Hypebeast Interview: Paul Rodriguez
As one of the leading poster childs of the skateboard world, Paul Rodriguez in recent memory has sought to diversify his portfolio. The skater and entrepreneur has not only been the benefactor of a new signature line of skate-relevant bags and accessories with Incase but also the opening of a retail store, Primitive. We had the chance to ask P-rod a few questions regarding the development of Primitive and his future plans.
When did you realize that opening a store was something you wanted to do?
About two years ago my friend Andy asked me if I would be down to go in as partners in the store with him. Me being into kicks and cool gear, I thought it would be a great way to invest into a business.
How close are you to your roots growing up seeing as how you based the store in the area where you grew up.
I still live and skate in the same general area where I grew up. I love where I live, So it made sense to open the store here (San Fernando Valley).
Do you have an overall goal for Primitive? How do you go about choosing which brands to stock?
I basically choose brands based on my personal taste, and what I think our customer can relate to.
With the recent announcing of a collaborative series of products with Incase, how does sneaker design with Nike SB differ from bag/accessories design with Incase? Are the processes/concepts the same?
The processes are similar. Them being two different types of products, they have different design needs. Since I travel so much, I think I have a good idea of what a well designed bag for skateboarders should be. Either way, I like to be hands on with any of my signature products.
What sort of items can we expect upcoming from the Incase line? Any favorites?
There is a backpack, overnight bag, and my favorite, the skateboard bag with compartments for spare decks, a whole complete, and tools.
Can we expect any other further product-related releases/team-ups from P-rod in the future?
I don’t have any slated signature products lined up, but I am extremely excited about our store collabs that are about to go down. We just submitted our artwork for an Oakley x Primitive Frogskin. My homie Nick Diamond says he’s almost finished with our Diamond x Primitive tee. We’re even getting our own exclusive Nixon watch! The near future will be really good for the store.
What shoes did you see yourself gravitating towards when you were younger?
I always liked to floss Jordan & Nike at school, but when I skated I usually just tried all kinds of different skate shoes.
How did you get started in skating? What do you equate your success in the skate world to?
I took interest in skating from watching kids at school around 7th grade. I thank God and my commitment to skating hard for my success.
What’s your most memorably skate experience?
I don’t have just one. I think that the feeling of being taken over by skateboarding in the early stages stands out the most.
And finally… iPhone or Blackberry?
Boost Mobile son!