We caught up with the guys at Rave Skateboards taking a look at the brands inspirations from French skate culture to the original Rave scene.
Rave Skateboards are most certainly a brand to keep your eyes on over the coming years. Drawing inspirations from skate culture and boeuf bourguignon (their own words), the French streetwear label is based out of Bordeaux, paying close attention to fabric sourcing and original designs. Consisting of Tom Amiot, Aurelien Mangin and PJ Chapuis, Rave Skateboards are most certainly a brand that should now be on your radar.
Where did the concept of Rave Skateboards really come from?
RAVE is about freedom, free to throw a party anywhere at anytime. Free to open a beer at 10, both AM or PM. Free to lead his life as Antwuan did. Free to puke on my Osi. Free to watch Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL in a row even though you prefer Showgirls. RAVE is a pray full of nonsense, an invitation to taste what is the best between meaningless and meaningful.
What’s the streetwear and skate scene currently like in Bordeaux compared to the likes of Paris?
In Paris there a lot of cool brands launching over there at the moment like RUE-L, & Boyhood. There is a lot of energy and good vibes, and as you know Paris is still the city the most watched about fashion today even if Tokyo and Seoul are doing really good.
It would be over confident to say Bordeaux has nothing to envy from Paris. Today, the skate scene here is becoming quite important. Magenta played a major role with Leo Valls who’s leading many projects in the city. Yoan Taillandier also contributed to this worldwide exposure with Minuit Audiovisual. Sugar Skate Mag is editing in Bordeaux. Riot with the shop and the distribution is one of the biggest entity in the French skate industry today. And of course Bordeaux is overwhelmed by many talents as Alex Richard, PJ Chapuis, Léo Chollet, Edouard Depaz, Olivier Durou, Seb Daurel, Constantin Delmas, Vivien Feill, Fred Plocques Santos, Gaëtan Salvignol, Paul Austin… and I’m missing many names.
Added to all of that, indie brands such as HYskatebag or us are launching.
The original Rave scene has become legendary in itself, what parts of the scene would you say has inspired you guys the most?
What most people have in mind when it comes to the word ‘rave’ is usually parties, drugs and over sized muddy camo pants. In a way they’re right, it’s a part of what it is. But if you go further, trying to understand its real values, then it becomes way more interesting. The gabber lifestyle, the way they dress, the bpm level, the sunglasses, the fun which is behind all of it is a source of inspiration but the spirit of the Free Party is probably the hugest part of what inspired RAVE skateboards.
The values of the brand are totally similar, the freedom of being what you want to be, living in the excess or not, the willing to lead his life in the common respect without risking to be judged about sexual kind or origins. Skateboarding and raves have this energy in common. It brings you to a spot where you want to spend some good times, either to party or skate, a spot where no matter what, you’ll settle down for minutes, hours or days to do your things, interact with an environment and then move on.
If you’re in touch with the settleties of what it offers then it’s empowering to you, no matter who you are. And that power is spread across the grounds of the rave, it’s an intensity that you can’t find anywhere else.
What can we expect in the pipeline for Rave Skateboards for 2018?
We’re currently filming in Bordeaux. Even though we launched almost 2 years ago, we’ve never really filmed in our city except a few IGs. So we’re working on an edit which will be released around February 2018. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection will launch in February as well. We’ll go on tour on March maybe in the South-East of France but nothing really for definite, we still don’t know where we’ll go yet. And we’re actively preparing FW18 with a collaboration with our friends from HYskatebag.
“RAVE is a pray full of nonsense, an invitation to taste what is the best between meaningless and meaningful.”
Aurelien Mangin, Rave Skateboards
Which designers/brands etc have inspired you?
What we do with RAVE is mainly what we call DIY streetwear, we buy some strong textile based that we’ve properly sourced and then we print and embroider on them here in Bordeaux. So we really like this kind of brands like Stray Rats, Fuct(at the beginning) and Alltimer. Also we have plenty other brands which inspire us such as Patagonia, Batten, Polar, Porter and Nanamica.
Talking about designers, I think a guy like Brendon Babenzien, former Supreme art director and now running Noah, is one of this person of this industry we respect the most. Showing to everyone it’s possible to run an indie brand, well produced, sometimes not so expensive for the product sold and politically engaged, that’s towards this kind of ideal RAVE tends to.
Coming from Bordeaux you must be fans of the Bordeaux football team, if so who have been some of your all time favourite players?
Yeah, we love football, I mean I’m talking for myself(Aurelien). As I’m not born in Bordeaux but in Dijon I definitely support the Dijon Football Côte-d’Or which is trying to remain in the first division every season. As you know the World Cup is coming so we made few football related pieces for the occasion, CSKA Moscow inspired.
About favorite players, and this time, I’ll talk in the name of RAVE, I think Ronaldinho is one of the best to quote with George Best. Ronnie is about what football should be no matter what, the guy is always enjoying the game, still smiling, crazy moves all over the field, no hate, pure football, end of story. George cause he gave us the most memorable quotes of the football history. What about this one? “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” Of course, I’ve never seen him play because I’m too young but I’m hundred 100% sure I would have loved him.
What kind of tunes could we expect to hear in the Rave HQ on a daily basis?
There is no appropriate answer to this question! Audience here at the HQ is pretty eclectic and openminded, we can easily switch from one genre to another. Music is really inspiring when it comes to editing so we spend a lot of time digging sounds for upcoming edits or IGs. Gucci Mane amd Max B always makes you feel good at any time of day and night and Da Hool or Leslie can always save a boring moment.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the future who would it be and why?
Mephisto because the contrast with RAVE is so important that it’d be great to collaborate with them, because they are made in France in Sarrebourg, because in France it’s your grandad, granny or your father who used to wear them so it’s time to change, because they have one of the coolest logo from my knowledge, because theirs shoes are highly comfy, because all of this we’ll go for a collaboration with Mephisto.