The San Francisco-based creative that is Benny Gold has been leaving a footprint on the street and skatewear scene for well over a decade now, however, recently the designer recently took to his many platforms to announce that he and his eponymous brand will be closing.
As for why, Benny released an open letter that addresses his reasoning and in short, it’s due to the fact that he is losing the essence of the brand to all of the creativity-limiting struggles that come with a full-sized label, such as stock checks, branding, reaching targets and having to change your vision to fit into the current trends.
Consequently, Benny decided that he would prefer his beloved brand to reach its natural end rather than morph into something he no longer believes in. We, of course, respect his decision and admire the level of integrity he has managed to maintain throughout his brand’s lifespan, right until the very end and onwards.
Take a look at his full letter below.
“With the new year, I am making a big change. I am bringing the Benny Gold brand back to its original roots as a personal design project. The brand was never meant to get as big as it did. I am thankful for the journey that it took me on but it is time to make a change.
A new year brings new beginnings. We’ve all heard some version of this, but it never rang so true to me until now. For the past few years, I’ve been toiling over what direction to take the Benny Gold brand in. It started as a personal design project with the sole purpose of allowing myself more creative expression than I was getting at my day job -— an exercise of virtues. But over the years it has become so much more than that. Each time I would decide to take a step back, a fan would come into the shop sporting a brand-related tattoo, or tell me that they pursued their dreams because of the work I was doing. It was moments like these that inspired me to keep pushing and growing the brand. Benny Gold is now an internationally distributed brand with a fan base that spans all corners of the globe. We have a beautiful flagship location in San Francisco and an outstanding staff that has helped me realize my full potential. The brand has become bigger than myself and I am forever grateful for this.
But with this success comes it’s own set of challenges. I now find myself growing less creatively as my days are spent managing people, budgets, and production issues. I am feeling increasing pressure to follow trends and go more “urban” in the attempt to capture more market share. A brand becomes a living, breathing thing and every brand has a life cycle -— well it’s become increasingly clear to me that the Benny Gold brand is nearing its end. I would rather bring it to a close and celebrate it’s life with integrity rather than push it to become something I no longer believe in.
It’s no secret that I got my start in streetwear designing for the esteemed Huf brand created by pro skater Keith Hufnagel. Keith was integral in helping me find the confidence to start my own brand. Huf closed their SF retail store right around the time I was opening the doors to my first storefront. Life has a funny way of coming full circle and I now have the honour of helping them come back to San Francisco. After the month of January we will be handing over the keys to our Valencia storefront to Huf and I can’t think of a better brand to inhabit the space.
The recently released Fall/Holiday collection will be the last full collection from the Benny Gold brand. I am a graphic artist at heart and all I’ve ever wanted to do is create meaningful things. Therefore, I will continue to put speciality products out into the world in very limited quantities, so stay tuned. Please stop in through the month of January to shop our remaining inventory, and stick around to celebrate, reminisce, and wish everyone here at Benny Gold the best in their new ventures.