Interview conducted in San Diego, CA on June 20, 2005 for the 2008 documentary film Beautiful Losers.
Damon Way is an American designer, brand marketer, and entrepreneur. He was born in Portland, Oregon in 1971, brought up by his mother alongside younger brother, and professional skateboarder, Danny Way in San Diego, CA. He co-founded DC Shoes in 1994 and would go on to create a number of brands throughout the early 1990s such as Droors Clothing, and Dub Brand Outerwear. In 2008 he took up the position of Chief Brand Officer for Incase Designs. Damon most recently launched skateboarding apparel brand, FACT, a new brand idea deriving from familiar elements of music and skateboarding he experienced through the ’80s and ‘90s.
Tell us about your history with skateboarding.
Why do you think skateboarding draws in so many creative people?
What do you think about the current popularity of skateboarding, and what in your mind has contributed to it becoming less marginalized?
Do you see a danger in skateboarding receiving mainstream acclaim, and do you think it can become fully co-opted?
As a company owner do you feel you are obliged to participate and appeal to all the different factions of skateboarding?
When was the first time you noticed a visual aesthetic attached to skateboarding?
Have you seen that aesthetic change over the years?
What were some of the first skateboard graphics you got into?
What do you think about the trajectory of skateboard artists who are now part of the blue-chip art scene?
What is it about the beautiful losers group of artists that attracts you?
How does a company like DC shoes benefit from working with artists?
Does street art sell shoes?
What do you think about all the large corporations who don’t have grass roots in skateboarding now capitalizing off street art?
Do you think it’s ever be beneficial for artists to collaborate with corporations?
Do you think the message of art gets diluted when placed within a commercial context?
How do you make sense of artists who were traditionally more anti-establishment, who are now making their living by working with corporations?
What do you think will be the outcome of the current consumer frenzy around limited edition products such as the artist shoe?
Do you consider limited edition artist shoes to be art?
Are the shoes you help produce designed to be functional and wearable?
DC Shoes was just purchased by quicksilver, tell us about why you chose to sell and how that transition has effected you.
Do you think corporations are the new art patrons of the 21st century?
How did you meet KAWs? aka Brian Donnelly
Do you think the beautiful losers artists will be able to sustain themselves over time, or do you think all the interest in their art is just a passing fad?
Do you think of the beautiful losers as a movement?
If there was one message you’d hope our film to put out there what would it be?