Skateboarders aren't afraid to take fashion risks, and when the most stylish skaters in the game decide to get fresh, everyone takes notice. Stevie Williams and Stefan Janoski have established themselves as two of the most-talented and best-dressed guys in the skate world, and their current venture, Asphalt Yacht Club, is an expression of the clothes they’d love to wear.
Williams and Janoski are cut from a different cloth. But while their personal styles couldn’t be more different, their love for skateboarding—and dressing in a way that allows them to standout—has brought them together to find a formula that works. AYC has just launched its first collection, and the brand is ready to go where skateboarding and fashion collide. Simply put, the brand is not just for skaters, but for everyone that needs a clean get-up.
To find out what everyone can expect from AYC, how the brand started, and how Williams and Janoski integrate their different takes on style, we chopped it up with the two men responsible for the brand. Get familiar with AYC.
How did you come up with the concept of Asphalt Yacht Club?
Stevie Williams: The concept is evolution. Throughout my career, the things that I’ve achieved or seen; I wanted that to represent a brand that I could show to the world, and that’s what Asphalt Yacht Club resembles. Coming from somewhere and making it to another place. You can make it from the streets to a yacht. A yacht symbolizes success, and I thought it was a dope icon; everyone can choose their own path.
How did you team up with one another, and what’s your relationship like?
You can make it from the streets to a yacht. A yacht symbolizes success. -Williams
SW: We always shared the same name, just in a different way [Steven and Stefan]. I’ve always looked at him as one of the pioneers of the skateboarding shoe game to crossover outside of skateboarding. When we sat down and talked it was cool. We had only skated together, but when we started to chill and hang out, we caught a vibe and had a lot of things in common. It made it easier to identify what we wanted to do collectively with the brand, and we could make a brand for the sake of the skaters.
Stefan Janoski: At first, before the other guys were involved, it was just me, Stevie, and a bunch of the amateur kids. And I thought that was really cool, because we all have different styles. What I think this brand will be about is all different styles, and the mesh of things you really wouldn’t expect maybe Stevie to wear or me to wear, but it looks normal on us.
What can we expect from AYC as far the clothing goes?
SW: The quality of the brand is different than a lot of other brands, but the price of the apparel is going to be reasonable enough. It’s the feel of the product. The quality is dope, that’s all I can say. It’s something different from what I’m used to, and it’s something that will make you step your game up. I found the way to make a good quality apparel line at a great price, so my fans that skate, and the people outside of skateboarding, can afford it.
SJ: The first collection has a lot of nautical themes, but it’s really cool. It’s just starting, and it’s open to the idea that it can do anything it wants—because of the team and the designers. We’re still getting it all together, but I think it’s going to be nice, cool stuff. Even people who don’t skate would probably like it, too.
Is there anything you’re extra hyped on and items you can’t wait to wear?
SJ: For the future, there are these pants, shirts, and cardigans that I’m pretty excited on. But for the first run, it’s pretty straightforward stuff: T-shirts and jeans, and high-quality sweatshirts, sweaters, and hats.
SW: I’m really hyped on the V-necks, the quality of them, the way that they feel, the way I spray Bond No. 9 cologne on the shirt and it will stay there for two to three days. It’s that type of quality.
What separates AYC from DGK?
SW: The team is different; DGK is a street team and Asphalt is a new age team of heavy-hitter skateboarders that reflect multiple different styles, not just a single style. And DGK is a skateboarding company, and AYC is a clothing company. That’s a big difference. But the way I put the team together, this is one of the best teams in skateboarding. Everyone’s watching to see what we’re going to do with it.
The team is really diverse, what’s it like having everyone on board?
DGK is a street team and Asphalt is a new age team of heavy-hitter skateboarders that reflect multiple different styles, not just a single style. And DGK is a skateboarding company, and AYC is a clothing company. That’s a big difference. - Williams
SJ: Yeah, at first it was just a few of us, then Justin Figueroa and Nyjah Huston caught on and really filled it out. Then it turned into the thing where it really was for everyone. We have every type of skater: Ben Nordberg, Riley Hawk, and Derrick Wilson. It’s different, and no one ever does that. Everyone just sticks to their own crews. Everyone can still skate the same stuff, and we all have the common thing—that we all skate—so we can all talk about something.
Is AYC stuff you’d want to wear or just skate in?
SJ: It’s both, that’s my whole thing; I hate having to change outfits to go skate. It has always been a thing for skaters, after you skate, you put on your “chilling shoes,” and you’d never skate in them. You didn’t want these suede, clunky, falling-apart, sweat things on your feet. That’s the way I wanted to make my shoe as something you could wear all the time. So, it’s the same type of thing with the clothing. Maybe a pair of dress pants that have some stretch in them, so you don’t blow the crotch out when you skate.
How do you feel skateboarding, fashion, and hip-hop influence each other?
I think we’re at the point where hip-hop and skateboarding have already met, married, had a baby, and that baby is streetwear. -Williams
SW: I think we’re at the point where hip-hop and skateboarding have already met, married, had a baby, and that baby is streetwear. With the influences of everybody who put in a lot of work, from Pharrell, Lupe, Terry Kennedy, and Complex Magazine to Lil Wayne, Crooks & Castles, Supra, and Bun B, there are a lot of people supporting independent fashion. And making it about something that we all love, which is music, fashion, and having fun—that’s what it’s about right now.
SJ: Skaters like me have always followed the style, and people throughout the years have taken
skateboarders’ style and made it fashionable. Skate style changes, that’s what becomes in. Because skaters can do whatever they want—they don’t have a job with a uniform and can wear whatever they’re feeling—the rest of the fashion world thinks of what to wear and they’re like, “Oh, look at these guys, they look cool.”