The “Lost” Alex Olson Interview | Nike listens to their athletes (skateboarders), while Vans doesn’t
Alex Olson has never been one to bite his tongue, which is part of the ‘je ne c’est quoi’ that makes him such a trendy trendsetter amongst the youth. This long lost interview arose from the ashes of the time that AO was the King of Tumblr. Some funny shit in here and insight on what it’s like to skate for behemoths like Vans and Nike.
Really? What was the deal with leaving with Vans? I was kinda avoiding that question.
I wasn’t happy I didn’t like my teammates, I just didn’t get along with them, I mean I got along with them but I never hung out with them, none of them really stoked me, like I wasn’t like stoked to go on a trip I was more annoyed. Like fuck, I would be annoyed when they called, they kinda did some lame shit with me and they just left a bad taste in my mouth. But they were really cool too, so I feel bad talking shit on them to a certain degree. It was just like shoe drama.
I just recently heard that the Versa was supposedly influenced by you.
I think that was in a contract. When I left Lakai, I had it in my contract that I got a shoe in some way. And I think Vans didn’t want to give me a shoe, so they made this roundabout way that covered their ass on the contract and gave me that. It kinda sucked. Because it was just a lame deal because I made this shoe and people thought it was my pro model and when I was designing it they weren’t really listening to me …it was lame.
What do you think of Gilbert (Crockett) and the new shoe, the Stage Four that came out for Vans?
The Stage Four if you asked me that when I was a kid I could have answered that, but I don’t know what the Stage Four is. Is that the same thing in a way? It’s like a bullshit way for them to give you a shoe but not give you a shoe. Think about it, they can put your name on it, they use your likeness, but they don’t have to give you a royalty. So it’s like they’re using you to sell a shoe, but they don’t have to pay you
Fuck, I didn’t know that.
A lot of shoe companies do that. It’s kinda lame I don’t like it… I mean it depends, if you’re like just happy. I was so excited to design a shoe…
Did it come out to your specifications?
No that’s why it was annoying. The designers there bothered me; they just didn’t listen to me. Skating for Nike and skating for Vans…now being around Nike, they respect their athletes, not just skaters but they take their opinions and they’re really focused on that. But Vans is like, ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about, we get paid and we do this, like you don’t know. Let us deal with it. It’s not a good environment for creativity.
Yeah I was just looking at a bunch of Vans, they made one that looked exactly like the Janoski, I thought it was funny.
Yeah that thing is like the bestselling shoe, though. That’s like the new constant one or um…I’m trying to think of another shoe that was really big before that.
Bluecouch now has a blog. I figured for the first post why not share an interview I did with @olsonstuff 6 years ago (link in bio). Initially I did it for a magazine I wanted to start called “Views” that would be a quarterly release and would focus on who skateboarders were and wanted it to read as more of a fluid conversation rather than a Q&A about whatever the fuck. Obviously that never happened, so here it is, one of three interviews I did with pros. I want to keep producing content like this and hope I can bring you more as time goes on, please let me know what you think, roast me, blacklist me, whatever.