Liverpool Skate institution Lost Art has cemented its long-running association with Nike Skateboarding with the release of two new collaborative efforts, inspired by the city from which the store was born 15 long years ago. BREAKS caught up L.A head-honcho and Nike SB pro rider Dave Mackey for an exclusive chat about Liverpool, Lost Art and a Bruin and a BA that have been inspired by a Docker’s Umbrella…
15 years is a long, long time for an independent to stay open, tell us how it all started and what it’s been like? Ups and downs?
In 1999, after the closing of the Flea Pit skate store the year before, the skate scene in Liverpool had become became fragmented and dispersed without a store in the city centre. From then on in we’ve sort of played the background, focusing on skateboarding and our scene first and foremost. Times are always rough and tough like leather for an independent, you really have to have a passion for what you are doing and always prepare for the rough after the smooth
At Lost Art We’ve always tried to let the scene be a part of what we do: employing skaters, working with local artists and hooking up countless skateboarders with advice, product, money, food and a place to hang out with their friends. A physical store is the lifeblood and backbone of any good scene and that always shows!
Lost Art, and the people associated with the store, have long been involved with Nike SB, how does this collab take that association to the next level?
I was a team rider first, then we where chosen to be an SB retail door, one of only 15 in the UK at the time. As times gone on, and as I’ve got older, I’ve become more of an ambassador for the SB brand. Lost Art is still an important retail door for SB and as you probably know many of our team riders also skate for Nike SB.
This Nike shoe collab was first talked about 3 or so years ago, it went quiet for a min and then about 2 years ago we really sat down and started to work out all the angles. Various things stopped it coming out sooner, a release date for late last year was on the cards but after a lot of discussion it was agreed that a March 15 launch would be best and here we are.
Can you tell us more about the design and the silhouettes you picked?
The Bruin is by far my favourite Nike SB skate shoe. I always loved the fit and board feel, plus it always looks good on peoples feet. In terms of the BA, when we first started discussing the project Brian (Anderson) was working on his shoe and we where shown a sample pair. I knew that we wanted to do two shoes and felt this would be the perfect shoe to include in the project. I’ve always admired BA’s skating, the tricks he chooses to do, the spots, his sponsor choices and the shoes he wears have all had an influence on my skateboarding throughout the years. In fact the BA shoe reminded me of the old Axion Aries from the late 90’s, a shoe I wore to death and one that was released around the same time as I opened Lost Art.
The direction, in terms of design, was old and new. This is the reason why the two silhouettes were chosen. The Bruin for the old and the Project BA for the new. Both coloured up in ways that are suitable for their styles, taking elements from past and present. The docks are mostly derelict now, just moving recycled metal from boat to ship, so the BA takes its colours from the elements that surround them, the water, brick and concrete of the docklands. The Bruin takes its colourway and materials from the guard’s uniforms and the LOR (Liverpool Overhead Railway, a rail system that used to service Liverpool’s iconic docklands. Once known as The Docker’s Umbrella) itself. Black pigskin upper with two woolen swooshes coloured to represent the faded numbers on the front of the trains. The Wool being used is also a nod to the main import to the docks at the time and the term Woolybacks being given to the dockers who unloaded the ships.
The concept takes on so much more than just the train cars etc. The different types of people who used the trains, the industry that built and died and built around it again. The generations of family who worked side by side under its gaze. The new and old fundamentals are there for all to see. This migrates to Liverpool skateboarding perfectly. The generations, the stories, the footage and the family. The new, the old. It’s what it is all about. Cities change, transportation changes, even people’s attitudes change but the fundamentals, the rawness of Liverpool skateboarding remains true.
As time went on it became more and more apparent to me that the route the old overhead railway line had taken was where we would mostly skate from late 80’s until the present day, where the vast majority of skate spots are, so the route itself has become the final piece that has brought the whole project together and back to skateboarding.
What’s next? Tell us there’s more.
We have some tours planned for the team this year!! A canal barge trip and a week long visit to London to shoot photos and film for a project with Grey mag. We’re gonna finish up a video we’ve be working on for the past year and then begin work on the full team vid, Lemonade! Working on the Lost Art Brand and some more exciting collaborations to come.