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Adidas’ “The Skate” – A Skin Phillips Tribute

On a comfortable “winter” night in Los Angeles, in the heart of the Fairfax District of West Hollywood, Adidas had a few tricks up their sleeve for a great night – for a great photographer. On February 6th, Adidas Skateboarding partnered with Known Gallery to bring us the US premiere of a new signature shoe – The Skate. Sure, The Skate was fresh, clean, and impressive as a sneaker, but it’s what the shoe represented that we all showed up for.
Skin Phillips is a legendary skateboarding photographer that still spends his time in the streets with the Adidas skate team, getting photos for the biggest magazines and features in skateboarding. Being from a small town in Wales, Skin defines what it means to reach far for what you want. He was in the least likely location for a successful skate photographer to be born from, yet he made it happen for himself. Over decades, he has proved himself as a master of his trade, befriending some of the best skaters in the world and taking the photos that documented some of the best skating that has happened during that time. Yet, more importantly, he has actively become a part of the very fabric that has created professional skateboarding as we now know it.
Skin thanking the crowd in West Hollywood. Photo: Blair Alley
Skin thanking the crowd in West Hollywood. Photo: Blair Alley
When pros from different countries had not ties, when text messages did not exist, when tour dates were announced via flyers in skate shops, Skin was the guy to shoot photos for your skateboarding. He connected so many, performed at the highest level, and made everyone feel comfortable, all qualities of a world-class skateboarding photographer. Knowing all this, it should be no surprise that he’s recognized with his own shoe model, even for a shoe company as established and as revered as Adidas.
With the European ties, classic brand, and heavy line-up in the skate team that Adidas has, it only makes sense that Skin is staff photographer for Adidas Skateboarding. The show at Known Gallery on February 6th matched the influence that he has had over his career, as much as it possibly could have. The walls were covered with Skin’s photography from over the years, from classic lifestyle shots of our favorite skaters to the best skate photos of skaters old and new. There were gift bags for attendees that contained really nice offerings. There were the best people in skateboarding present (this is an understatement). And there were the letters of Skin Phillips’ name, scrawled on the wall behind his own signature shoe. Beers on RVCA, good vibes everywhere, and plenty of photos of Mark Gonzales to please any skate nerd. There was also a hint at SPOILER ALERT Marc Johnson now riding for Adidas Skateboarding…
We’re glad that we got to experience the show in honor of Skin and in the presence of so many legends. We’re stoked for you, Skin. And we’re stoked for YOU, skateboarding.

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