Blueskin turns 10! We celebrate with an interview with founder Niki Kerr
It's not just female riders that are pushing the boundaries and putting a bit of sex equality into the extreme sports world, Niki Kerr, founder of clothing company Blue Skin, who have just celebrated their 10th birthday, tells us how she's doing her bit to prove that there's more to women than flowers, hearts and butterflies - hear, hear we say!
Congratulations on your 10th birthday! How does it feel to have been around a decade?
Thank you! It feels amazing to acknowledge the 10 year mile stone. I don't think I properly realized how long Blueskin had been around for till I looked at the calendar and was like blimey it's been 10 years, I had better throw a party. Everyone has been so thrilled and excited, congratulations came in from everywhere, it's been a real pat on the back, plus a chance to take stock of where Blueskin came from and where it is today.
What prompted you to start up Blue Skin?
Basically I just I wanted to do my own thing. I had finished a Fine Art degree at Brighton University and moved to London without a ‘proper job’ in place. My plan was that Blueskin would support my fine art creativity, so I could be off at the weekends building crazy art installations. But as Blueskin grew, I quickly became full-time within the business, and my creativity adapted more and more to the branding and designs of the company. My fine art creations had always been about communication and consumerism so it kind of all makes sense.
What did you do before you started Blue Skin?
I did various jobs from working in a health food shop, to being a runner for TV companies. I was trying to work out what I wanted to do. I even tried my hand at hairdressing, a slight career tangent but I guess you have to try many roads till you find the right one for you.
Has the industry changed a lot in the last ten years?
Yes definitely, in the past snowboarding or any of the ‘extreme sport’ industries were very male dominated. This has significantly changed over the last five years and it's great to see new products specifically for women coming through. Although I do find it amusing that ‘women’s specific’ graphics are still mainly flowers, hearts and butterflies. I would love Blueskin to design the graphics for a major snowboard brand on their ‘women’s range’. It would be great opportunity for Blueskin to challenge the female perception of graphics.
Do you have more girls to ride with now?
Yes there are more girls to go shredding with now, it is ace to go away with a bunch of good riders who are mainly girls. They really do encourage you to try new things and progress with your riding, plus we have a real giggle which is what it’s all about.
Who/what inspires you?
I get inspiration from everything and anyone. Funny people always inspire me it’s great to have a laugh and not take life too seriously, even when things don’t go to plan. On a personal note, my mum inspires me.
What's your favourite Blue Skin item?
At the moment my favorite Blueskin item is the ‘Skull’ T-shirt in pink, I wear it all the time and it brightens me up a bit, plus it looks great with black jeans and matches my ‘Skull’ pink high top Vans. ;)
Where's your favourite place in the world to snowboard?
I love Morzine in France, although I am always open to new and far away destinations. Some friends of mine are looking to go to Niseko, Japan this season which sounds amazing, so the answer to this may change, and I can’t wait for the new journeys to come into fruition.