MOOD: The Art of Contact Branding a New Skate Company


MOOD is an important new skate brand, based in New York, that challenges the “bigger, faster, stronger” MO of the radically accelerating skate industry. Founded by Calvin Waterman and Grandison Taber, Mood releases tight collections (a board, a hat, a shirt) created in collaboration with artists, designers, skaters, and “people with good ideas.”

One notable release has come from a collaboration with OMMU (the Athens bookstore), who brought in the Brooklyn painter Bill Saylor to create a rough, childlike painted board. They’ve also created a T-shirt with the designer Marc Kremers based on the logo of the video game Doom, and a full collection with the Thai painter Korakrit Arunanondchai. A hat in collaboration with the extreme blog Brown Cardigan is forthcoming.


Mood’s skater-owned-and-operated model manages to evolve two principles—limited edition gear and brand collaboration—that have stalled as “fashion” has been “democratized.” In a time when brands seem to be mating like rabbits, producing ever more complex configurations (without anything particularly new), Mood shows a high level of focus and restraint.

Skate culture is a generational constant for the current set of adult men who grew up watching skate vids and now design the world around us—and Mood translates that reality into boards, hats, and shirts. Channeling other disciplines into skating means that Mood doesn’t just “celebrate” the skate ethos, it actually operates by the logic of skating—expanding its borders in a site-specific way. Call it contact branding.


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