It began in the early ’70s in the undisputed center of the universe, New York City. Championed by a tight-knit crew of progressive minds who lived and breathed NYC’s raw creative energy, a unique social movement began to take root that was strongly influenced by New York’s unforgiving streets and colorful weave of global flavors. The Soul Artists of Zoo York sprang to life from Manhattan’s Riverside Park and built a thriving scene with aerosol, skateboards, block rockin’ beats, and originality at its core that quickly took on a life of its own and became an unstoppable global force.
By the dawn of the ’80s, the term Zoo York had come to firmly symbolize NYC’s underground sect of artists, b-boys, skateboarders, punks, and their various creative off-shoots. The Zoo York revolution was in full effect as graf writers bombed trains, DJ’s mastered the wheels of steel, and skateboarders staked their claim to now legendary spots like Astor, Washington Square, and the Brooklyn Banks.
In 1993, OG skateboarders Rodney Smith, Eli Gessner and Adam Schatz teamed up to found the East Coast’s first true skateboarding-inspired lifestyle brand – Zoo York. The trio siphoned creative inspiration from NYC’s rapidly evolving skateboarding, hip-hop, and graffiti scenes to produce a variety of culturally relevant products that were dark and gritty like New York City. What started off as a simple line of decks and T-shirts steadily grew into a full-blown streetwear collection marked by military surplus, urban-athletic styling that was designed to withstand the city’s rugged terrain.
Today, Zoo York is a highly evolved, globally recognized brand with unbreakable East Coast attitude and dialect. As it has since day one, Zoo’s product line continues to be heavily influenced by skateboarding, graffiti, hip-hop, punk, and everything in between. The Manhattan-based brand proudly serves up a wide range of casual, utilitarian looks for men and women that fuse authentic military-influenced overtones with iconic Zoo York City imagery. Additionally, the company continues to be backed strongly by the Zoo Crew, which includes original NYC graffiti artists, designers, musicians, BMX riders, and some of the biggest names in the skateboard community.