Hypebeast recently released an interview with HUF-owner Keith Hufnagel, discussing the history, focus, and future direction of the HUF brand:
Keith Hufnagel grew up skateboarding in the streets of New York City. Moving to San Francisco in 1992 to pursue his passion, he became a professional skateboarder, providing him a rare and rewarding opportunity to travel the world through the skateboarding industry. Out of those experiences Keith acquired a unique view and ability to blend his inspiration from the cultures that surround him. This outlook became a vision, which materialized into what has become HUF. Opened in August 2002, HUF quickly became the Bay Area’s premier purveyor of hard-to-come-by goods. With its rapid growth and popularity, Hufnagel found the necessity to launch his own line, HUF. Hufnagel remains extremely involved in the production and direction of HUF, and continues to tour the world on his board with his teams and friends, which helps fuel and inspire his original vision.
1. I made my way to San Francisco… in 1992 for college and to pursue my dream of skateboarding.
2. Los Angeles offers HUF… new surroundings as inspiration, a chance to focus on strengthening the line and new beginnings as a city to host HUF.
3. Skateboarding is… my passion, my pleasure, my pain. A culture that helped shape me and that I will continue to draw inspiration from for HUF.
4. Retail has become… an outlet for our creations. As our economy continues to fluctuate, we must adapt and evolve in order to survive.
5. The Dirtbag Crew… is for everyone out there. Most people are in the DBC, they just don’t want to admit it to themselves… it’s all the fun stuff out there that we here at HUF just choose to embrace.
6. Shutting down the San Francisco shops was… a tough decision, but a necessary one. We are now able to focus more of our energy into HUF as a brand itself, which was a long-term goal since day one. We will continue to support SF and do special projects for our customers up there.
7. My biggest accomplishment… creating a brand from the ground up.
8. My passion in life… is skateboarding, clothing, footwear and design.
9. Keith Hufnagel wants… to give back to this culture everything that it has given to me.
10. My biggest reward with HUF… being able to offer jobs and opportunities to people in this growing industry.