Just in terms of size and selection alone, Identity Boardshop is like the Costco of boardshops. They practically have everything your everyday boarder needs, whether it be for skate or snow. In this edition of Brick & Mortar, we highlight the long-time premier boardshop, thus understanding just why they’ve been such a staple in the Orange County action sports community for so long. What’s more, they have a few upcoming goodies and schemes up their sleeves, proving that an old dog can actually get down on a few new tricks.
We sat down with Identity Boardshop’s brand manager, Marlon Parungao, and chopped it up about all things Identity.
Identity Boardshop owners: Glen Bleiweis & Joe Luzzi
When did Identity Boardshop first open: 1996
We noticed a few aesthetics have been revamped somewhat with the store, including the branding. What’s lead up to that?
We definitely made some changes as far as our new branding and the appeal of the store. We wanted to show our consumers a newer look from what everyone has been used to for the past 17 years. It was just time to showcase ourselves more. We re-did our logo and created a more subtle and grown look to it. We are also in the process of revamping our floor and exterior layout of our stores. Basically, it was long overdue and it was the right time to do so.
What does Identity attribute its longevity and success to?
Our success is due to our long term experience in this industry. Having our doors open for 17 years has definitely helped. We make sure to study our market and listen to what our consumers are looking for, aside from researching the trending styles. A lot of our success is also due to our quality service and staff. We try to create a pleasant environment for everyone. (We don’t pull the cool guy card ever!)
How has Identity dealt with the constantly dynamic climate of the skating industry and scene?
Man it’s always up and down with this industry. I personally have seen so many brands come and go. There are some brands that sustain their popularity due to their marketing but aside from that, we just adjust and roll with the punches. We try not to follow too much corporate roles in our business and do as we please. The good thing about that is we are in total control of our outcome. We have amazing buyers that pick and chose what will work for us, so forecasting our climate is a lot more manageable.
When and why was streetwear included into the shop?
We brought in streetwear about six years ago. It just happened organically for us. The demand for independent brands just boomed and grabbed our attention. So it only made sense to make it happen and have our stores carry streetwear. But in my opinion, streetwear is highly influenced by the skate culture. We all know and see the influences skateboarding has on streetwear. The style and look is all relative to skate. Before all this streetwear hype, skateboarding lifestyle was our streetwear. Just saying.
Being a staple in the Orange County action sports scene, has Identity had a large presence within the community outside of skating?
Yes, we play a big role in our community and many others. For instance, one of the owners, Glenn Bleiweis, was one of the board members for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). We are very active in that movement to help find a cure for diabetes. We raise thousands of dollars every year for JDRF and will continue to raise money for them as long as we are in business. Identity Boardshop is not just a skate shop. We live our lifestyle and give back wherever we can.
For first time shoppers, what can they look forward to from Identity? And for long-time fans, what can they be confident that Identity will always be?
If you have never been to Identity Boardshop, the first thing you will see when you walk in our doors is how huge our shop is. You will automatically see how much product we carry and how we cover a wide range of genres of clothing, accessories, and skate hard goods. You will also experience great customer service from our staff. For all the long time shoppers, they will continue to see the same quality service we provide and the brands they are looking for. Identity will always be the shop that embraces our culture and industry and represents it at its highest form.
What are the differences and similarities you notice with the skate and streetwear scene?
I see a lot of similarities from skate to street. I think that’s due to the designers in this industry that started from skate and moved on to creating their own independent brand. I think you would agree if I said the majority of us as kids all touched a skateboard at one point in our lives. I think that era is just coming back to life as we get older and we surround ourselves with this street culture. There is nothing more street than a kid out there with his skateboard living with a carefree attitude shredding the streets and doing whatever he or she wants.
What exciting things are in store for the future of Identity Boardshop?
We have so many things in the works! We will be focusing more on our Private Label (ID) and will be creating an entire collection for it. It is something that I have been working on for a little while now. I have been working out the kinks and it’s starting to all come together. We have some amazing collaborative efforts coming up with some really prominent brands. I’d like to touch base on it more in detail but that will ruin the suspense. I’ll give you one collab we are doing – Rook Brand x Identity. You can find more clues on our Instagram. Just follow us for all of our news updates at @identity_boardshop or @_mrln81.
Photos by: Phillip Cendana