Nick von Werssowetz, better known as Lurknyc, recently released the first promo for his new board brand Hotel Blue. We'd been following the Instagram for a while and had wondered what it would be turning into. After watching the promo we decided to drop Nick a line and get a better idea of what the brand is about.
How long ago did you decide to start the board brand? What’s the process been like?
I guess I've wanted to for a while now but waited years for the right name to pop into my head. The process is confusing but I'm figuring it out, I'm pretty scatter brained and I'm taking orders from all of these different people so I tend to forget things. I started writing everything down in a notepad to try and not be such a dumbass.
"I don't think it's a company exactly that inspired me as much as skateboarders themselves"
What was your inspiration for the company? Did smaller companies like Polar/Magenta etc. influence this decision to start your own thing?
I don't think it's a company exactly that inspired me as much as skateboarders themselves. Small companies made it feel more possible yeah for sure, but I needed a creative outlet that wasn't Lurknyc. I wanted something new
How’s distribution going to work? Is this something you’ll handle yourself for now?
Will we be seeing the boards in Europe anytime soon? I know the Palomino has previously sold your Lurknyc clothing.
They should be there anyday now.
A lot of the skaters, both in the Hotel Blue clip, and your Lurknyc clips are reppin’ Vans. Did Vans help you out at all getting things going?
They didn't directly help me but the money I made working for Vans for the past three years got things going. I actually left Vans to pursue Hotel Blue and to be able to film these TransWorld clips. Vans Canada has been helpful though, with things like flights and shoes because Dylan Fulford gets shoes from them and Giovanni works for them.
"I think filming and editing is almost just as important as skateboarders these days"
You’re in an interesting situation where as a filmer you’re perhaps more well known (at least in Europe) than a lot of the skaters you film, so you’re able to provide a platform for them. Has this helped in starting the company? Getting people hyped to film with you?
Kind of weird how that works out, I think filming and editing is almost just as important as skateboarders these days. I definitely think it has helped me meet and get to film with a lot of different people. Maybe this is some big ego shit but I definitely think I've led a number of people to get noticed.
Was Hotel Blue a natural progression from releasing so much as Lurknyc? Having already built up an audience and so on
Yeah I would have never started a board company if it wasn't for Lurknyc. There would be no point. The audience and interest in Lurknyc is what made it possible to create Hotel Blue.
"I feel like Hotel Blue is where you would go for a brothel, a whore house"
Can you talk a bit about the visuals of the company - they are obviously heavily inspired by cinema, what prompted this?
I started looking at this blog that just posts old movie posters or screenshots of the movie titles and thought it was interesting how things were placed and the style they had, so after I found the font I liked best I looked up some old photos of New York and started throwing the font over it.
Some images that came up were prostitutes and call girls from the 70's and 80's and thats something I want to focus on for a little bit. I feel like Hotel Blue is where you would go for a brothel, a whore house. Hotel Blue has its own kind of style for a skateboard company, its hard to be original these days but i think its kind of got its own thing... I hope.
Can you introduce the riders, for people who might not be so familiar with them? There’s three Canadians on a New York company?
Yeah three Canadians. Theres Giovanni Vacca from Montreal, and Will Blakley and Dylan Fulford from Vancouver. Then Adam Becerra who lives here in New York and this guy Mark Poole from Providence Rhode Island.
Bit off the Hotel Blue topic, but you always have clips of some incredible street lurkers - Loony Bin for example. What’s the weirdest encounter you’ve had on the street whilst out skating?
The weird encounters are my favorite part of the city. It sucks you can't capture all of them. I think one of the weirdest ones yet was in Boston actually a few weeks ago. It was like 12:30 in the morning and this old man, a war vet, kept talking to us and seemed kind of odd. After a half hour of him standing by he tells us he's on speed and he can't sleep. We asked how he got it and he said he has a one bedroom apartment close by and that he let his younger friend from the military come over with a girl and he brought speed and offered it to him.
After he snorted it on his desk he turned around and the girl was giving the other guy head and she asked him if he wanted to join and he said no and left his apartment, and thats where he found us. He told us the girl wanted more guys and that we should come back to his apartment with him and gangbang this girl. He was hyping her up too, saying how hot she was and that he also watched the guy fucking her in the ass and that we should go back. Fucking weird man, this guy was like seventy something! We didn't go if thats what your wondering haha.
"The weird encounters are my favorite part of the city. It sucks you can't capture all of them"
What are the plans for the near future, trips? How are you going to juggle this alongside your Lurknyc stuff?
Right now I'm trying to save up money to take these guys somewhere, I wanna got to Berlin and Paris, Australia and Tokyo. I don't know where we'd go yet but we'll see. I also just want to go back to San Francisco for a couple weeks.
With Lurknyc it's easy because I'm filming with people all the time so I just build clips up slow. I need to get new gear out for Lurknyc though, people keep asking and I'm slacking.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Nick. All the best for you and Hotel Blue.
Check out the Hotel Blue website here.