INSIDE OUT: FRANCESCO RAGAZZI ON PALM ANGELS
FASHION AND THE SKATER VIBE
It all started with one image. “
It was one picture I took one summer that made me go back to Los Angeles over and over again. It was a vision in my mind. Blond hair floating in the air, rays of light that capture bodies fighting over gravity. For some religions, this is the portrayal of the Angels. For me, it was a beginning.”
So says Francesco Ragazzi in his book Palm Angels, a collection of photographs that depict the skater life in Los Angeles. From the book, which includes a foreword by Pharrell Williams (a hard-core skater aka as Skateboard P) to a namesake fashion line, launched earlier this year. Palm Angels, in fact, is the brainchild of Moncler art director Francesco Ragazzi, who began shooting the L.A. skateboarding scene during his many trips to the West Coast, capturing the style and street culture of the world’s top skaters. Today the ultra-buzzed Palm Angels line inspired by the skater world a Seventies vibe with a dash of urban preppy cool, making it really unique. High quality closet staples such as Tees and sweatshirts, printed with images from the book, at a competitive price. Here we discuss the skater influence on fashion with Francesco Ragazzi.
Here we discuss the skater influence on fashion with Francesco Ragazzi.
How has the skate community influenced the fashion industry?
I think skaters are taking the spot that the rock and roll and grunge communities had in the Nineties Their world is authentic and this is what people need now. In L.A everything is concentrated and you can really get the vibe because the style and the skaters’ attitude is genuine. We have yet to see what this culture can bring in terms of influence.
What differentiates the skating community from other realities?
It’s really transversal. Skateboarding is a mean of transportation, a sport, an attitude. It’s also a valid perspective on life – the more you try the better you become.
How does the look of hot young skateboarders impact high fashion?
There are many brands inspired by this culture - Marc Jacobs and Celine are the first that come to mind. It’s amazing how high fashion is contaminated by a world normally considered cheap. This is thanks to its authenticity. The fashion world is going through a big change as brands are influenced by the streets and its subcultures. I think about Givenchy, County of Milan, Off White or Hba.
What most inspires the Palm Angels collections?
The L.A DNA ingrained in this sport, the timeless style, the attitude, the typical Californian look with long blonde hair, this is what inspires me the most. There is a special vibe in the air, I felt it immediately and as soon as I saw my first pictures, this influence never left me.
A globetrotter constantly on the go,Ragazzi shares his favorite spots when in L.A, from the known to the unknown.
The Bel Air Hotel - my favorite hotel hidden in Bel Air
The Beverly Hills Hotel - pure Hollywood, best breakfast at Polo Lounge
Mr.C - a mix of L.A and Italian lifestyle
The Chateau Marmont - For lunch or drinks at night. One of the favorite place of Helmut Newton one of my idols
The Ivy - very popular but the atmosphere is magic and the food too
Mr.Chow - a classic around the world in the middle of Beverly Hills
Cecconi - when I miss home, good Italian food
Nobu Malibu - the best Nobu with the craziest view of Malibu sunsets
Caffe Habana - one of my favorite burger
Geoffreys - for a breathtaking dinner by the sea
American Rag Cie - a mix of vintage and contemporary brands
What goes Around Comes Around - vintage
James Perse Malibu - when I’m in Malibu it's the only brand I would wear
Maxfield - I love the selection of brands and the vibe, the architecture of this store still inspires me
Wanna buy a watch – The best place in the U.S for vintage Rolex
Venice Beach Skate Park - Where Palm Angels began!