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Jason Dill has been making a dramatic impact on the world of skateboarding for the past twenty years. It’s only fitting that one of the biggest supporters of the culture in the print world, VICE Magazine, recently sat down for an in-depth chat with the legend. Always known to be diversifying himself, Dill has ruffled a few people’s feathers in the past with his Fucking Awesome clothing line, one that showcased some of the less than savory elements of society. Read the choice excerpts below and head over to VICE to read the terrific interview in its entirety.
So, before we get to Fucking Awesome, you’ve been skating a long time, what are the worst things you’ve seen skateboarders wear?
Man, the whole big pants, small wheels era between 1990 and 1992 is pretty hard to look at and live with. Luckily I was young then, so that’s my excuse for dressing stupid. I was massively influenced by Mark Gonzales, John Cardiel and Corey Chrysler, so some days I looked OK–I’d be in a flat brimmed baseball hat and a button up with big khakis–and other days it would be burgundy cords, a striped shirt and half cabs like Gonz.
Didn’t that whole having to wear a uniform thing annoy you?
Ah, I mean it just was what it was, you know? It’s hard to be cool when you’re that young. I just wish I wore exactly what Ray Barbee wore in the Public Domain video, every day. In fact, I should have just dressed like Ray full stop, he looked so sick. Ray should definitely have been on Transworld’s most influential skaters of all time list, not me.
Nah, you both deserved a place on there. You’ve been tight with the Supreme guys for a while too, right? And they were basically at the center of that mid 90s NY skate look. What do you remember about that era in terms of style?
I remember being out front of Supreme in ’94 with zits and a shitty, kinda pompadour, hair style. I was about 17 and just soaking it all up. All the brown girls walking by the shop were all so good-looking and just fucking ruling, but I was really shy so I was just observing everything. I remember one girl–well, she was more like a woman, actually–who was so hot. She’d come by and say hi to all the boys at the shop, and I would just stare at her in awe. She was much older than me, but many years later I spent a few nights with her. It was rad. Anyway, from that first Calvin Klein t-shirt bite, I was wearing the red and white box logo every day, I loved it. Oh, the Muhammad Ali boxing Superman t-shirt was incredible too, and the Richard Pryor shirt was amazing, I wore that one all the time. Supreme made the first stuff, outside of Polo and Nautica, that everybody would wear. It was cool ’cause it was the first time you’d be wearing gear made by people you know, which was inspiring to me.
Awesome. Did you ever help out in the creative process at Supreme or were you just hanging out there?
No, I just always repped their shit because when I first came to New York those guys really took me in and guided me. They were so good to me that I was more than happy to wear Supreme. I really didn’t ride for any big skate clothing companies at the time and was mainly skating in Filas. Man, it was a different world back then.
Obviously you have all the links with Supreme, but I read somewhere you hate streetwear generally. Why’s that?
Oh, it’s just what all that shit represents. The stencil bullshit, the wheat-paste bullshit, the fake skate bullshit. I just can’t believe kids buy into all that. It’s like, “nice Obey hat, bud.” You know?
Ha ha. Wouldn’t you define FA as streetwear, though?
No, I think of it as an idea company. I only make something when I feel like it’s right, or if I have the right materials. I don’t use the internet, I find everything I put out by hand, and sometimes I don’t find enough material, or I make stuff and then I just don’t like it. Also, Fucking Awesome isn’t seasonal, it’s just there when it’s there, and I don’t make much of it. I constantly shoot myself in the foot from a business standpoint actually ’cause I make it for sale but at the same time I don’t want you to have it. It’s a bit of a personality disorder company.
Photography: Karl Hab/HYPEBEAST