I’m really not 100% sure why this is getting as much hype as it is, but, as most people are already well aware, Mike Mo Capaldi will be leaving Lakai once his contract expires at year’s end.
There’s a whole lot of speculation out there as to where Mike Mo will land, but the conventional wisdom is that he will be heading to DC for a full footwear and apparel deal (which…leads to the assumption that he will be leaving Matix as well).
A really interesting article on the subject was posted on N-SB.org yesterday. This article discusses the post-Fully Flared departures of Anthony Pappalardo (Converse), Cairo Foster (etnies), Alex Olson (Vans), Eric Koston (Nike SB), and Lucas Puig (adidas)…while describing Lakai as a sort of “development team”…where young talent gets on early, builds names for themselves, and later get lured away by lucrative contracts offered by the big brands. This article suggests that this phenomenon will become a ongoing pattern for Lakai…especially given the “instant cool factor” that an association with Girl or Chocolate brings.
I guess…the real issue isn’t who rides for who and why, the real issue is the push and pull between the “for the skaters, by the skaters” ethos and big, public brands that have broken into the skate market.
Personally, I’m not going to fight this fight. Naturally, I would prefer that skateboarding stay true to it’s so-called “core” roots, but, as they say, “core is poor”…and why shouldn’t guys like Mike Mo take the money that’s put in front of them? Similarly, why shouldn’t these big companies try to build their brands and expand out into skateboarding…particularly if they’re offering a product that skaters want?