When we first heard about Nike SB x Doyenne collection, we were like "what the hell is a Doyenne". It's fair comment seeing that it's a fairly small brand out of Scotland. So we did some research and found out that they're doing great things for the less recognised subgroups in skateboarding!
Back in 2017, the founders of Doyenne saw a void in their local scene and quickly mobilized to fill it. Seeing a lack of diversity and representation at skate parks, the streets, and, most importantly, the absence of a safe space for new skaters to express themselves, they started by organizing a skate meet-up in the brand’s hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. The impact of those early sessions sparked their project to become a full-fledged brand with the goal to represent and inspire the community around them and abroad.
I mean, skateboarding and going to the skatepark your first time, can be daunting. From what I can tell, it's less scary these days, but that's coming from an older, male, white dudes perspective. All I can talk about is how nerve wracking it was for me in the 90's and how now I try to say what's up to everyone and hopefully make them feel more comfortable.
Doyenne has evolved a lot over the years. We started in 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. When I started skateboarding, we felt there were not many brands that were women-run and supported diverse skaters. We liked the idea of starting one so we thought, ‘Why don't we just do it?’ When we learned about other collectives and nonprofits in skateboarding that were doing important work we wanted to use the brand to create opportunities and support charities and help make the community more diverse. We started by hosting a lot of beginner sessions where people could show up and skate in a safe space, to simply see if there was interest. From the beginning, we wanted to be about inclusivity and accessibility within skateboarding but we also have backgrounds in design and art.
The range is great, colourful and mellow, made possible by reversible garments. They paid attention to ethical fabrics and detailed construction. It's wearable and flamboyant at the same time.
We started with a concept that runs through the entire collection: harmony of opposites. We wanted to celebrate the duality that’s in all of us. We wanted something timeless but we wanted to also be vibrant. Everyone is two things, you know? Some days you want to wear all black, other days you feel vibrant and want to wear bright colors and patterns. You have different energies. That informed the print, the colors, and the materials we chose for the Blazer design. When you look at the shoe, you initially notice the neutral colors but then you look at the marbling of the sole—and each sole is completely different due to the production process—and you start to notice the unexpected details. We wanted to use natural materials such as the pineapple canvas and kept it undyed to give space to the shoe so you can see the details of the materials. The soles are recycled Grind materials in order to show all the layers and patterns.