Isle skateboards has made a very good name for itself in the skateboarding world, under great creative direction that has seen it produce some excellent clothing and boards. It wasn’t going to be long before another high profile collaboration came along, but I’m not sure we could have even hoped for it to be this good. The London label has teamed up with streetwear master Carhartt WIP, to produce four new t-shirts, a heavyweight Skye Jacket and two decks, and it’s a very artsy end product to say the least.
Let’s start with a bit of info on the collab. Raphael Zarka is the man behind the abstract geometrical designs pictured above, a long time friend of Carhartt WIP’s and highly respected contemporary artist. Starting off with a variety of shapes, Zarka worked with the skaters on the Isle team to create complex life-size solid wooden sculptures, all optimised for skateboarding, which were exhibited as both works of art and skate obstacles. All that was then needed was to adapt the sculptures to graphics that could be applied to clothing, which has been perfectly executed by the parties involved. Isle being deeply rooted in contemporary art, thanks to Nick Jensen’s dedication to researching into the field, means the collaboration makes great sense and it really has delivered a treat.
The first of the two tees is the Modular T-Shirt, which arrives in the white colourway on the left above and grey colourway on the right. On both we see a very intricate back print and subtle dual branding on the left of the chest. The three graphics on the back are clear depictions of the same sculptures produced by Zarka, screen printed on but looking more like they’ve been drawn on in pencil due to their shaded-in style. The geometric-drawing look of the graphics is finished off nicely by small “Fig 1″, “Fig 2″ and “Fig 3″ text underneath them. Branding has been kept to a minimum with the artwork itself certainly taking priority, the only visible logos being the dual Isle/C branding on the chest in blue and a woven Carhartt label at the waist.
The second t-shirt design, titled Dimensions, certainly follows the same aesthetic as the first. This time around, we see an incredibly detailed black and white graphic featuring a man carrying out some geometrical work across the shoulders, with five geometric board pillars featured underneath and given a shadow to provide a 3D effect. Inside the aforementioned is a detailed drawing showing more geometrical drawings, shaded in areas to again give a 3D appearance. On the chest we again see the dual Isle/Carhartt logo in blue, and a woven Carhartt label is again featured on the waist. This design also comes on grey and white 100% cotton midweight t-shirts just as the first, so you can choose whichever graphic you prefer (or both!)
Arguably the standout item in the range is the solo outerwear offering, the Skye Jacket, which comes in a wild Workwear Blue colour. The jacket’s exterior has been constructed from 100% ‘Dearborn’ cotton canvas, 12oz in weight so you know you’re getting one of the most durable exteriors that Carhartt is capable of producing. The jacket is unlined, but because of the rugged nature of the cotton canvas exterior no lining is really necessary. Lending a workwear feel to the jacket is the corduroy collar, which comes in a heavily contrasting black colour, and the buttoned snap closure closure system at the front of the jacket. The wrists and waist are adjustable via buttoned cuffs and a drawstring respectively, and the three visible pockets on the front of the jacket provide very useful storage. Branding only comes in the form of the embroidered dual Isle/Carhartt logo on the right of the chest, and a screened Isle logo on the inside of the neck. A very durable jacket that can serve as the perfect pop of colour your autumn/winter wardrobe needs.
Finally, two decks have arrived as part of the collection and, you guessed it, they feature similar graphics to the two featured on the t-shirts above. On the left above we have the Krystal Structure Deck 1, coming in 8.25″, and on the right we have the Krystal Structure Deck 2 coming in 8.375″. The former features geometry board pins which wrap around two graphics we saw on the Dimensions T-Shirt and another graphic which shows Zarka creating some of his work. The latter features three new graphics, all featuring a geometry, wooden style very much in keeping with the whole collection. Both decks have been constructed from 7-ply Canadian maple wood and are made in America, so both quality and durability are not going to be an issue – these decks certainly perform as good as they look.
The whole collection can be found in both our Ipswich and Colchester locations, or you can cop each of the pieces online by clicking on their respective images above. Don’t expect a collaboration like this to hang around for long, though!