The History of HUF

The History of HUF

As one of the hottest streetwear-sneaker-skate brands of the last decade, there are few in the fashion or skating industries alike that haven't heard of the brand HUF. Let's take a look at the history of the brand and how to style it.

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Since his childhood in the eighties, Keith Hufnagel has been immersed in skating culture and all the social ideals that come along with it. From skating and tagging in the emerging 80s NYC punk culture to travelling the world as a pro, Hufnagel eventually settled in the skating haven that is San Francisco. From there, the HUF brand has become increasingly popular in the US and further afield.

The History of HUF

1980 - 2002

Although the HUF brand didn't officially start until 2002, the events leading up to its creation started much earlier. "Born on the Streets", HUF's story starts in rebellious eighties New York when Keith Hufnagel would skate around the city tagging 'HUF ONE' with his friends. As such, the HUF name stuck with him among his circle of friends, so when he turned pro, it was a no-brainer. As clothing and product offers began to trickle in, Keith turned to his HUF name once again for his brand's identity.

By 1992, Keith had relocated from the big apple to San Francisco to follow his passion for skateboarding. With the increased time he was investing in his hobby, he soon turned it into a profession. This presented him with the opportunity for global travel, one which he revelled in. During this time, his present reality began to shape the direction of his future - he skated with the Supreme team in their early days, travelled around Europe and the Far East and experienced first hand what was going on culturally in different locations across the world.

southern california trend for men huf jacket dickies chinos mens street style
Styling Huf Menswear

2002 - Present

Fast forward to 2002, on returning from his global travels, Keith had been living in San Francisco for some time among those who showed him nothing but support. Deciding to give back to the community, he opened a retail store in San Fran's Tenderloin District with the idea of marrying skating, sneakers and streetwear under one roof.

Their popularity for rare sneaker and streetwear drops saw them quickly grow in popularity among both sneakerheads and the general public alike. Natural progression and popularity saw them begin to produce their own branded clothing, starting out with simple accessories such as hats and T-shirts and this quickly evolved into a full clothing line - hence, HUF was officially born.

HUF Skateboarding Winter Lookbook

Under their new remit, they began producing their own premium streetwear clothing, HUF shoes, HUF socks and general skateboarding goods and accessories. Although the brand has changed a lot since its inception, Keith's creative direction and core beliefs remain largely the same.

Viewing skateboarding as an extension of one's lifestyle as opposed to simply a 'hobby' or 'sport', Keith believes it's a mutual lifestyle choice with which people from various different backgrounds can integrate. He believes, like many other creative outlets, that skating brings together all sorts of like-minded people, from photographers to musicians, artists and dancers, regardless of their race or social status.

Hufnagel's personal belief is that, in an environment where everyone is enamoured by the idea of self-expression and freedom of opinion, prejudice or restriction are issues that just don't present themselves. These beliefs are felt throughout HUF and its brand messaging.

HUF Summer Lookbook

When it came to the creative direction for HUF, Keith looked to his travels, vintage American design and practicality among other influences to get the ball rolling. He understood that before anything, comfort and functionality are among the most important characteristics of skating gear. He, therefore, made sure that the HUF clothing range reflects this.

Integrating material and construction techniques from targeted pieces renowned for their durability, HUF's designs are more than capable of handling the persistent physical barrage associated with skating. Mix in some creative graphics, slogans, and colour combinations, and the HUF aesthetic is defined.

Although Keith's ventured into several facets of fashion, footwear and accessories production, his love for skating remains the primal drive in his business. His prediction for the skateboard and the associated community has not been diluted by the ever-expanding power of the HUF brand, and the opportunities that come along with global recognition.

Styling HUF Clothing

Get The Look: HUF

The HUF logo represents more than an average clothing brand so followers of skate culture, it represents a style or a lifestyle to most. So, the likelihood is that if you're a follower of the brand you know exactly how to style their pieces. In any case, if you like the sound of the brand and don't really know how to get involved, take a look at the outfit below for some inspiration.

HUF Winter Lookbook

History of HUF

  • The HUF brand officially started in 2002 in San Francisco, USA.
  • HUF's story starts in rebellious 1980s New York when Keith Hufnagel would skate around the city tagging 'HUF ONE' with his friends.
  • By 1992, Keith had relocated from the big apple to San Francisco to follow his passion for skateboarding.
  • As a professional skater, Keith travelled the US, Europe and the Far East - this further inspired his decision to create HUF.
  • HUF's wears include their own premium streetwear clothing, shoes and general skateboarding goods and accessories.

skater mens style chinos white tshirt denim shirt
Styling Skatewear

On That Note

That's your lot! Having only started in 2002, the growth of HUF into a globally recognised streetwear label is nothing less than impressive. Once again, a defined brand image, with a concise target audience is the recipe for success when it comes to the success of a fashion brand. Think HUF sounds like your kind of thing? Jump on over to their brand page for a look at the collection!


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