Pro Skater Keith Hufnagel’s skate and streetwear brand “HUF”
- by Nick Demaria
- October 17, 2020
“Made by skateboarders, for skateboarders”. This was the vision that fueled the skate and streetwear brand that pro skateboarder Keith Hufnagel founded. Hufnagel began “HUF” with his then-wife Anne back in 2002 and opened the first HUF store in San Francisco. HUF was conceived with the aim of bringing together and finding a commonplace for respected and emerging brands and names in the skateboard, sneaker, and streetwear communities. Over the years, HUF would steadily gain recognition as a streetwear brand that curates and markets rare apparel and footwear, all of which can be comfortably worn by athletes and enthusiasts as they skate.
In the late 80s, Keith Hufnagel first fell in love with skateboarding and its community as he grew up in the streets of New York City. Back then, skateboarding was still not as widely accepted as it is today. It was considered an underground culture for hip-hop and punk rock, outcasts and misfits. It was this very culture and lifestyle that heavily influenced Hufnagel’s outlook and way of life. Hufnagel continued to grow his skills at skateboarding even as he moved out to San Francisco. He soon became a professional skateboarder and steadily gained praise in the sport and the community in the early 90s.
As he traveled around the world, doing what he was passionate about the most, Hufnagel began thinking of sustainable ways to support his family and lifestyle. It also had to be a way to give back to the community that embraced him and contributed greatly to the man he had become.
And thus, HUF was born.
HUF began by curating and selling durable and irreverent streetwear clothes that were hard to come by from known brands that skateboarders preferred. Soon, it expanded to include limited-edition footwear, again from brands that were close to the hearts of skateboarders. Through the years, HUF steadily grew its brand reputation among skateboard athletes and enthusiasts while staying true to Hufnagel’s vision. As part of its drive to give back to the community, HUF also supported a professional skateboarder team.
The years after saw the expansion of HUF to new locations, eventually finding its way to Hufnagel’s hometown New York and even international locations like Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.
After battling brain cancer for more than two years, Keith Hufnagel succumbed to the illness and died Thursday, Sept 24, 2020, at 46 years old. Known skateboarding professionals and enthusiasts worldwide mourned his death and praised his vision, which lives on even after death.