WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/on-the-drawing-board-753379/

IF THE SKATE FITS: In what appears to be an artistic take on six degrees of separation, Etnies, a California-based skateboard shoe company, has tapped 20 renowned artists with ties to the brand to offer up some customized artwork for an exhibition of shoes, handbags and flat art called, “This is Me.” Next month the show bows at London’s Loading Bay Gallery before shipping out to Paris in October.

This story first appeared in the August 23, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Etnies pulled in people from fashion, film, photography, illustration and graphic design to work on the project. Ed Templeton, pro skateboarder, artist and founder of Toy Machine Blood-Sucking Skateboard Company; Russian jewelry designer Irina Volkonski; Japanese photographer Akira Somekawa, and French fashion designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac were among the 20 artists who contributed pieces. Each designed a pair of skateboard shoes, a handbag and a framed image.

“Everyone knew someone who could get involved. There are a lot of artists in the skateboard culture,” an Etnies spokeswoman said. “We definitely want to delve more into the cultural differences and forms of self-expression. We’re interested in anything unique that is based out of individualism and self-expression.”