With a unique approach to business management and brand promotion, Alex Olson has launched two successful skateboarding brands in two years. Bianca Chandôn and Call Me 917 have quickly grown and settled into their own spaces, falling somewhere in between the fashion and skateboarding industries. Both are now being worn by Virgil Abloh, ASAP Rocky, and everyday skaters across the world. Olson sat down for an interview with VHS Mag to explain exactly how the two brands differ, and his reasons for keeping them separate in the first place.
Following the rapid success of Bianca Chandôn, Olson says he started Call Me 917 because he had a "guilty conscience because [he] was using skateboarding to help push [his] brand, but [he] wasn't letting skate shops buy it." Like other skaters running brands that fall in between skateboarding, streetwear, and high fashion, Olson had to decide whether to piggy back off skateboarding's popularity, or give back to the industry that gave him his start.
By creating Call Me 917, he was able to begin supporting a new team of riders and send boards to skate shops more frequently, operating more like other traditional skateboarding brands. Bianca Chandôn, he explains, has always been more of an experiment into his interests beyond skateboarding, like music, fashion, and photography. Now with the two separate brand frameworks in place, Bianca Chandôn will continue to be his outlet for special collaborations and full cut and sew collections, and Call Me 917 will begin supporting a new set of skaters coming up.
Olson also announced that he is working on a full video with the newly formed team. Keep a look out for that, hopefully coming soon.