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Atheistic codes, originality and rebellious attitudes are the cornerstones of contemporary skateboarding culture. The appropriation of skateboarding’s visual image by couture fashion houses has long been played out on the global catwalks and through the production of related photographic imagery, fashion films and YouTube videos. Skateboarding’s DIY approach has increasingly garnered the attention of fashion innovators; with significant notice bestowed on those traditionally associated with nonconformity as being the representatives of a new ‘Cool’.

Exploring skateboarding’s subversive tactics within film, photography and design this research aims to investigate the consumption of these mediums by the couture fashion industries, examining the interconnected frames of visual imagery and physical artifacts and addressing the rhetoric that explores both conflict and acceptance from the skateboarding community.

This research sets out to critically question why the couture fashion industry is exploiting the visual construct of skateboarding through fashion film, photographic practices and fashion design. The research aims to rigoursly analyse the processes of ‘Appropriation’, generating new ways to identify the visual construct of skateboarding’s (sub)cultural-based aesthetics, past and present, map the pathways and routes by which these fashion trends / styles continue to be appropriated by couture designers and provide the skateboard community with an economic model that will support the continuation and healthy success of the skateboard industry.

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