2nd Chapter Supplies: What Happened to the First Chapter?
Owned and founded by Piers Clarke, who has been involved in skateboarding for over 30 years, 2nd Chapter has a profound story behind its emergence. Its heritage is based in the county town of Hertford, Hertfordshire, where the slogan ‘From the woods not the hood’ peered its rural head. However, what happened to the first chapter? Why has Piers skim read through the metaphorical book and landed in the middle of the pages? We’re here to answer that and to provide you guys with a bit more insight into 2nd Chapter Supplies and their underlying philosophy within UK skateboarding.
London, UK — Most people with knowledge of the ‘streetwear’ or skate apparel market are familiar with the concept of ‘product drops’ — a controlled release of new product at one time which is arguably far more efficient than the traditional cycle of fashion and designed to drive consumer excitement with a ‘stream of constant newness.’ We obviously see larger, international brands taking this method to big cities like London and producing products on a mass scale. Piers and 2nd Chapter on the other hand has created something far more unique. Every 2nd Chapter Supplies drop is similarly a chance for all of us to grab some one-of-a-kind and unique apparel. Piers has taken this model away from city lifestyles and made it readily available for consumers in the suburbs.
On top of this, most streetwear brands have parents clutching at their wallets for dear life, so shedding £80 on a t-shirt for their nearest and dearest is probably the last thing parents want to do. Inner-city brands representing the working class youth of today are common, but at prices as high as this, affordability becomes an issue and it raises questions onto whether the working class skateboarding youth are being represented accurately. Piers keeps 2nd Chapter at a cheap and affordable price, whilst maintaining superb quality in all of his apparel, making 2nd Chapter a legitimate brand in not only skateboarding, but modern day culture too... Cheap, cheerful and sticking to the roots.
In terms of roots, let’s talk about 2nd Chapter’s emergence. The boring part is that it started just over 3 years ago in February 2015. Since then it has become a growing brand within the Hertfordshire skateboard scene. However, the history of Piers and the meaning behind the brand’s name is far more interesting we must admit.
In 1903, The Clarkes family opened a shop in Victoria Street, St.Albans (Yeah, we’re going this far back). This was called New Century Motorcycles and eventually moved to London Road in 1906 under the name ‘Clarkes Motorcycles.’ A generation later, Piers’ Dad started selling skateboards in the same shop in 1977, after one of his younger employees came into work on his board. Continuing almost 2 decades later, the motorcycle business closed and the family opened up Clarkes Skates further up the same road. This ran until 2000, when this shop eventually sold and became what we now know as Conspiracy Skate Shop (RIP).
Can you guess why it’s called 2nd Chapter now? If you can’t, Piers sums it up for us:
“Originally I was thinking that I wanted the name to have some link back to Clarkes Skates to keep the history going, so I came up with 2nd chapter which would be the 2nd chapter of Clarkes skates so to speak. I had a couple of ideas for the name and asked some friends which they preferred the sound of and 2nd chapter came out on top.”- Piers Clarke 2nd Chapter.
It’s not often that we find brands, especially in skateboarding, that have such a rich heritage within our scene. A second chapter of something that started over 40 years ago is pretty cool we think; an almost resurrection with so much meaning. Piers told us that he used to design logos for merchandise his dad sold in the shop and enjoyed seeing his designs on stickers and clothes... 2nd Chapter was a project for him to bring out his creative side once again after Clarkes closed its doors. We’re stoked you did it bro, the stuff is quality!
“Once it was started and I had decided to make clothes, I wanted to offer nice, affordable stuff that I’d wear myself. I’ve always been into clothes and wanting to look good and have always been very fussy about what I wear which means things have to fit right, look good and be good quality.”- Piers Clarke 2nd Chapter
I mean apart from his choice of bum bags, we couldn’t agree more with Piers on this. His products are at the heart of suburban skateboarding, and his ethos always has the skaters at heart. His product drops support the local community and their businesses, and he’s not a bad looking geezer either! We’re stoked to say at Lariatt we’re lucky in this sense. By stocking 2nd Chapter supplies in our store, we’re not only working with someone who lives and breathes skateboarding, but we’re stocking a brand with such an awesome history here in St Albans! 2nd Chapter is available RIGHT HERE, so come by and browse the selection of apparel on offer and if you’re feeling up for it, Piers’ next product drop will be in the brand’s hometown of Hertford in the near future! Follow them on Instagram to get the latest news on what garms and accessories are available!
Images provided by Piers @ 2nd Chapter Supplies ©
Written by Charlie Spelzini.