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Skateboarding News

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It might be a Cliché, but that’s actually just an impressive Résumé!

Cliché: an American dream made true. Written by Xavier Lannes

In the past, the trend for any skateboard companies throughout the world was that their riders had to go to the States, and especially to California to "make" it. Worse, for the vast majority of European skateboard brands, taking root in the U.S. market was some kind of oddity. Worse even, over the years, not only a handful of overseas companies had become a relevant part of the product mix for respected skateshops. Among them will now be the successful “Cliché”, from Lyon, in France. Founded in the summer of 1997 by skateboarder Jeremie Daclin, “with little more than a Franc and a dream” Cliché is a paradigm of its own. First, it was widely known for being proudly Eurocentric and authentic to the core, for having reversed the old exile pattern by being that kind of company that allowed many of its skateboarders to stay in Europe, while maintaining a career and promoting the European skate scene. Then, but not least, Cliché was known for its quality video projects, its elite team, its commitment to core skateboarding, and its strong marketing presence. Jeremie Daclin was the force behind the show on his own out of Lyon, a big City south of Paris. Just out from his contract with the French skate distributor JMV7, Jeremie knew there was room for a real European brand and just went for it, called a few key riders in Spain and Germany and got the ball rolling. For a very short period of time, Cliché stayed mainly a European Skateboard brand, but now, more than a decade after their meager beginnings, Cliché Skateboards has become one of the most recognized European brands in the world and one of the more revered in skateboarding as a whole (without even mentioning the qualifier "European").

“Cliché’s giant step was made possible last summer, when Dwindle Distribution announced in July 09 that it would be acquiring the Cliché brand from its previous owner, Salomon.
Dwindle already distributes in the US Almost, Blind, Enjoi, Darkstar, Speed Demon and Tensor.

Jeremie Daclin, Al Boglio, Lucas Puig and the rest of the team were ecstatic while the news exploded throughout the US skate community that, suddenly, the venerated French company Cliché would be made available to almost 15 millions skaters across the US. As a property of Amer Sports International, the previous owner, Salomon catered primarily to the mountain sports and ski markets; manufacturing skis, bindings, and related snow sporting goods. Cliché, however, didn’t exactly fit the profile of a large, mostly snow centered company. The Salomon organization that owned Cliché since 2001, were very understanding of Cliché’s strategic vision moving forward and realized the brand’s future growth wasn’t in line with its infrastructure.
It was hard for Cliché to fit in the structure of a large company like Salomon,” says Al Boglio, Cliché’s Brand Manager during a press release. “I had many meetings with Salomon President Jean Marc Pambet on those issues and we realized that it wouldn’t work in the long term. The tough times hit late last year (2008) and things accelerated from there. They wanted Cliché to continue with someone else that would embrace it. I knew what I wanted for the brand and the skaters so I reached out to Dwindle. Things moved really quickly from that point with Bod Boyle (Dwindle’s President) and Jean Marc Pambet signing the deal and making it a smooth transition.”

Then, a couple of days ago, Cliché made the news again and the blogosphere went crazy after they announced another astounding news: a magnificent book called Résumé. Because Cliché have been helping shape the image of European skateboarding since 1997, it seems only right that they should be the ones to document it through a collection inspiring images and remarkable stories. Beyond Gypsy Tours, Lucas Puig, French Fred, Jojo, and Freedom Fries, Résumé is 320 pages of European skateboard history in the making written by Mackenzie Eisenhour and Art Directed by ILL Studios in Paris. The high quality print hard cover book features some of skateboarding’s most memorable photography from Mike O’Meally, Oliver Barton, Olivier Chassignole, Alexis Zavialoff, Benjamin Deberdt, Fred Mortagne and more….

Everything that you always wanted to know about Cliché will be in the Résumé book and it will be available starting this December 09. And until the real thing rocks the bookshelves, you can catch some of the many golden outtakes that didn’t make the final edit of the book at the Résumé blog.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, October 28, 2009 


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