Daniel Kramer - Fashion

A closer look: The development of Palm Angels

Feb 25, 2021

Many fashion brands are trying to incorporate some different fashion styles into their offer. Whether that is something sporty, or something very elegant, some of them do it successfully and some not so much. Lately, with the impact of the streetwear style and the skateboard looks, many fashion brands have tried to add their personal touch into this culture, by incorporating it into their design. Although it has been quite unsuccessful for most of them, one brand that stands out is Palm Angels. 

The history of Palm Angels

Skateboarding is considered as one of the important subcultures of fashion, and the man who managed to display those authentic looks and tied to the skate culture is no one but the founder Francesco Ragazzi. Ragazzi has spent his life living in Los Angeles and getting to know the West Coast skate scene. His love for this culture came out in 2014, wonderfully described in the book called Palm Angels. It was a book also referred to as a love letter of skateboarding. That is exactly what Pharell Williams wrote when he documented the LA skate scene and talked about Ragazzi.
Here is a short overview of the biggest achievements of the brand through the years:
2015 – the debut unisex collection was released that combined the 70s skate culture with the preppy chic;
2017 – a strip-club inspired pop-up shop was opened in Tokyo;
2018 – it was a year that a capsule collection in collaboration with Playboy Carti was launched. The same year, the brand lined up with Under Armour for a “Recovery” collection that was designed to help athletes to recover faster after a workout while looking fresh. The first flagship store in Hong Kong was opened;
2020 – another “Recovery” collection launched, this time, featuring a $765 sneaker. 

Meet the founder – Francesco Ragazzi 

Ragazzi is not an unknown name in the fashion industry. As the art director at the legendary French outerwear brand Moncler, he knew what he was getting himself into. He started working with Moncler about 13 years ago, which allowed him to grow both personally and professionally, as well as build his own vision for Palm Angels.  He was working with lots of hip-hop artists and getting to know the scene before he made the move to founding his own brand. His vision and idea were simple: connecting the runways with the sidewalks. It was an idea that many have tried to do, but no one actually managed. The ultimate goal was to go with Palm Angels and to change the perception of skateboard culture as a whole. This was followed by turning the stereotypical image of the grungy skateboarder on its head and reinstate and re-imagine it as artists perfecting their art form. According to Ragazzi, skateboarding has always been recognized as raw, and his book was intended to change that, through a different perspective. Skate culture was the starting point that Ragazzi needed to develop the vision he had for Pal Angles. As explained by himself, Palm Angels is a reinterpretation of the American culture, a word that has been so fascinating for him. Especially focusing on the sensation of the men and women engaging in the skating sport, there has been no greater motivation to create something new which would later be recognized as fascinating and fresh. 
Doing that through what he does best, the fashion, Ragazzi exported the American culture back to Italy. In the essence of his vision, Palm Angles was Los Angeles skate culture reinterpreted through the fashionable Italian lenses. The result of this move was a range of upscale, skate-inspired garments that presented the impeccable Italian tailoring and fine fabrics with the finish of the American palm trees and cannabis leaves. The style of the brand is mainly defined as post-preppy and laid back. However, the relaxed vision of the designer delivered a collection of sportswear-inspired silhouettes, something that the Italians are quite familiar with. 

The designs and style

Palm Angels designs are a hybrid of Italian and American sensibility typified by urban silhouettes, Californian iconography, and expert Italian tailoring. This mix forms the DNA of the brand as the founder has stated on several occasions. 
As expected the brand combined the streetwear style, with the skateboard culture and the addition of trends and fabrics that make it stand out in the entire fashion market. The mix between the American and the Italian comes well depicted in the designs that feature lots of current trends but keep to the simplicity of the skateboarding style too. Some of the biggest trends that can be seen in the entire Palm Angels offer, no matter the seasons, are over-sized sweatshirts, colorful logos, tie-dye print, and many more. One thing that cannot be missed is the comfortability of the cut that can be seen through each piece. From the Italian fashion point of view, the colorfulness and density of the print are what make that part stand out. As the Italians are known to always want more and consider "more as more" the prints that are present as part of the Palm Angels deliver just that – an abundance of colorful and strong prints. 

(Source: Complex / PAUSE Online) 

On that note…

the vision that Ragazzi had for his brand was successfully transmitted and presented to the fans that follow this style.  There are no rules or boundaries when it comes to creating and designing fashion. That is the opinion that Ragazzi holds to, especially the strong frictions and the mixtures that spark bold outcomes and successful results such as Palm Angels. 

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