In the past few seasons, the worlds of streetwear and designer fashion have come closer together. Louis Vuitton’s recent collaboration with cult New York label Supreme is the most obvious example. But even before that collection stampeded across social media and helped LV’s parent company LVMH post an impressive 23 per cent increase in profits last month, we were witnessing the rise and rise of several lesser-known skate and street brands that now seem to be everywhere. In London, there’s Palace Skateboards. In Bordeaux and Paris, there’s Magenta. And in Amsterdam, there’s Pop Trading Company.
Pop Trading Company was started in 2013 by Messrs Peter Kolks and Ric van Rest. Before that, Mr Kolks, a longtime skater, worked as a buyer for the main skate shop in his home town of Arnhem. “Eleven years ago, skateboarding wasn’t what it is now – you know, as connected to fashion. We turned the shop into more of a boutique skate shop selling streetwear brands such as Nike SB, Stüssy, A.P.C. and Norse Projects,” he says. Naturally, this experience came in handy when he moved to Amsterdam to start Pop as a distribution company. Back then, its main activity was working with the hallowed brands mentioned above, acting as a point of contact in Europe and placing their wares in stores. But there was always more to it. “We used to do a lot of events and making videos,” says Mr Kolks. “When we began Pop, we started our own team straightaway, doing the same thing. So basically just really pushing the Amsterdam scene.”