An Old-School Skate Fan Tries Her Hand
First things first: “I don’t skate, ’cause I wear high heels and fifties dresses and can’t even recall a point in my life when I wore jeans, unless you count the dead-stock black and yellow Gianni Versace cheetah-print, high-waisted ones that I will definitely be rocking come fall,” says Liz Goldwyn, the L.A.-based filmmaker, writer, historian of burlesque, and now, skateboard designer. “So me on a skateboard would only work in theory…”
But theory vs. practice didn’t stop her from designing a new skate deck, which is now available exclusively at Opening Ceremony. The limited run grew out of a commission by an art collector, who wanted a deck. Goldwyn settled on a pair of legs in homage to burlesque, and in particular the late Rex Huntington, whom she calls “one of the greatest burlesque costume designers of the 20th century.” (He’s profiled in her book Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens.) Huntington designed for all of the most famous strippers of his day (with a sideline business making wardrobes for drag queens), and at his death, bequeathed Goldwyn his archive of designs, sketchbooks, and even celebrity measurements. The legs on her deck were inspired by an “American Girl” pinup of Huntington’s—complete with red-white-and-blue star pasties.
And while she may not be a skater herself, Goldwyn is every bit the fan (and a big collector of decks, too). “I am a Cali girl and grew up skate-obsessed,” she says. “I read Thrasher and Big Brother (which was the coolest, defunct San Francisco magazine—very punk anti-authority, and every issue was a different size, super-collectible). I had pictures of Salman Agah and Jay Adams pasted into my journals. I collected Vision and Bones Brigade, T-shirts and stickers. There used to be the raddest skate paraphernalia you could buy—that kids could actually afford! Now it’s pretty commercial, and I think it’s time to bring back those great graphics, so thought I would try my hand at it, as a fan of the sport and the culture that has surrounded it.” Her handiwork will run you $200 at Opening Ceremony’s L.A. and NYC stores.