As the founder of streetwear brand Palace, Lev Tanju is responsible for London’s most prominent and buzzed about skate company. Although Tanju is quick to point out he never intended for Palace’s appeal to transcend the skating community, the young company has become one of the most exciting street culture brands.
Tanju is quick to point out that the brand’s clothing label exists only to support its skating activities, telling Style.com, "It helps us do what we want to do," he says. "At the heart of us, we are a skate brand. I probably spend more time doing skate graphics than anything else. We're not a skate company—we're a family, really. We're all brothers, pretty much.”
“I had a gap decade after college, just skating and doing fun shit. Then one day I decided that I was a bum and I had to do something. I started designing some board graphics for people I live with. Then half way through designing them I thought to myself that maybe I should just start a skate company. It’s called Palace because that’s the name given to the houses we live in as they have all generally been shitholes,” said Tanju.
After having been distributed by Supreme, in April 2015, Palace opened its first monobrand store in London’s Soho and has expanded into the US market with the opening of a New York boutique in May 2017. Aside from launching four seasonal collections a year, Palace has found growth by collaborating with a roster of brands and artists including Reebok, Umbro and Adidas. With just two own stores, limited wholesale partners and a customer who is highly loyal to the brand, Palace’s opportunity for growth is huge.
Tanju told Dazed Digital, “Generally I think it’s great when there’s interest from more of a mainstream audience in skateboarding. I’ve met some of the best people in my life through skateboarding and it’s really made me the person I am. If a few really awful Céline adverts or whatever get more people into something that’s productive and fun then fuck it: I’m not opposed to skateboards being in shoots like that. The problem with the Céline shots is just that there’s a really ugly skateboard in them, really badly placed.”