FRANK151’s very own Alex Corporan sat down with Eyescream Magazine as part of their ‘Portraits from Skateboarding’ installment to talk past, present and future. Check out the interview from Eyescream below.
Photos & Interview by Eyescream Magazine
“Maintaining the close relationship between skating and the street is my job.”
NY Street Legend Alex Corporan also worked as Supreme’s shop manager in the past. He has also been active in Frank 151 and El Senor, the publication of a photo book “FULL BLEED” that condensed the skate scene of the 70s and 2000s. Alex says he has a mission to convey the relationship between street and skating to youth.
What do you remember when you think about the skate scene from the past to the present?
The 80s and 90s was a transitional period of the skating scene. Until 1989, it was a difficult era for the skating company to survive, but around 1991 and 1992, the skating scene gradually increased on NY Street, and 1993 and 1994 became the historical years for the NY skating scene. ZOO YORK started in 1993 and Supreme opened on Lafayette Street the following year. Then, in 1995, the movie “KIDS” was released, and the NY scene was getting more and more attention. I was in the movie, so I was really excited at the time. I worked as a store manager for Supreme from around late 1996 until 2004. While belonging to Supreme, I was also a rider for American Dream, 5BORO NYC, and Infamous Skateboards. The community at the time was so united, and I never imagined that Supreme, when it opened, would be so big that it would make a name for itself all over the world. I’m very grateful to James (James Gebia), the founder who loves brands and skating, and who let me do my favorite job. Supreme is my eternal family. And I think the 90’s skating scene has become the mainstay of the current scene.
Since this is an opportunity, can I ask about your first encounter with skating?
It was in 1985. My best friend Freddy was skating. There were no kids skating in NY at that time, and I had a strong image of the West Coast. I also asked my parents to buy a skateboard when I was 14, and I purposely ordered a board from the catalog of Skates on Haight, a skateboard shop in San Francisco. Tony Hawk’s board! I loved it right after I got it. I was in the best mood. It didn’t take long to improve.
Has the skating scene change between the 90s and modern times?
I think it has changed and the scene has grown. It used to be an underground culture, but now it’s mainstream. I didn’t have YouTube or Instagram at that time, so I practiced tricks with friends, and waited for Girl, Chocolate, and Alien Workshop to release a skate video. I didn’t have much access to tools to learn skating. Of course there was a trick HOW TO in the magazine, but it was hard to understand because it was not visual. I think there are more tools now, so the skating population has increased.
In the 90s, there were few skaters, and I feel like ZOO YORK and Supreme were at the center of the NY skating community, but now the skating population is increasing and each one forms a crew and is active. At the same time, the number of skate parks are increasing, so unique scenes and various movements are occurring there.