COMUNE On Push.ca – Corey Smith Tells is as it is

October 26, 2009
Andrew Sayer writes for Push.ca.  He recently interviewed COMUNE’s Corey Smith, here it is for your reading pleasure, enjoy. My favourite quote “…if you don’t skate, you shouldn’t snowboard or else it’ll look weird.”
Comune: Some Thing Better Change

“Comune was formed from the idea that there will always be people out there who not only embrace the rawness and imperfections of everyday life, but use it to creatively push the boundaries of what’s possible in skateboarding, fashion, art, and music their own way, with complete disregard of the consequences.”

True, true, and true. While the emergence of another “lifestyle” clothing brand may bring back memories of all those flash-in-the-pan t-shirts you have sitting in your closet gathering dust, Comune is making waves right out of the gate and is far from your average soul-less brand.

One glance at their garment offerings, their eclectic skate/snow teams and supporters, and the crazy minds behind Comune, and you know they mean business. Already succeeding with their goal of providing clothing and support to those living a lifestyle of carefree idealism, they’ve already proven they have nothing to prove: Comune looks to be changing shit up and you’d better be ready.

With artist/snowboarder Corey Smith at the helm of art and team direction, and Jesse Fox adding support across Canada, I’m sure you’ll be skating, partying, and art’ing in Comune gear before you know it. Just don’t get the name tattooed on your neck just yet. Why not, you ask? Read the following interview below with Corey Smith to find out:

How did Comune get kicked off?
Frank Delgadio, the founder of Comune has been toying around with the name and idea for years. We had a good crew of creative young minds and we decided the time was right to do our own thing. You only live once right?

What separates Comune from other skate/snow clothing brands?
I think the main thing is that while we do sponsor skaters and snowboarders and many of us who work here have roots in these activities it doesn’t define us. We’re definitely on the other end of the spectrum from say your extreme sports wild and zany skate/snow reality show clothing brand. We glean inspiration from contemporary fashion, art and music, friends and family. We have a very eclectic group of people making this brand unique. Everyone has a say in what we develop from the marketing intern to our pro skaters.

As an ex-pro shredder and artist, what role do you play in the brand?
I’m the art director, and I also help out with marketing and the team.

Both the skate and snow team are full of some pretty eclectic riders. What does it take to get on the skate team?
I think the biggest thing with our team is we want individuals. I’m not necessarily looking for a contest winner or who’s the raddest. I’m inspired by style and creativity more than anything. Like [Charles] Bukowski said, “Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it”. I also want people who are easy to work with and want to be involved in shaping the brand as if it was their own, because it is!

What about the snow team?
Pretty much the same thing… There’s some wacky shit going on in snowboarding and there always has been. I just want riders that make snowboarding look cool, fun, and attainable – not retarded.

Both teams look like a pretty tight crew. Do new riders get on without the backing of the rest of the OG’s?
Yeah. I mean you gotta hang out and everyone’s gotta be down with you. We are not just going to put some dude on because he’s Johnny Rad.

How involved is the team in regards to product, ads, etcetera. Or are they just there to collect a pay cheque and sell a product?
They’re as involved as they want to be. I mean, they bring us stuff they like and we make it. We all have a say. I don’t really think any of our guys are good poster boys to sell product it’s just who we are and what we’re down with. If you like it perfect, please buy it ha-ha!

Is there a single rider that doesn’t have a tattoo?
I’d say it’s half and half. Some fools probably want tattoos but they can’t afford it. That’s where the ultra-shitty home tattoos come from.


Some winter-appropriate pieces from the Holiday ‘09 Comune catalogue.

Who is your money on to drop into a Comune neck tattoo first?
Hopefully no one! [laughs] I mean, I guess I couldn’t really fire someone for that, but it would definitely be frowned upon.

Do you think having a snow program gives Comune less credibility with skateboarders than if it was a 100% skate brand?
Yeah, probably, but we make clothes not skateboards. And most of our snowboarders skate too or grew up skating. I mean if you don’t skate, you shouldn’t snowboard or else it’ll look weird.

How did you get the infamous anti-sponsorship advocate, Scotty Wittlake, to ride for Comune?
I put him in a headlock. Literally…

What inspires the design elements of the clothing?
There are so many elements that go into the design process. I’d say overall when you look at out line there’s a feeling of minimalism, efficiency, class, and individuality.

Any plans laid out for the brand over the winter and next year?
Just continue to create unique clothing and live every day to the fullest.

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