love how the Lost Art crocodile still lives on in different forms like the Have You Seen Him, Lie Low and Powell-Peralta era Tony Hawk plays, will we be seeing more of this style in the future?
Good question! It’s hard for us not to involve the croc in some way when we come up with certain concepts. Simply because of how intertwined it is with the long history of the shop. That being said, it’s not the only thing we do and we definitely don't want to pigeon hole ourselves. As for the future, we will just have to see!
Skateboarding, of course, has a history of rip-offs/homages - Lost Art makes regular references to skateboarding’s past as well. Do you have a favourite rip-off/homage from any other shop or brand?
Bored of Southsea did a rad Fisherman's Friend tee, the Palace Versace tee, the list goes on! We just love that it's such a big part of skateboarding in general. If you look back at Blind, World Industries, 101, that era of skateboarding is our reference point. Even they were doing it, ripping off skate and non-skate brands alike. It’s just about being clever with it and bringing your own creative aspect.
The latest Lost Art collection brings a lot of colour with a nod to the ‘84 Los Angeles Olympics, can you share the inspiration and process behind this season?
So the jump from Los Angeles to Lost Art isn't hard to make, but the original ideas for the graphical side of the collection come from the LA Arts festival which opened at the same time as the LA 1984 Olympic games. The Olympics is quite a touchy subject at the moment, it's not even that much to do with that, it’s more of a reference to the likes of UXA and American Dream Inc and their graphical content. Not to mention we have a graphic designer, Jonty O'Connor, who is just on it! When Mackey comes up with these concepts and ideas Jonty turns it into what you see as the finished product.
Do you feel you’re fully coming out of ‘being known as a skate shop’ and now Lost Art is standing on its own as a brand?
I’d say that it’s all in the perspective of our customers and the wider skateboarding community? It has been refreshing since we've moved to the new store as 'The Useless Wooden Toys Society' to spend a lot more time and effort on Lost Art, and I’d say it shows. We've been able to follow through on a lot of ideas that had been around for a long while, ideas that had been shelved because we couldn't deliver them it the way they should be delivered.
'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder', and that's how we see Lost Art. Lost Art is what Lost Art is for you. For the kids who come to the store every weekend and hang out, they still call the store Lost Art, it’s the community element for them. For someone who is buying it online, it may seem more like a stand-alone brand.
Are you going to keep it around clothing and accessories? No plans to turn Lost Art into a full-on skate company with boards and pro riders?
Lost Art will just continue to grow organically and we will see where that ends up, who knows? For now, we are just working on producing stuff that we think looks good that we, and all of our mates, are all hyped on.
Shop the latest Spring / Summer '19 collection from Lost Art.
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