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Benny Gold se despede do streetwear após 15 anos
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Benny Gold se despede do streetwear após 15 anos

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Benny Gold/Reprodução

Quem conheceu o streetwear há pouco tempo talvez não faça ideia de quem é Benny Gold. O designer é um dos caras mais influentes e importantes dentro da cultura da moda urbana de São Francisco, onde fez seu nome nos anos 90, quando desenhava flyers de shows independentes, adesivos e fazia camisetas para ele e seus amigos.

Benny nunca imaginou que um de seus projetos, a marca que carrega seu próprio nome, cresceria e se tornaria tão grande quanto é atualmente. Esse processo aconteceu de forma natural, envolvendo não apenas fãs da marca, mas também a comunidade local de skatistas e artistas independentes que vivem ao redor de sua loja, localizada no distrito de Mission, em São Francisco.

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Ao longo desses anos, a Benny Gold colaborou com diversas marcas de peso como Diamond, Knockaround, The Hundreds, JanSport, entre outras. Apesar de nunca projetado todo esse sucesso, a marca chegou a ser revendida em diversas lojas ao redor do mundo, trazendo reconhecimento e firmando seu nome dentro da terceira geração do streetwear, nos anos 2000.

benny gold loja dentro - Benny Gold se despede do streetwear após 15 anos

As mudanças em relação a forma de consumo e a explosão do preço dos aluguéis em São Francisco acabaram desanimando Benny que, em 2016, já havia relatado essas mudanças em carta aberta ao portal Hypebeast. Em um trecho, ele explica que apesar de observar toda essa mudança como algo natural, já que a maioria das empresas de tecnologia estão localizadas no Vale do Silício, em São Francisco, estava cada vez mais difícil manter a loja física e a marca.

“As vendas físicas estão diminuindo em todas as lojas dos Estados Unidos, por conta das compras online que possuem valores mais competitivos e fretes gratuitos. É bem difícil para uma marca independente competir com isso.”

Em declaração mais recente, Benny explica que tomar conta de um negócio acabou afastando ele de sua verdadeira paixão, o design. Segundo ele, a marca é algo que na qual não se identifica mais, por isso, encerrá-la é maneira mais íntegra de encerrar esse ciclo.

A coleção mais recente da Benny Gold foi lançada no fim de 2018 e a loja ficará aberta somente até o fim do mês de janeiro.

Sobre o futuro, ele comenta que continuará trabalhando como artista gráfico e que, eventualmente, pode lançar alguns produtos especiais e limitados.

Desejamos ao Benny e a sua equipe o melhor nesse novo capítulo que se inicia.

Confira abaixo declaração na íntegra.

With the new year, I am making a big change. I am bringing the Benny Gold brand back to its original roots as a personal design project. The brand was never meant to get as big as it did. I am thankful for the journey that it took me on but it is time to make a change.

A new year brings new beginnings. We’ve all heard some version of this, but it never rang so true to me until now. For the past few years, I’ve been toiling over what direction to take the Benny Gold brand in. It started as a personal design project with the sole purpose of allowing myself more creative expression than I was getting at my day job -— an exercise of virtues. But over the years it has become so much more than that. Each time I would decide to take a step back, a fan would come into the shop sporting a brand-related tattoo, or tell me that they pursued their dreams because of the work I was doing. It was moments like these that inspired me to keep pushing and growing the brand. Benny Gold is now an internationally distributed brand with a fan base that spans all corners of the globe. We have a beautiful flagship location in San Francisco and an outstanding staff that has helped me realize my full potential. The brand has become bigger than myself and I am forever grateful for this.

But with this success comes it’s own set of challenges. I now find myself growing less creatively as my days are spent managing people, budgets, and production issues. I am feeling increasing pressure to follow trends and go more “urban” in the attempt to capture more market share. A brand becomes a living, breathing thing and every brand has a life cycle -— well it’s become increasingly clear to me that the Benny Gold brand is nearing its end. I would rather bring it to a close and celebrate it’s life with integrity rather than push it to become something I no longer believe in.

It’s no secret that I got my start in streetwear designing for the esteemed Huf brand created by pro skater Keith Hufnagel. Keith was integral in helping me find the confidence to start my own brand. Huf closed their SF retail store right around the time I was opening the doors to my first storefront. Life has a funny way of coming full circle and I now have the honor of helping them come back to San Francisco. After the month of January we will be handing over the keys to our Valencia storefront to Huf and I can’t think of a better brand to inhabit the space.

The recently released Fall/Holiday collection will be the last full collection from the Benny Gold brand. I am a graphic artist at heart and all I’ve ever wanted to do is create meaningful things. Therefore, I will continue to put specialty products out into the world in very limited quantities, so stay tuned. Please stop in through the month of January to shop our remaining inventory, and stick around to celebrate, reminisce, and wish everyone here at Benny Gold the best in their new ventures.

Stay gold!

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What started out as a side hustle while pursuing a future in skateboarding, I has been churning out signature graphics since the early ’90s. From designing party flyers, sticker bombing the streets of SF, and producing T-shirts for myself and friends, I would have never guessed that years later my eponymous brand would grow into what it is today. . . . With the changing landscape of retail and consumption habits. Rather than have my cherished brand morph into something that I no longer recognizes or feel connected to, I will be closing down the namesake brand to begin a new chapter of my life. . . . Read my transition letter in the slideshow above or click the link in my bio to the hypebeast article. Thank you all for the support and love! This recently released collection is my last full collection – don’t miss out on it! 🙏🏽

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