3 times 3 stripes, equals?

Article: Seb Carayol

Cliché/Adidas official collab’ for a Lucas Puig board might look like the newest marketing idea ever —well, not quite. The idea of adorning a skateboard with the three stripes had been toyed with since the early '90s on, by H-Street pro Alphonso Rawls. Lucas board is also a nod to that board, mind you, and “Alf” gladly reminisce for us…

Ciché Adidas Lucas Puig part

How did you get the idea to do that Adidas “homage” board, back in 1992?
Adidas and Pumas where “the” hot skate shoes of that era, and I liked Adidas and the simplicity of the 3 Stripe logo, as well as the Leaf logo… I also thought that my name worked well as a counterfeit replacement for the Adidas name, because both start with an “A”.

Did it sell well? Did you see figures, or care, back then?
Nothing sold well at that time. Skateboarding was in a slump, board sales where down, but I always had a decent minimum that I made monthly. I also had additional income from trucks, shoes, wheels, and photo incentive… As well as some graphic design work that I did. I wasn't “ballin”… but I wasn't crawlin’ either.

Had you ever thought back then of approaching Adidas to make it an official co-branding thing at all?
We figured that since we were a “little ol” skateboard company, we would be under the radar. So, no… The idea was to keep it unnoticed.

H-Street Alphonso Rawls Adidas rip-off

photo courstey of Tim at Bobshirt.

Did Adidas ever catch wind of it?
I later heard that they where aware of it… But no fuss was ever made of the situation.

Do people still talk to you about this very board today when they bump into you?
It has happened. People ask me about it on Instagram every so often. They usually ask if I have any available for sale. I don't have any of the boards… Just the stickers. “How many do you want?” I haven't seen a board in a while.

Did you know of Cliché doing a board in the same spirit, this time in collaboration with Adidas?
I heard about it through Instagram, too! I think it’s dope… As I did twenty years ago, when I first did it!

Cliché x Adidas Lucas Puig

You also sent me pictures of another Adidas board, what was this one about?
This one was made for Adidas by The Kayo Corp as a limited run promo item. They made 200 to 500 of them, that was about eight years ago.
Kayo Adidas promo board

Photo courtesy of Alphonzo Rawls.

While we're at it… When did you retire from pro skateboarding, and what have you done since?
I retired around 2000, I was fortunate through my shoe deal with Kastel in 1996 to get into footwear design, which I have been doing for the past sixteen years. I run a footwear design business, I've worked with over twenty brands and design well over a hundred manufactured designs.

You can follow Alphonzo (@ALPHONZORAWLSDESIGNS) and Lucas (@LUCASPUIG) on Instagram as you please, but you sure should check out the part Lucas just shot for his new board, right here, right now!

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