We speak with skate industry heavyweight Steve Douglas on relaunching New Deal, the brand he launched with Paul Schmitt and Andy Howell back in the early 90s. Produced and distributed through Dwindle, New Deal will feature only artwork and models from their early 90s heyday alongside some exciting sounding marketing initiatives including re-release videos and an upcoming documentary. Steve fills us in on launch details, a huge party slated for LA this September and Co-Founder Andy Howell featuring in this Spring’s Supreme t-shirt drop.
Do you see any similarities between the skateboard industry in 1990 and today? Does skateboarding need a new deal?
It’s funny in 1990 there was a lack of skater run companies today there is an influx of them. To me, this is a good thing, however hard to be a retailer with so many choices. I must admit I am happy we are launching a Heritage brand rather than a new company, way less competition, and an area of the board wall that is growing. The competition is mainly 80’s based and has been to many people overdone, many consumers are looking for the ’90s, the timing is good for us, speaking to shops that specialize in reissues. We are excited to hear that there is a shop opening in London that will only Specialize in reissues.
What took you so long to come back?
We have been asked to do it for years but we could not locate the master tapes, New Deal coming back without videos was not going to happen the company was based on video, in fact, we shipped the 15minute promo video before we shipped products.
Is the collection strictly about 1990 New Deal in the Useless Wooden Toys era?
Yes the focus is 1990-1992 so 3 videos, the 15minute promo Useless wooden toys and 1281 (all updated and cut down into individual parts on the New Deal Youtube channel)
Will you have a new team?
No, we will celebrate the original New Deal riders only.
And it’s all 3 original founders all working together on this project?
Yes, Paul Schmitt, Andy Howell (who’s Supreme Colab is dropping now) and myself and the team, we have been having a great time telling old stories. Please check out #mynewdealstory
The deck shapes from around 1990s have been quietly making a return recently in collections. Are the shapes all originals in the ND reissues?
Yes, 100% and the art, they will be available screened and in transfer, there are very subtle changes in the art as in not to upset the many collectors out there.
What kinds of products can we expect for the 30th anniversary?
Boards and printables to start, clothing coming in the second year, we are working on a limited edition DVD with loads of extras, we started on a documentary and hopefully soon a book if all goes to plan.
Where will the boards and products be manufactured?
At DSM and we will be distributed by Dwindle around the World for 3 years.
Why not use Paul’s woodshops PS stix?
PS stix does not have the infrastructure to supply and make happy 70+ global distributors and many 100s of retailers. Paul, Andy and I have a long relationship with Dwindle and I worked there for 12 years. We know Dwindle can make great heritage product, they deliver on time around the World at great prices, and they are not only great friends but extremely professional and support professional skateboarding 100%.
Please highlight the three key products in the collection and tell us about the artwork and back story.
- The SQ logo, drawn by Andy the day we started the brand in Del Mar NSA contest early 1990 (Note no ND sun between products, that came later)
- Andy Howell 1st ND graphic that Andy drew, it was a break through, Andy wanted to get the fans involved. At ND we felt we could do whatever we wanted and Andy and Gorm Boberg (from Sweden) did just that.
- Ed Templeton cat, a graphic that launched Ed Templeton’s art career and his skating his pro career.
When will retailers in Europe be able to order the collection? And when is the launch in Europe?
Distributors will be pre-selling now with their accounts with delivery late September.
Any suggestions for those pre-booking?
This first delivery will only be available like this for this one drop. The following drop D2 which we will pre-sell in Oct for a March 20 delivery into Europe and will be updated. The same graphics but with different treatments that were not available back in 1990 which will be a lot of fun, we are all excited for that opportunity. So shops order with confidence, these will not get old and don’t miss out, there will be a lot of marketing to support the product when they hit.
You said a bold statement on a recent sales presentation that the collabs you have done at the launch “is be the best collaboration in the history of skateboarding” please tell us more?
Ha ha – well, I did say right before I am biased as I love both companies but I stand behind it, it’s a true collab, from the 2 brands, the riders and the original artists, it came out incredible. The Enjoi line could be a current line from today or an ND line from 1990, we could not be happier.
We saw the great response online with Jenkem, what are your marketing plans?
Yes, we have a big plan with some great media partners like the Nine Club Chromeball, RAD Mag, Muckmouth, Thrasher and many others around the World up and during the launch.
I am hearing about a big launch party in LA in September can we get more details? Any chance of doing the same in Europe?
Yes please mark the date September 28 in LA, ad this starts a 30 days exhibition at a very famous New Deal fan’s gallery. Shepard Fairey we will have original boards and artwork, the band the Odd Numbers will be playing, all the riders will be out and many artists that were inspired by the New Deal. Our goal would be to take it to NYC, London and hopefully Germany and beyond in 2020….
Lastly, the response to the sales meeting, Jenkem article, ND riders, old fans and new has been humbling, this is going to be a lot of work but allot of fun. Please join up on the website to follow developments www.newdeal.wtf and follow us on IG, twitter, FB and YouTube