Clique. Squad. Gang. Every group of female friends or collaborators has its own preferred moniker — as well as similarities and, ideally, differences that help keep the bond strong. With a name inspired by a shared desire to combat sexist comments men made on their skate videos in attempt to diminish their skating abilities, the all-girl, New York-based crew Skate Kitchen is not only shredding and killing it in the scene, they stand for something greater — and have style in spades. Despite being an all-female team, the group embraces feminist values while keeping it completely clear that they strive for inclusivity; they hang out and skate with men, but they value the camaraderie and strength the group represents.
Lovingly touted as "Fashion's Favorite Girl Skateboarders" by the New York Times, Crystal Moselle, the Sundance-acclaimed director of the Wolfpack, cast the crew in a short film she was commissioned to direct for Miu Miu's "Women's Tales" series. Additionally, they were selected by Pharrell Williams to participate in his collaboration with G-Star RAW for the Elwood X25 prints, and Nike selected the squad to be featured in the campaign for its first-ever, women's-specific skate shoe, the Nike SB Bruin.
Watching the crews' vlogs, not only can you see the way they skate, you also catch a glimpse of their day-to-day adventures and each of their distinct personal styles. But perhaps most importantly, you can feel the support they offer each other in all aspects of life. It's almost as if you've been granted special access to the squad; they're super-engaging even in their most mundane moments, like taking the train, food shopping at the bodega, or skating from park to park, endearingly praising each other, "You're so dope. Bitch, I love you."
We recently had the opportunity to with the team — Jules Lorenzo, Ardelia "Dede" Lovelace, Kabrina Adams, Nina Moran, Brenn Lorenzo and Rachelle Vinberg — about Skate Kitchen and their own personal style that's attracted Nike, Miu Miu and more. If fashion's pervasive obsession with skate culture is any indication, you'll be seeing a lot more of these women in the days ahead.
How long has each of you been skating?
Jules Lorenzo: I've been skating for about eight years now.
Ardelia "Dede" Lovelace: I've been skating for about seven years.
Kabrina Adams: On and off since 2006 ... on since 2014.
Nina Moran: Since I was 12 years old. I'm 19 now.
Brenn Lorenzo: About nine years.
Rachelle Vinberg: Seven years.
Define Skate Kitchen and why it's important to you.
Dede: The Skate Kitchen is a collective of friends who just so happen to have skating in common. We're not here to exclude anyone, but rather to embrace each gender. It's important to me because it's creating a voice for girls and anyone else who may feel excluded.
Jules: The Skate Kitchen is important to me because many of the girls in our crew, including myself, are people of color. We're able to show that girls of every color do exist within the skating world, whether they're mixed, Latina, black, asian, etc.
Nina: We are all about women's empowerment and believe that anybody can do whatever they want no matter their gender.
Brenn: It's important to me because we welcome everyone and have such a diverse group — it's really amazing.
Rachelle: It's more so a term coined to describe the crew we skate with, rather than being an actual group with specific people. We all skate — boys and girls — with the intention of having fun and promoting women skateboarding.
What's most important to each of you when you're getting dressed?
Dede: I think the most important thing to me when getting dressed is probably color and detail. I always want to make sure that my shoes complement my shirt or outfit as a whole. I also think that small details like a hat, visor or a nice pair of socks complement my outfit as well. While I am into color, I try not to overdo it. I'll try to wear neutrals with a pop of orange or yellow, just something to make it a little fun. I also think color-coordinated layers are essential in the winter.
Rachelle: Being comfortable to be the person I want to be.
Jules: The types of shoes and jewelry I put on are always very essential to my outfit. They both help to either downplay or spice up what I'm wearing.
What's your favorite piece of clothing right now?
Jules: Mine is a Drop Dead shirt with Sonic the Hedgehog on it. I've always been a fan of Sonic ever since I was a little kid and DD is one of my favorite brands right now. When you smack the two together — boom! I'm in love.
Dede: Probably these blue denim jeans that I hand painted Inuyasha on. They took a lot of time and came out amazing so I'm very attached to them. Every time I'm out skating I get a compliment or comment on how they look. I don't know what in particular inspired me to paint on my pants, but one day I just decided to spice up my denim since I have so much and a lot of [the pairs] look the same.
Brenn: My current favorite piece of clothing would definitely be my black bomber. It's very simple and has a dope Coca-Cola design on the back. It's usually my go-to jacket.
What are your thoughts on the increased popularity of skate and streetwear since you started skating?
Kabrina: It's really annoying to me. If you have to wait for something to become popular to do it or wear it, you don't have a mind of your own. You're just a sheep.
Nina: It's interesting how much more popular skate and streetwear has become since I first started skating. When I first started, some skaters didn't even dress like skaters. Now, people who don't even skate dress like skaters.
Brenn: I think it's amazing to see how much the popularity of skating and streetwear has increased. It's even better that there are more girls skating right now as well. Growing up I never saw a girl at the skate park, and now you see them all over the world.
Dede: I'm really enjoying the increase of seeing skaters, especially those who are girls. I remember never seeing girl skaters; now with Instagram I know of not only other girl skaters but of other girl collectives that skate.
Why is it important to have a women-specific skate shoe?
Nina: I think it's important for companies to do a women-specific shoe because almost all good skate shoes right now are men's skate shoes. Almost every girl I know that skates wears men's shoes and it's not right.
Jules: I think it's important because it shows growth in acceptance and representation for women within a male-dominated brand.
Rachelle: I was told that women have different needs when it comes to having an appropriate skate shoe, like our center of balance is different. It's necessary to be able to address those needs.
Kabrina: The only reason it's important that Nike is making women's skateboarding shoes is that it acknowledges that women are skaters, too.
Dede: I think one word: inclusivity. It is inclusive, to everyone.
Homepage photo: @theskatekitchen/Instagram