Alphonzo Rawls, AKA “Alf,” is an ageless skateboarding wonder. A skateboarding enigma, Alf is one of the first dudes to really stand out as a double-threat (vert & street.)
Rawls started skating at the age of ten in Oceanside, California. Quickly climbing the am ranks, he went pro for the iconic skate brand, H-St, later for Expedition. By the end of his pro skating career (early 2000s), Alf began an illustrious second act as a shoe and clothing designer, working with dozens of brands including DC, Osiris, Vox, Globe, Fallen, and Kastel (to name a few).
These days Alf’s creativity — on and off the skateboard — is off the charts. His latest artistic endeavor, large-scale “hand-stitched embroidery” pieces, explore his #everybodyskates ethos.
These pieces have been garnering accolades from skate fans and modern art collectors alike. Alf’s recent #everybodyskates pop up shop / art show at UNIV in Encinitas was a huge success — in fact, word has it pieces from the show ended up on the walls of art collectors, and high-end Hollywood homes and boutiques.
Still, Alf is one of the most prolific dudes in skating. His InstaGram shows that his creativity on a skateboard matches what he does in his design laboratory.
We had a quick chat with this skate legend to get the scoop on his latest work with #everybodyskates and beyond.
When did the idea for Everybody Skates come to you and what was the first thing you did with it?
#EVERYBODYSKATES Started simply as my creative expression combining my love for skateboarding and popular culture by using Photoshop to manipulate photos of pop culture icons riding skateboards. I started doing it a few years ago to amuse myself and began posting them on Instagram and it caught on fast with several of the images going viral. I began getting several requests for t-shirt with the images I was creating, eventually landing in Supreme in LA [influential streetwear/skate shop] and growing from there.
How did the graphic shirts and stickers turn in to this insane yarn knitting?!
I’ve always bean a fan of small embroidery and came up with the idea to convert a few of the graphic images I created into small embroideries and was pleased with the results and began making hats and tees with my embroideries on them. I had the task of designing a trade show booth for #EVERYBODYSKATES and was thinking of ways to draw attention to the embroideries on our hats, so the immediate thought was, “How can I take these embroideries and make them bigger?”
I was looking for something that represented a thicker gaged thread and found that yarn was a great option. The pieces I created for the trade show got a lot of interest so I kept on creating them.
How long to these pieces take to make/What is the process to create these things from start to finish?
Each of my 2ft X 2ft pieces can take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours depending on how detailed.
What was the reaction when you first showed people these pieces?
I had a lot of people throughout the whole show stopping by to take pictures of them, many of them said that they’ve never seen anything like it I even had several offers to buy them at the trade show.
What’s next for Alf?
Continue to grow #EVERYBODYSKATES on the daily! My Artwork was recently picked up by Church Boutique in Los Angeles, and I’m working with Homme Art Gallery (in LA) as well. I’m very fascinated by this new medium and look forward to creating more art and exploring new themes and ideas.