2021 delivers us a new skateboard brand from Portugal, created by skateboarders for skateboarders, and with their unique style and graphics, Blonde Skateboards are already making waves in the skateboard industry. We chatted to André Fernandes, the man behind Blonde, about launching his new brand. So, we dug in to see what we’ve got to look forward to from the first line, André’s take on skateboarding’s growing popularity and his thoughts on the Olympics.
How was Blonde Skateboards born and what was the idea behind it?
We wanted to create a brand with a different attitude, more fun, different graphics and great quality. I am really stoked on how it turned out, and the quality really is the best.
The name “Blonde” just came to me, it’s a simple name and people remember it easily. You know, it is like ‘Girl’ but more refined, after all not all girls are blonde. Although we’ve just started out, the results are pretty good already, enough to buy cigarettes at least haha.
Who are the people behind the brand and what are their backgrounds?
It’s just me and Francisco Correia, who was big on the skate scene in the 90’s. Francisco also works in the music industry and has his own band.
I have been in the skate industry for 28 years doing trades, mail order, shop, distribution, and brand and marketing consulting. I picked up my first skateboard in 1996 and I’ve been hooked ever since. Skateboarding has by far the best sport culture to me, the most underground culture.
What sets Blonde aside from other skateboard brands on the market?
One of the things that sets us aside is our marketing strategy. We just decided to do things differently than other brands do.
We have been selling directly to our customers and we have had really good feedback. The decks are made from good materials, have great shapes and good pop. The graphics are the main thing that makes Blonde stand out, we have collectors from Europe, UK and even the US reaching out to us, sometimes buying 3 decks at once. There is currently a trend within skateboarding brands surrounding the abstract and weird cool graphics, but I wanted to stay away from that trend. Blonde is more about fun graphics that appeal to kids and the 18–28-year-old skaters.
It is a brand where the skaters identify with the graphics immediately, and when they see our website, they want to be part of that weird, fun, anti-establishment club!
Please tell us about your first line and what are the key products?
To start with we have a small spoof series decks line that have stirred up a lot of interest and have been selling the most so far. Our simple Blonde logo deck has also developed some following already.
How does your home market Portugal differ from other skate markets?
I wouldn’t say it is any different to any of the other European countries. Skateboarding is booming everywhere at the moment and the demand is big. Would be cool if European skaters created more skate brands, the time is right.
Does the recent boom in skateboarding and skateboarding’s inclusion as an Olympic sport inspire more independent brand start-ups?
Skateboarding is all about change; we had old school, then new school, then golden era, and now another cycle. There is always room for something different. I personally think that the small brands will be the big players in the future.
Once the sport has been seen by millions on TV (or as I like to call it “box of lies”), skating will grow dramatically. The sport will be more approachable to the masses and the demand will rocket. It will surpass surfing in no time. After all, all you need is your set up, love for the sport and some concrete to skate on
How will the brand be distributed?
We are going to work with different distributors and also sell straight to shops. We worked out some innovative brand/distributor strategies that we will be applying in the upcoming years. I can confidently say that the distributors working with Blonde will be happy with the marketing strategies, ads, and ideas we have come up with.
Some of the ideas I want to apply with Blonde were already tested and approved with Fidelity skateboards. But with Blonde, I feel like I have a better product, advanced marketing ideas and graphics and a logo I am really happy with.
Why should retailers stock Blonde?
Our amazing product, unique graphics and over all love for skateboarding and the culture.
Website coming soon…