by Stephen Garner

Zoo York is releasing the second drop in its series of “Founders” capsule collections, created in collaboration with the brand’s founders, Rodney Smith, Eli Morgan Gesner, and Adam Schatz. Earlier this year, the trio returned to the brand as creative directors.

The latest Zoo York x Founders release pays tribute to Harold Hunter, one of New York City’s most talented and respected skateboarders, who was a member of the original Zoo York skate team. Hunter traveled the world with the Zoo York crew and appeared in television shows as well as the cult classic movie, “Kids.” To honor Hunter’s memory, a portion of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to The Harold Hunter Foundation (HHF). HHF is a non-profit, community-based organization headquartered in New York City, that provides a network of support, opportunity, and advocacy for at-risk New York City youth to help them reach their full potential as both skateboarders and young adults. Zoo York has an ongoing relationship with the foundation, with Schatz serving on the board of directors for more than a decade. 

The second Zoo York x Founders capsule consists of seven items, with most pieces featuring archival images of Hunter, along with memorable quotes from the legendary skater. Key items are a skate deck featuring Hunter’s image along with the Zoo York and HHF logos, as well as a short-sleeve t-shirt and long-sleeve t-shirt, both emblazoned with Hunter’s image and the quote “The little information I have, that’s what I know.” A hoodie, beanie and booty bag featuring Hunter’s image round out the collection, while a re-issue of a Zoo York crew neck fleece sweatshirt from 1995 with Hunter’s name showcased on the back, gives a nod to the brand’s history. To showcase the collection, Zoo York tapped AJ Rodriguez, a four-time recipient of scholarships for The Harold Hunter Foundation summer camp programs and a newly minted member of the Zoo York skate team.  

“It was a life-changing experience,” says Rodriguez about his time in California at the HHF summer camp program. “This mentally opens up kids’ perspectives that these experiences even exist. You meet new friends and socializing boosts your motivation to keep skating. Zoo York and its founders have carved such an important history and are so respected. It’s an honor to be welcomed into the family.”

“Zoo York was such an important part of Harold’s life. We’re thrilled to be working with Zoo’s original management on a special collaboration honoring Harold’s legacy and benefitting HHF,” added Jessica Forsyth, executive director of The Harold Hunter Foundation.