Polar Brand Of The Year interview with Pontus Alv

Arthur Derrien Arthur Derrien

Once again, another trophy for European Brand of the Year, and now a trophy for short clip of the year for No Complies, Wallrides and Shuvits. Did you get charged for overweight baggage on your flight home?

No I’m going to get them shipped. Last time we won, we got the trophies right away and we put them on the floor, under the seat, and then it broke the top of the trophies. So I had to glue them together when I got home. So I decided this time it’s better to leave them at the party and have them shipped.

You’ve won twice now; do you think you’ll win European Brand of the Year again?

We didn’t really do too much in my opinion in 2013. I mean we did Trocadero Days with Converse and had the No Complies clip, but I feel as if we kept it pretty low profile. So I was a bit surprised when we won; I didn’t think it would happen. I was thinking Magenta would take it for their video and all their clips or Cliché for all they’ve done for Europe for all these years. Can we win again? I think it’s possible, I mean this year we’ve got some really dangerous stuff coming out, so we’ll see.

Kevin Rodrigues, wallie into the skinny bank. Photo by Alex Pires.
Kevin Rodrigues, wallie into the skinny bank. Photo by Alex Pires.

Why do you think people have responded to the brand so well?

Good question, um, I think we put in a lot of work on the graphics, ads and all the things we do. I think Polar has a quite original vibe to it that maybe people maybe haven’t seen before. I mean, I’m not saying it’s all original, but parts of it, like the graphics, we try and keep it really original.

I think Polar as a brand is really well rounded. We have all types of skaters in there, like Aaron from New York, a really East Coast-style skater, then a guy like Hjalte, a really tech and powerful skater, a weirdo like Kevin, and then we have Oski and David pretty much just killing every demo and contest – anywhere they go, people are blown away by their transition skills. I don’t want to be a brand that represents only one type of skating; I want Polar to represent all types of skating from tranny, to creative street-skating, to tech skating, to big hammers because I love it all.  And that’s why I think everyone can find something they can connect to in Polar.

Do you think Polar has had a noticeable influence on Europe’s skate scene? How about worldwide?

I mean, of course. Personally that’s been my mission since I quit Cliché and started doing my own film projects and my projects with the skate scene of Malmö. My whole idea for this brand is that I want to inspire artists to inspire themselves – that’s kind of like my rules to live by. I think that is the main point, we are not just a brand that wants to present: ‘Oh here’s these guys, here’s these products, buy our shit because we’re cool.’ We want to show ways for people to be inspired though artwork, maybe photography, films, building your own skateparks and skate spots. We really want to show a way for skaters to be inspired; I think that’s important as a brand. All these people are always talking about giving back to the scene and it’s hard to do it, but we try our best to try and inspire people and hopefully their creativity shines through.

A good example is these Happy/Sad socks we’ve done. First it started with my shoes, then Polar made socks and it’s good to see people wearing them all around the world on Instagram. We just want to inspire people and try to bring out good shit for skaters to be stoked on and try and keep the culture rich and alive.

Aaron Herrington, 50-50 (click to enlarge). Photo by Pepsi Kim.
Aaron Herrington, 50-50 (click to enlarge). Photo by Pepsi Kim.

 

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