If you don’t know Greg Poissonnier yet, here’s your chance to fix it. We’d include him easily in the French OG list.
Pro-snowboarder first, he now lives in Hossegor (South West part of France) and his pool-skills are still on point. No question he’s truly in love with skateboarding. Judge for yourself: he founded cOLLAPSe Skateboards few years ago; he’s in charge of the Red Bull Skateboarding content for France & Benelux; he’s the editor of the french skateboarding website Dammn.fr; he’s involved (and still commentates) a lot of skateboarding events; he distributes Muckefuck Urethane wheels in France… and the list goes on!
Greg was the first one to introduce the KrakBox concept in France and now we’re psyched to partner with him and include some very special cOLLAPSe products. Big up. k.
When did you launch cOLLAPSe?
cOLLAPSe skateboards saw the light on the 12th of august 2011 (the day we received the first batch of boards). We created it with my friend Boul Rostan (he’s not involved anymore…), he’s an artist, a video maker, photographer, tattoo artist, and he skates a bit. He was really into the idea of expressing his art on boards and as I’m working in the skate industry (Gravis/Analog marketing manager back then), we thought we could try to launch our own little company with no other goal than making something we like. To this day, I’m still running it for the fun with no expectations of making a living out of it!
What’s the story behind the name?
We were looking for a name that would sound cool in different languages, that was available and which possibly had a meaning. Us being around 40 years old when creating the brand and still playing on the wooden toy, we thought, “yeah it makes sense cause it looks like we’ll be skating until we collapse…”
Is it the first time you’ve played with your own logo?
In such an obvious way, yes.
What was the main reason behind that game?
Coming up with something different than we’d been doing so far. We’ve always had a logo deck in the range but I was getting tired of it and I wanted to come up with another logo. As I’m not creative enough I thought it’d be easier to steal an existing one 😉
How did you get the idea of the ‘tribute to Cliché’ one?
I was in the morning office (the one with the white pierced seat and no desk) reading a skate mag when i saw the Cliché “merci” sticker and thought it’d be awesome to use the same font for the next cOLLAPSe logo deck. And of course at the same time it would be a tribute to a brand (and crew/team) I have a massive respect for. These guys put French and European skateboarding on the map, which wasn’t really an easy task when you think about it! Unfortunately Dwindle decided to shut it down before its 20th anniversary but the legacy remains 😉
And how did it come to life then? who designed it? Was the original Cliché team involved?
So that same morning when I got to the office (the real one) I gave a call to Jérémie Daclin straight away explaining the idea I had in mind. I also told him that he should feel free to shut me down if he thought the idea sucked, but he liked it and gave me Rico’s contact (Eric Frenay) so he could help me with the design. I called him straight away and he also thought it was a rad idea so he basically created the board for us, just like it was a Cliché deck but with the cOLLAPSe word instead…thanks a lot guys!
What about your other logo, the ‘badaboum’ one? who designed it?
The artist behind the “badaboum” logo is a London based artist called Tom Guilmard, I got to meet him through my snowboarder friend Niels Schack. He took Tom to my office as he needed a board, he liked the deck and the brand imagery so he offered to work on some graphics. To be honest I wasn’t a super fan of the first graphics I saw and had a hard time visualizing them on decks, but then the graphics became more complete and when showing them to riders and friends they all thought the were super cool! The only guideline I gave him was to try finding something that would illustrate the cOLLAPSe word, that’s how he came up with that graphic and logo. Then when it came to find a name for the series, it reminded me a lot of that game called “Badaboum” that was around when i was a kid, as simple as that!
What’s your opinion about the logo diversion as a whole?
I’ve always liked it, I like logos – the skate industry always played with corporate companies logos, I think it’s cool. What makes me smile is when the skate industry feels offended when a corporate company does the same with a well known skate related logo, if you see what I mean!?
What are your future plans for the year?
We’ll be celebrating cOLLAPSe 6th anniversary in August, and as with every year, we’ll put an event together. The last couple years we had street events on the main beach and in the center of Hossegor (birth place of the brand). This year should be more transition driven, most probably in Biarritz’s “cité de l’ocean” rooftop bowl…then there’s a little video project based around Matt Débauché and a picnic table but he’s injured at the moment. And after that possibly our annual tour somewhere sunny and with a skateboarding friendly architecture!
Any must-do / -think for someone who wants to launch his/her own skateboarding brand?
Don’t think you’ll make a living out of it!
Thanks a lot for your time Greg. And your dedication to skateboarding for so long. I can tell you: you’re an inspiration for us.