/Keith Hufnagel, Pro Skateboarder and Entrepreneur, Dies at 46

Keith Hufnagel, Pro Skateboarder and Entrepreneur, Dies at 46

Keith Hufnagel, an expert skateboarder who grew a San Francisco streetwear retailer, Huf, into a world attire firm by the identical identify, died on Thursday at his house in Los Angeles. He was 46.

An announcement from the corporate mentioned the trigger was mind most cancers, which Mr. Hufnagel had for 2 and a half years.

Mr. Hufnagel got here of age as a skateboarder throughout the 1980s in New York City, the place skate boarders fashioned a gritty subculture that used the city setting as a playground. In 1992 he moved to California and turned an expert, driving for corporations like Real Skateboards, Thunder Trucks and Spitfire Wheels.

He was notable for his “pop,” the seemingly easy approach he leapt onto and over tall obstacles, and for his fluid traces by means of intimidating terrain, even whereas dodging site visitors or rushing down a steep hill. He toured the world as an expert, and he appeared in indelible skateboarding videos in the middle to late 1990s and the early 2000s.

In 2002 Mr. Hufnagel opened the first Huf, a streetwear boutique that carried rare sneakers and apparel by brands like Supreme, in San Francisco. Huf had a minimalist interior design that highlighted its products, and the stores also displayed and sold works of art by skateboarders and artists like Aaron Rose and Haroshi.

In time Huf expanded to new locations and became catnip for sneakerheads, who waited in line for hours to spend hundreds of dollars on limited-release Nikes or Adidas.

Mr. Hufnagel designed some of those prized sneakers himself, including customized Nike Dunks, tie-dyed in the colors of the San Francisco Giants, and the Nike Air Max 90 HUFquakes, with a colorway that looked like a crackling fault line.

The store eventually developed into a label of its own, featuring apparel sometimes branded with a straightforward “H” logo and sometimes with more profane slogans. Huf apparel became known for irreverent T-shirts, capacious and durable pants and hoodies, and limited runs of products pegged to musical acts like Smashing Pumpkins, cartoon characters like Felix the Cat and products like Budweiser.

The company also made skate shoes for years, and supports a team of professional skateboarders. Mr. Hufnagel, of course, rode for his brand.

“Our clothing retails a bit higher than your average core skate brand, but our apparel winds up appealing to a broader spectrum of people,” Mr. Hufnagel told WWD in 2009. “We definitely take function into consideration, so you can skate in nearly anything we make, but you can wear what we make in a variety of elements outside of skating.”

Mr. Hufnagel met Ms. Freeman in the early 1990s. They married in 2001 and pooled their savings to open the first Huf store. Their marriage ended in divorce, but they remained close friends.

He is survived by his wife, Mariellen Hufnagel; their children; a brother, Chris; and his mother.

Mr. Hufnagel told The Guardian in 2011 that he was glad to see Huf grow without sacrificing its commitment to the subculture that started it.

“We always take care of the skateboarders,” he said, “but you have to think of the bigger picture because now you are selling to the world.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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