So, another skater owned company is gone. Or is it? When does a brand cease to be skater owned and be a “corporate sell out”? Does it matter that one brands Canadian maple is pressed in China and another’s is pressed in Mexico? There are so many aspects of this industry that are extremely important to “core skaters”. Except when they aren’t. Fallen partnered with New Balance over 3 years ago in what was essentially a last ditch effort to stay afloat. So why does the “core skater” care that they are gone now.
With Jamie Thomas’s announcement that Fallen has, well, fallen, the interwebs are lighting up talking about another core brand being swallowed by an unforgiving industry that’s trying to be taken over by outsiders. We look back fondly at what Jamie built and long for the days before the jocks got involved.
But to some degree, they’ve always been involved. When I first started skating there weren’t many skate companies. And no skate shoe brands. Look at any magazine or video footage from back in the day. For the most part all you will see is Nike, Vans, Converse. Should we fault those brands for seeing potential in the skate world and going after a piece? Is it their fault that they have more money and a better business plan? I mean, that’s kinda what we are doing at The Block. We saw the need/opportunity for skate shop near downtown Jax. We’re here to support the local skate scene, but in order to do that it has to be profitable. If we can’t support ourselves we can’t support the skaters.
From what I can tell, Fallen lost skateboarding’s support before yesterday and probably long before NB came along to try and help. I guess I simply wonder, is it Nike’s fault for offering a product or the skaters’ fault for talking the talk, but not walking the walking, or skating the skate, or whatever…