Power Players: 10 Reasons We Can’t Get Enough Of The Skate Kitchen
We’ve partnered with one of the raddest publications in the game, PAPER magazine, to bring you Power Players, a series celebrating powerful ladies—trailblazers across art, music, fashion, and social advocacy—and their inspiring stories and out-of-bounds style.
“If they tell us to go into the kitchen. Guess what. We are in the kitchen—the skate kitchen,” says Rachelle Vinberg, one of the five founding members of all-girl New York City skate crew, The Skate Kitchen. It’s the kind of girl gang we can get behind, all boundary-breaking and female-powered. The collective, which started taking shape when the women were in high school, is fluid—members come and go based on jobs, school, and schedules. More friend group than formal club. But the girl-power message remains constant, as does their presence rocking it out at east-coast skate parks, their singular style, and the way they wear sneakers like a second skin. Below, 10 reasons we’re obsessed.
1) Girls can shredddd.
Check that video above to watch them in action.
2) They’re all about lady power…
“A lot of women in my family are very powerful,” says member Ardelia "Dede" Lovelace. “Despite criticism and failures they still keep going and make a way out of almost nothing.
3) ...but it’s not like they’re the She-Ra Men-Haters Club either.
“I want to break down the stereotype that all boys are unsupportive,” says Dede. “There are a lot that are actually very supportive.”
“If they tell us to go to the kitchen. We are in the kitchen—the skate kitchen.”
- Rachelle Vinberg
4) Bruises are a badge of honor.
“Before I did this one Adidas photoshoot, I had fallen really hard,” says Rachelle. “I mean I was skating a lot, so I had a lot of bruises and cuts all over my body—my legs especially. And Adidas asked me if I wanted them to retouch them and mask them. But me and Dede had recently been talking about how we were sometimes self-conscious over how our legs are all messed up—when women are supposed to have these nice legs. And I realized that it’s not authentic to cover up bruises when they're highlighting a girl skater because that's just something that's gonna happen. Like you can't be ashamed of it.”
5) TedxTeen Talks invited them to present.
And member Nina Moran killed a speech about life as a female skater.
6) Out of bounds is the best way to describe their style.
Rachelle rocks the same pair of clear-frame glasses she’s been wearing since the 11th grade. Nina’s rarely without her backwards ball cap. Member Brenn Lorenzo’s all about her curly hair (”you can do anything with it!”). While her sister Jules is a fan of the mix (“my style makes me feel powerful like I can go outside and just dominate”). And about that mix: tiger stripes with florals, baggy boys shorts with crop-tops, and a whole lotta throwback goodness from tie dye to Hammer pants.
7) They’re kinda movie stars.
Rad filmmaker Crystal Moselle featured them in a short, called That One Day, which was part of Miu Miu's Women's Tales series. It was also the moment when The Skate Kitchen more formally came into existence. And Jules herself is now working on a screenplay.
“I want to break this stereotype: When a girl first starts skateboarding, she doesn’t suck because she’s a girl. She sucks because she just started.”
- Nina Moran
8) They love Cardi B. (Uh, who doesn’t?)
When asked who they listen to when they want to get pumped up, a resounding chorus of “Cardi B! Cardi B!” gets thrown up. “I definitely have to give it to Cardi B.” says Jules (who’s also a major Princess Nokia fan).
9) They’re badass role models for a younger generation.
“I feel powerful when I’m skating on the streets and little girls watch me,” says Rachelle. “It lets them know that it’s something that they can do. The idea that maybe one of them would end up skating because they saw us skate is cool.” And on the rookie-girl-skater front, Nina says, “I want to break this stereotype: When a girl first starts skateboarding, she doesn’t suck because she’s a girl. She sucks because she just started.”
10) Sneakers are life for them.
“Sneakers have always been something I’ve been obsessed with since I was little,” says Rachelle. “First day of kindergarten, this kid had really cool shoes and I had a crush on him because of it. They were Reeboks with a stripe down the middle. I figured out where he got them and I got a pair. He had blue ones and I had red. He didn't notice until the end of the year that we had the same shoes. His name was Matthew.” Adds Brenn: "Vans are my favorite because they're super comfortable to skate in and have good grip on the board."
Photos by Natalie Yang
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