This summer is all about innovation and boy do I have an out of the box concept to share with you! I recently came across a very unique way to give back and it has to do with two things you wouldn't normally pair together: New York City and skateboarding.
Ray Mendez, a former Pro Action Sports Athlete and now filmmaker (having worked with Will.i.am, Lady Gaga and 50 Cent) -- along with W Hotels have curated five designers to create skateboards that represent the nonstop energy of New York City that also includes their own personal experiences. Each artist has brought something truly unique to each board."W Room and Boards," a charity project inspired by New York City culture, is an exciting collaboration of art, surf and action sports. The forward thinking initiative is a joint effort between W Hotels and STOKED.org, a not for profit committed to promoting personal development, academic achievement and healthy living to the under-served youth of NYC, through action sports culture.
1. David LaChapelle features on his board an iconic shot of the Beastie Boys in Times Square taken at the start of his career in 1985. Says David, "I had a lot of help growing up with programs that helped me outside
of school so it's great to have a chance to give back. What can be better than having my first published photo end up in the bottom of a skateboard and help raise money for the Room and Boards program."
2. Cara Delevigne is inspired by the iconic I Heart NYC photo she posed in. Taking it a step further, she graffiti's her image, with lipstick, to read 'Cara LOVE NYC.' The image was produced for Love Magazine by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Says Cara, ""I love this shot by Mert & Marcus, and I also love New York. And when I put the two together I realized it became a play on the classic slogan: "I <3 NY." Perfect!"
3. Cope2 sprayed his board from the rooftop of W Union Square, inspired by the 25th floor views of downtown Manhattan. He incorporated his signature 'COPE' tag and references his alter ego 'True Legend.'
4. Amar'e Stoudemire's board features the Knicks player's crest and his youth empowerment tag line 'Standing Tall and Talented.'
5. Zana Bayne created a harness for her prototype board which is replicated as a print on her finished design. The harness design emulates the busy cross streets and interconnecting characters of New York City.
If anyone wants to be a part of this initiative, they can order one of a kind boards or limited edition graphic prints directly from W Hotel's website. W Hotel in exchange will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of each purchase to Stoked.org. The boards will be on display after June 26, in each of the New York W Hotel living rooms. "Having been involved in youth culture, action sports & media for the past 20 years the W Room & Boards project embodies all my passions -- music, sport, design, film, fashion and the pulse of NYC, says Mendez."
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Raine Magazine | www.rainemagazine.com
Photos courtesy W Hotel