HUF-founder Keith Hufnagel grew up skateboarding in the gritty streets of New York City's late-80s. In those days, skateboarding was simply not accepted: it was punk rock, it was hip-hop, it was a counterculture of outcasts misunderstood by the masses. It was a way of life that would ultimately shape Hufnagel's outlook on life.
In 1992, Hufnagel moved to San Francisco to pursue his passion of skateboarding. He turned professional soon after, providing him a rare and rewarding opportunity to travel the world by means of his skateboard and the industry that supported him. Brought up by the very 'do-it-yourself' approach that came along with skateboarding, Hufnagel saw an opportunity to give back to that same community which had raised him, and opened a small boutique in 2002 on an offbeat block of San Francisco's Tenderloin District, the first of its kind. Its aim: to bring together under one roof the most respected brands that the skateboard, streetwear, and sneaker communities had to offer. He named the shop HUF, and it quickly came to be recognized as the Bay Area's premier purveyor of hard-to-come-by goods.
With its rapid growth and popularity, Hufnagel found the necessity to launch his own line, HUF, assimilating into one label what he felt epitomized skateboarding, streetwear, and sneaker fashion. Since its inception, HUF has evolved into an independent manufacturer of premium apparel, footwear, and skateboarding goods.
Though much has changed over the course of the brand, Hufnagel still holds strong to the same core beliefs that drove him since day one. He sees skateboarding as more than just another 'hobby,' and something far from simply a 'sport;' he sees it as a way of life, a skateboard-lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that he feels brings together a vast assortment of similar countercultures: from artists, to musicians, to photographers, to any creative like-minded individual, skateboarding transcends race and social structure, and exposes the individual to a world free of prejudice or restriction. Driven by these ideals of self-expression and the freedom for individual belief, he sees skateboarding as an extension of those very values that permeate American history and tradition. He attempts to express those standards through the concentrated collection that is HUF.
HUF looks to classic American craftsmanship, timeless vintage design, and an appreciation for fine-and-functional modern detail to produce quality goods that incorporate the past and present to create the future. The range integrates material and construction inspired by those specific garments that have endured the test of time, resulting in a product sufficiently suited to handle the abuses sustained by skateboarding. Accompanied by casual graphics and slogans, HUF offers a unique range that reflects sophistication while simultaneously incorporating that certain nonchalance so commonly associated with skateboarders and artists alike.
Hufnagel's first love has always been and always will be skateboarding. He continues to give back to his roots through the products and opportunities he provides through the company, maintaining the respect and influence HUF has over the skateboard, streetwear, and sneaker communities. Hufnagel remains extremely involved in the production and direction of HUF, and continues to tour the world on his skateboard with his friends and teams, which helps fuel and inspire his original vision.
Made by skateboarders, for skateboarders, HUF represents not only a more refined and forward-thinking skateboard brand, but also any individual inspired by the vast array of countercultures that parallel skateboard mentality. Do not settle for the status quo. Go out and create your own future – do it yourself, do it in style.