Hardly revolutionary for a skate brand to riff on touchstones of streetwear but Alltimers took things to the next level with one of its Spring/Summer 2022 skateboards. Specifically, “The Essence” deck is a riff on two titans of late ’90s street culture: Prada and Nas.
You may remember Alltimers for designing handsome Vans and adidas sneakers but the New York-based brand mostly keeps to itself outside of these team-ups.
That is to say, unless you’re plugged into what’s happening with skaters, the teams they ride for and the brands they were, you probably wouldn’t keep as close an eye on Alltimers as on, say, Supreme or Palace.
This means that funny one-offs like this skate deck might slip through the greater cultural cracks without special call-outs for their cleverness.
And, admittedly, Alltimers didn’t do much more than whip out MS Paint and slap a .JPG on one side of a board and some text on the other but it’s not like designing skate collections is a scholarly undertaking.
In fact, the bluntness of the design is part of the charm. Because, if you don’t see the board’s top — which may end up getting covered by grip tape anyways — you don’t get the entire reference.
On the bottom of the deck, a pair of blue Prada America’s Cup. Up top, a couple lines from Nas and AZ’s “The Essence,” a standout track from the latter rapper’s 2002 album Aziatic that references that specific America’s Cup colorway.
That’s it. That’s the deck. It’s yours for $110 or $60, depending where you look.
At best, the deck could inspire some kids to talk with an old head about its meaning. What’s the deal with those chunky sneakers? Were they ever popular? What is a Nas?
JK, of course (probably), but you get the idea. A fun nod, executed well.