Alex Olson

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Alex Olson
Personal information
Full nameAlex Olson
EthnicityAmerican
Born1986
Santa Monica, California
ResidenceNew York City, U.S.
Websiteolsonstuff.com
Sport
Country United States
SportSkateboarding

Alex Olson (born 1986) is a goofy-footed American professional skateboarder, company owner, and entrepreneur.[1][2] Olson runs the companies Call Me 917 and Bianca Chandon.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Son of professional skateboarder Steve Olson, Alex's first memory of skateboarding was of Christian Hosoi doing airs on a Half-pipe while talking on a wireless phone, Olson was six years old at the time.[4][1] Olson grew up in Santa Monica with his mother until the age of ten, when he moved to Malibu to live with his father, former-professional skateboarder Steve Olson.[4] In Malibu he started skating. According to his father, he came home one day and made an announcement: “Yo, I’m a skateboarder.” His interest in skating reignited his fathers' interest.[5]

Olson saw his first skate video, Toy Machine: Welcome to Hell, at a sleepover.[6] His two favorite parts were Donny Barley and the fall section.[6] At a young age, Olson found the artistic nature of Jason Dill's part in the Alien Workshop Photosynthesis video (2000) influential.[6] As a young skater, he looked up to: Andrew Reynolds, Jim Greco, Erik Ellington.[6]

New York City[edit]

Olson first visited New York in 2005 when Jason Dill, at the height of his career, bought Olson a ticket to NYC in response to a MySpace message: “Hey, I would love to come to New York.”[7] Olson flew there and saw the New York skate and cultural scene first hand for the first time. The scene that Jason Dill was in 2005 was thriving, including the popular skateboarding-influenced artists like Dan Colen and Dash Snow.[7] Olson decided to move to NYC from California. He would live with Jason Dill for a bit. Olson also lived with Mark Gonzales for two months. While living with the Gonz, Olson would feed the cats.[8]

Creative Practice[edit]

In addition to skateboarding and running two companies; Olson designs for the companies, collects music, DJs,[9] and practices meditation.

Olson has also modeled for the fashion label Eckhaus Latta, walking the runway for their Spring 2018 show.[10] Olson included a clip of the runway walk in his skate part for The 917 Video, explaining the situation to The Bunt podcast:

"These young kids have this brand Eckhaus Latta, and the kids that are around the area that they use are in the scene, so they asked [my girlfriend] if I wanted to walk the show...I didn't want to...what's the point?...I don't need the fucking Slap message-board to be going off...I was telling Logan... [but] if we film it..and put it in my video part..it would be hilarious to throw that in your part...as a trick..it's ridiculous and kinda good at the same time...so I got the hammer.”[4]

Professional Skateboarding Career[edit]

Alex Olson turned pro for Girl in 2007/2008.[6]

“As a kid growing up, I never thought I would get sponsored by them because they were at such a higher level,”[11]

A friendship with Guy Mariano is how Olson started skating for Girl. At this time in his life, Olson would skate often with Mike Carroll and skate at the Berrics skate complex.[4] The Girl team was filming for the Lakai video Fully Flared. On Olson’s first trip with Girl, he toured the US, in a “brutal but super fun” trip where he landed some good tricks.[4] Before he got on Girl, he got a box of antihero skateboards and was torn between the two companies.[4]

After Fully Flared came out, Olson quit the Lakai team and joined Vans. After Vans, Olson joined Nike SB.[4]

After the Girl and Chocolate video Pretty Sweet came out, Olson felt disappointed and quit Girl.[4] He wanted to start a company with a friend. He briefly planned to join Brian Anderson at 3D Skateboards before quitting before the company opened.[12]

Olson wanted to start a company with longtime friend Dylan Rieder, they initially planned to collaborate but Dylan pulled out.[4] Olson decided to start his own company.

In 2007, Olson got 2nd place at the Vans Downtown Showdown Real Sacto Rebate.[13]

Olson is currently sponsored by:[14]

Media[edit]

Olson was on the cover of the May 2015 issue of Transworld Skateboarding doing a backside 50 50.[15]

Skate Video parts:[16][edit]

Skate Video Year
The 917 Video 2017
Sure 2015
Wet Dream 2014
Supreme- "cherry" 2014
Dece Vid 2013
Girl/Chocolate - Pretty Sweet 2012
Girl - Outbackwards 2010
Girl/Anti Hero - Beauty and The Beast 3 2010
Independent - 30th Anniversary Europe Tour 2009
Girl/Anti Hero - Beauty and The Beast 2 2009
Girl - Yanks on Planks 2008
Girl/Anti Hero - Beauty and The Beast 2008
Lakai - The Final Flare! 2008
Krooked - Gnar Gnar 2008
Girl/Chocolate - Badass Meets Dumbass 2007
Lakai - Fully Flared 2007
Chocolate - A Little Chunk of Chocolate 2006

Companies[edit]

Olson founded Bianca Chandon and Call Me 917 unintentionally simultaneously.[17] He started out by introducing Bianca Chandon via the number (917)692-2706 (sometimes written as 917-692-2706). If you would call the number you would get an answering machine that said hello you have reached Bianca Chandon. Once Olson started releasing Bianca Chandon unisex clothing, he abandoned the number because it had lost its function, and as of 2019 it simply says "leave a message".[17][1] He released some boards, for himself and others, under the Bianca Chadon name but as the company was taking form he did decided he did not want it to become a skate company.[17]

Olson did not envision a team for Bianca Chandon; however, he meet some kids he wanted to support them and start a team so he brought the number back and founded a separate company.[17] Olson compares it to Polo:

...like how Ralph Lauren has the brand Ralph Lauren and he has Polo by Ralph Lauren. So 917 started to take shape slowly, it took some time for people to get to know the brand, understand the brand, and for us to build a team around it.[17]

His two brands, Bianca Chandon and Call Me 917, have made him "a highly visible model of the self-taught skater-turned-entrepreneur."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hawgood, Alex (2015-07-29). "Alex Olson Mixes Skateboarding and Fashion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  2. ^ Smith, Lee. "Lee Smith Delves Into Alex Olson's World in Mission Statement Episode 09".
  3. ^ Eisenhour, Mackenzie (21 April 2015). "Alex Olson Pro Spotlight". TransWorld SKATEboarding. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Benson, Cephas; Jones, Donovan. "The Bunt S05 Episode 12 Ft. Alex Olson "I'm not a cool guy"". soundcloud.com. The Bunt. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  5. ^ Gibbs, Adrienne Samuels. "Passed Down From Father to Son: A Skateboard?". OZY. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Skater's Paradise". www.nowness.com. NOWNESS.
  7. ^ a b c Crum-Tesfa, Zoma (12 October 2017). "Skating Copenhagen with Bianca Chandon's Alex Olson". ssense.
  8. ^ "Alex Olson AM Spotlight". TransWorld SKATEboarding. 20 June 2007.
  9. ^ "JENKEM MIX 13: ALEX OLSON".
  10. ^ ".Same the Not Are Fun and Love". .Same the Not Are Fun and Love.
  11. ^ Hawgood, Alex (29 July 2015). "Alex Olson Mixes Skateboarding and Fashion". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Mehring, Jonthan. "An Interview With Alex Olson (From the March 2014 Issue of Thrasher)". Quartersnacks.com. Thrasher.
  13. ^ "Alex Olson Skateboarder Profile". SPoT Skate Shop at Skatepark of Tampa. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  14. ^ Meronek, Rob. "Alex Olson Profile Bio: Ranking, Photos, Video Global Rank: 1092nd Overall". TheBoardr.
  15. ^ "In This Issue: May 2015". TransWorld SKATEboarding. 24 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Alex Olson skater profile. Online skate videos and video parts by Alex Olson. | Skatevideosite". www.skatevideosite.com.
  17. ^ a b c d e Hoogwater, Roland. "Alex Olson - Leave A Message | Place Skateboard Culture". Place Skateboad Culture.