HUF: American Pastime
Last month HUF gave us the opportunity to interpret its Spring/Summer 2010 Collection the way we felt would be most reflective of the colors, styles, and overall feeling within the new season. For us, the garments instantly traced back to our days as Little League kids, playing the game that has been long considered America’s pastime, Baseball. Loosely inspired by the classic film, The Sandlot, we embarked on a day long journey through the back roads of Northern California, capturing the essence of classic American rebellion, childhood, and overall love for everything nostalgic. Presented is a look into HUF’s Spring/Summer line through our eyes, with words from both Keith Hufnagel and designer Hanni El Khatib.
Creative Director: L. Ruano
Photography: Brad Brok
Assistants: Andrew Pulig & Derek Jones
Models: Brandon Long, Taylor Wickers, Oliver Sun, Rhett Belknap
Special Thanks: Keith Gulla, Keith Hufnagel, HUF crew.
Words with Hanni El Khatib
Hows it going Hanni?
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been designing for HUF?
I’ve been with HUF for the past 5 years. Whether it’s footwear, collaborations, skateboard graphics, cut & sew or whatever, I pretty much work on it.
Although we might have viewed the collection in a different light, what was the inspiration behind S/S 2010?
For me, I try not to go into a season with a specific theme or concept in mind, but rather try to capture a look or feeling that we are all about. I like simple, classic and easy clothes. I like the idea of being able to buy a piece you like and keeping it around in your closet for years.
What were some of your favorite pieces within the line?
I’m not too sure, but I’m definitely a fan of the Hooded Cruiser jacket. I was pretty happy with how it came out.
Hats are always a staple. How does the approach to designing headwear differ from that of apparel?
The approach is very similar. I just look at it as another piece that can complete a look.
We’ve seen the emergence of the trucker/snap-back hat more frequently within the past few seasons, how do you feel it stacks up to the fitted nowadays?
Snaps and truckers have always been there, but I think the whole fitted thing just took the foreground for awhile. Trends come and go and certain things get popular for whatever reason and then go away. I don’t necessarily think that fitteds are going anywhere, after all there is nothing more classic than a baseball cap, but I think the craze has died out for sure.
The HUF name is synonymous with skateboarding, but the clothing is as versatile as any. Do you find it difficult creating items that appeal to a wide range of styles?
We just like to make clothing that we think looks good to us, but also functions. Everyone at HUF skates, so we’re always putting the clothing to the test.
Where do you find your influences when it comes to design?
It comes from all sorts of places. It can be anything from music to vintage clothing to a good day of skating.
Personal favorite styles?
Overall classic American style. A good pair of jeans and your favorite t-shirt.
With jeans being such a essential year round, what kind of denim pieces are offered for Spring/Summer?
In previous seasons we had offered many different washes and styles with our denim. This S/S we only focused on 3 types of denim in a couple different fits. All of our denim is made here in the USA and we try to keep the design simple and just concentrate on good denim, construction and fit. We did a mid-weight raw indigo jean made from imported Japanese denim. We also did an over-dyed black denim as well as a dark raw selvedge made from Cone Denim.
What else is on tap for HUF with Fall/Winter surely already complete?
Besides our first launch of footwear, you’ll be sure to see a good range of apparel, along with special projects sprinkled in.
Can we expect the footwear program to reflect Americana like the apparel or will it be a more skate-centric range?
The footwear program has a pretty simple and clean aesthetic. We wanted to offer shoes that look good when worn with our apparel, but function really well when actually going out for a hard skate. We have both cup soles and vulc soles depending on the skate shoe you prefer, but all styles can be worn casually as well. I think as long as we keep focusing on the details and materials, and a classic styling we hope to provide a good range for people to choose from, regardless if they skate or not.
As a majority of brands begin heading into the realm of cut-and-sew design, what will distinguish HUF from the rest of the pack?
I think that if we just continue to make what we’re making and stick with putting out quality product that we can stand behind, then we will be okay. You can’t really control other people’s opinion of what your doing, so I think it’s best for us to just keep our heads down and make things that we’re stoked on.
Thanks man, any last words?
Thanks. DBC for life.
Words with Keith Hufnagel
Hows it going Keith, busy times?
Ah yes, busier then ever, but that is a good thing!
How happy are you with Spring/Summer 2010? What are some of your favorite pieces in the collection?
I feel S/S came out very well. I feel like our seasons keep on getting better and better. For me, my favorite items are the Dot Check shirt, college jacket and our selvedge denim. Three classic pieces for Spring.
How much of a hand did you have in the design process, seeing as your surely busy running the business side of things?
I always help out and put my thoughts in. I do let Hanni do his thing though. He is the designer and we are on the same page as far as the direction of the brand is concerned.
In your eyes, how much has HUF progressed since the cut-and-sew collection first began?
We have progressed 100%. We used to only have a few cut-and-sew pieces, now we have a full range.
How does the process between designing cut-and-sew differ from that of graphic tees?
Cut-and-sew is definitely way harder. It just takes way more time and detail to make a correct fitting cut-and-sew piece.
With the brand now globally recognized, what else can we expect from the HUF camp as the new year is upon us?
Right now we’re just working on our footwear program. There will be some cool collabos from the HUF brand this year as well!
Thanks for your time, any last words?
Have fun in your life and enjoy what you do. Keep Skating!