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2013 has been, in many ways, a renaissance year for the skateboarding world. As storied companies such as Girl, Plan B and Alien Workshop have lost some of their benchmark veterans, many new companies are beginning to form in their wake. While Stevie Williams and Stefan Janoski have both retained their longtime sponsors, they’ve also applied their renowned business savvy to a new venture: Asphalt Yacht Club. Previously, Williams has created an underground movement with DGK, while Janoski’s infamous sneaker design has quickly become a staple shoe in just about everyone’s closet. It’s safe to say that the two know what they’re doing, and building a versatile team that claims Blake Carpenter, Nyjah Huston and Justin Figueroa on the same roster has to be worth its hype. In light of the brand’s forthcoming delivery, we sat down with Williams and Janoski for a small conversation about Asphalt Yacht Club. Enjoy the interview below.
What spawned the AYC and how does it differ from previous Stevie Williams fashion endeavors?
Stevie Williams: AYC is a new extension of my imagination, and a different way to express myself through fashion and skateboarding. Quality and style!
Stefan Janoski: AYC was spawned from Stevie Williams… it differs by being more than just a skate company, it’s a lifestyle company…
What’s the overall direction of the brand?
SW: The direction is simple: pushing skateboard fashion forward and producing quality material and content. Basically, looking good while you’re skating!
SJ: World domination.
How did the skate team come about?
SW: Our brand manager and I handpicked the team. We have the illest team in skateboarding apparel!
SJ: It came about from Stevie and amazing skaters wanting to do something new and cool…
“The direction is simple: pushing skateboard fashion forward and producing quality material and content. Basically, looking good while you’re skating!”
Stevie Williams speaks about the overall
direction of AYC
Who chose and how did the name Asphalt Yacht Club come about?
SW: There were a few different names that we had in the bag. AYC stood out the most and it represented how I made it and how I live today. It’s about starting from one point to get to another.
How has the process been to build up your debut retail line?
SW: It’s been coming along. It’s a new brand so we still have challenges just like everyone else.
Major challenges and excitements?
SW: Exactly! Work don’t come easy these days!
SJ: New things are exciting…
“There were a few different names that we had in the bag. AYC stood out the most and it represented how I made it and how I live today. It’s about starting from one point to get to another.”
Stevie Williams speaks about how the name Asphalt Yacht Club came about
In light of the slew of new ventures being started by professional skaters from your generation (Fucking Awesome, 3D, etc.) was the timing of AYC intended to make a statement about authenticity to other, more corporate companies in skateboarding?
SW: Not at all. Great minds think alike, I guess!
SJ: It wasn’t planned out.. but I think AYC is just an amazing new clothing brand… it will speak for itself.
Further, can you touch on this ‘changing of the guards’ that is presently occurring within skating?
SW: Nothing has really changed. Skateboarding has evolved into what we all see it as today. More ways to get exposure, more money, and being able to travel and skate around the world!
SJ: Skaters after skating have always started companies; most of the top companies now were started by skateboarders, so I think it’s natural for people to start their own things…
Does AYC have a skate tour planned?
SW: Not yet! Just ads, videos, and a few autograph signings. Def in the future, though.
SJ: We just went to Miami, we will be doing lots of trips in the future…
It seems like AYC is really conceptually different from DGK – where one is ‘street,’ the other is necessarily ‘skate/streetwear.’ Does this correlate to the sequence of your [Stevie's] life at all?
SW: Absolutely!! They’re different and both a part of my imagination! For the record, AYC is my new clothing line and DGK is a skateboard company.
“Skaters after skating have always started companies; most of the top companies now were started by skateboarders, so I think it’s natural for people to start there own things…”
Stefan Janoski speaks about the ‘changing of the guards’ that is presently occurring within skating