Founded in 2002, HUF has grown to become one of the most iconic skatewear brands around. We caught up with their art director, Romeo Tanghal, to find out what it's like working for this notorious brand.
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Keith Hufnagel spent his childhood skateboarding on the streets of New York. It was this sub-culture that would go on to inspire his personalised clothing brand HUF. Famous for their unique collaborations, bold print designs and classic streetwear aesthetic, HUF has turned skateboarding into a lifestyle.
It is the designer's challenge to created fresh and exciting new collections, whilst maintaining a connection to the heritage of the brand. Here's our interview with the HUF art director, Romeo Tanghal.
What's the first thing you do when you get to work?
Coffee. Get caught up on emails, then peruse various websites for some daily inspiration before jumping into the day's workload.
Where can we find you most of the day?
Mostly at my desk designing, but a lot of the times I'll be away reviewing samples with the production and development teams or at various other design meetings.
How did you first get into fashion design?
Growing up I was always into art and interested in fashion in some way, but during my final year of college I landed an internship at a fashion company in New York and they ended up offering me a full-time job before I graduated. I've been fortunate enough to be able to work in the industry for various companies ever since.
How important do you think a college/university education is for designers?
College is a great way to get the fundamentals of art and design and to meet like-minded individuals but to really get a sense of how everything works in their field of choice, an internship is key in my opinion.
What made you want to work with HUF?
What drew me into HUF was the opportunity to work alongside Keith Hufnagel and to collaborate with so many different artists. Keith has built such a special, multifaceted brand, something I knew I wanted to be a part of. He's also really easy to work with and a genuine person all around, which is hard to come by.
What inspired the latest collection?
HUF's 2017 Spring/Summer collection draws inspiration from 70s and 80s punk, dancehall and reggae scenes. The era and attitude of these niche sub-cultures were the biggest influences aesthetically.
Do you have any interesting facts about HUF?
HUF started off as a small boutique on an offbeat block of San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Keith Hufnagel, the founder, was actually considering opening a women's shop in the beginning but saw that there were just too many around San Francisco. Lucky for us.
What’s your favourite piece from the current collection?
The Kingston Jacket. In camo.
What are you aims for next season?
I personally feel like our collections have been getting better and better every season. The aim is to keep pushing a forward-thinking and refined collection, while never losing sight of who we are and what got us here.
Who, if anyone, inspires most of your collection? Any particular muse?
I wouldn't say any one person, in particular, it's more of an assortment of people from similar circumstances: from skateboarders to artists, to musicians, to photographers, to any creative like-minded individuals.