How a rebel skating team ended up in a polo campaign

If you don’t know IC or somehow even Mikey, two of the guys might still look familiar: Sunny Suljic played the leading young man in Mid 90s-and is the first person to do one kickflip on The Tonight Show. And Aramis Hudson appeared NoHowho plays the main character’s less skilled but most supportive best friend, a wickedly conscientious role that made him a stand-out in a film full of stars.

The new guy, meanwhile, is Santino Guzman, 20 – skater, LA couch surfer and aspiring model. He met the boss as everyone meets the boss: he skated well. Mikey had actually flown an IC tire to Tino’s brother, who gifted it to Tino, who skated it and then posted it on Instagram. Mikey found that clip.

“Sometimes I see people’s clips and I don’t care,” the boss said. “But I saw Tino and was like damn!”

“It’s a blessing. Really,” says Tino on the phone, on his way to film in a schoolyard, as it was Sunday.

(He’ll also appear in the long-awaited fourth IC video, tantalizingly titled “Hell Week.”)

And how was this, his first modeling job, for Ralph Lauren?

“Unreal, honestly,” he says. “I didn’t know what to expect. But it felt good. It motivated me.” He either interrupted or stopped, and then concluded, “I am . . . speechless.”

This is not Polo’s first round with this most physical street art (see the collaboration with Palace Skateboards released in 2018 – the same year Mid 90s come out). But it felt special to Mikey, who has testified for years that RL is his big favorite brand.

He first visited RL HQ, on 5Th Avenue in 2014 — so he was 19 — flew out for the day while a homie named Tyshawn waited in the lobby. And of course, he explains, he somehow met not with HR or PR, but with a manager named Maura Manning. They talked for three hours while Mikey took notes and laid out his ideas about world domination.

So should anyone be surprised since that was the plan all along? Or part of it?

“They styled us,” says Mikey. “But I look classic Ralph. So next time I’ll style myself.”

Next time?

“My dream would be to be paid by Ralph Lauren to send me boxes of clothes that I put on the coolest people – whether it’s skaters, celebrities, whoever…”

“And then I make the videos.”

Cole Louison is a skateboard and streetwear historian and author of a forthcoming collection on American DIY cultures.

Related Posts