From a band of misfit skaters to one of the world’s most dominant streetwear brands, Palace has evolved into what might be the most dynamic brand yet.
Lev Tanju took up skating in the late 90s, finding himself in the Southbank skate scene fairly rapidly. By the late 2000s, he and some friends were living in an apartment in Waterloo, which was mere minutes away from Southbank park. He described the apartment as filthy. But to them, the apartment was a palace where they could skate, drink and just enjoy life with minimal consequences.
After designing skate decks for some friends and producing for PWBC News (an amalgamation of his friend’s skate clips), Tanju decided it was time to launch his very own skate brand. And the rest… is history.
Palace finds success by being in tune with its audience. They release garments and accessories that their customers genuinely want or have a curiosity for. This can be exemplified by their countless jersey renditions, insane collabs and staples, which hit far more than they miss.
Powering the brand’s ethos is their Tri-Ferg logo which was designed by Fergus Purcell, a London-based graphic designer who has worked on Marc by Marc Jacobs, among many more. The logo is an infinite repeating motif which represents eternity. With inspiration taken from Oscar Reutersvärd’s Penrose Triangle, the three pillars represent the endless cycle of dimensional growth.
Below you’ll find a list of must-have Palace items that are on a need-to-know basis. Some of these pieces were hard to choose between, so I chose both, while others are simply generalized ideas of what the brand produces. Because, if you know a brand kills it every single time, why choose just one?
Palace X Umbro Jersey’s / Palace ‘Persailles’ Jersey
The list of Palace football jerseys is copious and chock-full of sleepers. Styled like the 1990 England kit, this absolute banger turned heads when it was released in 2012. Produced in collaboration with Umbro, the kit came in a few colours, but the most notorious was the cocaine white.
The shirt represents the drama of Italia 1990, where England fans were thrown through a rollercoaster of emotions. We saw England lose on pens to Germany, followed by the infamous tears of Gazza as the team strutted off the pitch. All of this emotion is sewn into the stitches of this top, which in retrospect, was a fashion-forward choice for trends today.
If you were hoping for a more standout colour, the kit also comes in blue, which is reminiscent of Holland’s 1988 home kit. However, if you’re looking to break necks even further, check out their ‘Persailles’ top, which came in blue and purple.
The kit’s imagery is of the Palace of Versailles, both a castle in France and an obvious play on the brand’s namesake. There really isn’t much of a significance from a collaboration or history perspective. However, the garment is ‘nutty’ and is more so a testament to how much Palace likes to push boundaries.
Palace X Polo Ralph Lauren Skateboarding Bear Sweater
On paper, this collab seems a bit far-fetched. What is Palace, a grimy, sub-culture-driven streetwear brand collaborating with one of history’s most posh fashion houses? Well, they both took their love for becoming cultural icons and continued to stay as such with a series of dope pieces.
The most infamous is the Polo bear skating on a sweater. On the Palace website, they confirmed that the bear is indeed doing a kickflip after a flurry of fans debating what trick the bear was attempting.
Although the sweater as a standalone piece is dope, what it stands for is far more important. We saw a crossover between posh and street because they simply wanted to make a splash. What we got to experience was a tsunami of well-crafted apparel that signified a levelling up of some sort for both brands.
Palace X Reebok Classic
Reebok and Palace have done a total of 5 different colourways across two silhouettes. Both Club C and Classic are, well… classics. Arguably these are the two silhouettes you think of when you let your intrusive Reebok thoughts enter your mind.
This collaboration was done extremely well and in the most Palace fashion possible. Each sneaker has minimal but noticeable detailing, which makes the crep so effortless to wear. As well as this, they all came in extremely standard and monochromatic colourways, excluding the icey soles on the classic.
The best pair from this linkup is the navy blue suede Club C’s, which just encapsulate Palace’s dichotomy between minimalism and maximalism. The entire silhouette is navy blue with palace accents running across the laces, as well as the toe.
Aesthetic Baggy Jeans
Palace was basically born on a skateboard, making their baggy jeans some of the most functional pants on the market. They come out almost every season, with each pair featuring stitched branding and easy-to-wear colourways.
This season, the brand has a gray pair and a navy blue pair, catering to those who like the old-school denim look. However, older renditions of the baggy jeans can be found through a remedial internet search. My hint: Go get them for a steal on Grailed.
Garms from the Palace Saves collection
The final set of pieces in this list is actually a 2022 release which I believe could potentially stay relevant for decades. The Palace Saves collection features shorts and a shirt with a shirtless cowboy walking into the abyss.
However, a quick google would reveal that this ain’t no ordinary cowboy. That’s Marlboro man, an advertising figure that the tobacco brand used for marketing from 1954 to 1999.
Take Palace’s modern styling, pair it with the vintage aesthetic and imagery, and what you have is a banging collection that is going to stay in fans’ collections for a long time. The cultural impact of these items will be longstanding. At some point, the piece’s reputation will supersede its physical presence.