Skaters are a sworn community. Skaters are unmistakable. Skaters are the ultimate cool. Five young Swedes combine this image in 1999 into the brand WeSC: “We Are the Superlative Conspiracy.” This expresses the feeling of community of the skater scene and its fans. But what’s the latest innovation? And what’s behind the success of WeSC?
“We’re a street fashion brand. We bridge the gap between streetwear, fashion, and skating. We want to be a brand that takes things to the next level,” explains Greger Hagelin, one of the founders of WeSC.
The Scandinavians have been showing this ever since 2002, when they were distinguished as the winners in the “Sportswear” category at ISPO Brandnew. “The combination of functional, high-tech snowboarding clothes and life-affirming, party-streetwear style is unique,” was jury member Reinhard Pascher’s basis for the decision.
Hagelin is sick of the monotony in skater fashion. For him and his co-founders, it’s about life off the halfpipe. Tough women and laid-back men should find clothing for every time of the year and every occasion, including the right accessories.
“Since the early 90s, there’s been a big gap between skateboarding and the art and fashion world,” says Jason Lee. “Do you remember when skater style was super baggy pants and extra-loose T-shirts? WeSC is changing that.”
Lee is one of the so-called WeSC Activists. The American actor and comedian was outfitted by WeSC early on, and is making the label known worldwide. Other famous artists from the music and skating scenes are getting excited about the label and contributing to its rising fame.
The cooperation with the Andy Warhol Foundation made for a stir in 2015, resulting in unmistakable skateboards, accessories, and clothing items.
WeSC does away with classic marketing campaigns, instead focusing on the WeSC Activists, who simultaneously bring their ideas to the design process. And so RZA, a world-famous American musician, doesn’t just have a collection named after him, he’s also significantly involved in its production.
“Don’t you remember the old days when you’d lie in the back seat of a car, maybe you were high, and didn’t do anything except stare at the lights from the car radio? Why not do the same with headphones?” wonders RZA. The result is removable earpieces and integrated LED lights - simple for style.
Precisely this innovative, laid-back style is making for the ultimate success. With conspicuous headphones, the Swedes are setting a new trend that’s replacing the now conventional in-ear buds. If you’re not wearing WeSC headphones at the end of the 2000s, you’re uncool. But it’s not just the look – linear, colorful, casual, urban – that’s convincing; it’s also the full sound that makes the difference.
As was already the case at ISPO Brandnew, all WeSC products are convincing with their perfect combination of function and style, as well as their high quality. And there’s no end to the innovations, either. In the coming summer of 2018, the cult label is focusing on a gender-neutral collection. The cuts will fit both men and women.
“We think that people feel attracted to us regardless of their gender. After unisex products like accessories and shoes, it’s time to put out an entire collection. WeSC continues to progress,” explains Joseph Janus, who’s been CEO since January.
This forward-thinking attitude was already a deciding factor for the prize at ISPO Brandnew 15 years ago, and the foundation for one of the fastest growing companies in Sweden. “I think it’s great how the focus is being put on young entrepreneurs,” Greger Hagelin lauds the concept of ISPO Brandnew, and in 2015 himself sat on the jury.
Today WeSC is market-listed, has stores in 22 countries, operates online shops, and generates roughly 300 million euros in revenue per year. An ultimate success for the Conspiracy.