Jeremie Daclin is a major player of the French skateboarding scene for over 15 years, European and French champion during the debut of street skating, Jéremie Daclin is known mostly for having put together the first European skateboarding brand and having bet on a discipline which is constantly evolving and reaching new limits since its birth in California. It is to allow European riders to fully live their passion, and to allow us get quality material at a better price, that he founded cliché in 1997. A French brand which has become a must in the world of skateboarding. At ease in the upper end of his 40s, Jéremie has managed to remain unpretentious and accessible. He has made sure that the brand remains authentic, and can count on exceptional riders in his team such as Lucas Puig and Flo Mirtain to represent him like he deserves. We exchanged a couple words with him to find out a bit more.
J / Hi Jeremie, you were a skateboarding champion in France as well as in Europe at the beginnings of European skateboarding, how was skateboarding at that period ?
J.D / There were only American brands back then and it was impossible to live from it in Europe. We had to travel a lot in order to go to competitions and we didn’t have Internet back then so that was the only way we could see other skateboarders, new tricks and meet people from those surroundings.
J / After you opened your shop, you founded Cliché in 1997 as the first skateboarding brand in Europe. Tell us how did you create this brand and how did the idea came across ?
J.D / I was the European champion and I had a skateshop at the same time, so I had the vision as a skateboarder and as someone that works in the same field. I’ve put into correlation both experiences and I realized that my shop needed cheaper products so I couldn’t import from the States anymore. Hence, there was a big gap for a European brand and European skaters needed a European brand to be put forwards and get some money from skateboarding. That was it, a double vision that gave me the will to create «Cliché».
J / I suppose it was pretty easy to hire the first skaters in the team, who were the first pros in the team and what seduced you from them ?
J.D / The first pro team was formed of Sébastien Daurel from Bordeaux and Roland Gueissaz from Switzerland. Being from the Skateboarding world and knowing all the good skateboarders it was an easy task to hire them. From the very beginnings I wanted to do something European and that’s why I hired Germans, Spaniards and other nationalities. I didn’t want to do a pure French brand.
J / You then sold the brand to Salomon and then to Dwindle, I suppose that having less responsibility helped you focusing more on the development and creation side of things, but you also managed to keep a maximum of freedom. Was that the deal ?
J.D / Yeah, that was the deal from the beginning, finding partners was a good way of getting money to develop, as banks did not believe in skateboarding. Salomon knew very well that if it started doing its own thing the brand wouldn’t be credible anymore so they let me do everything I wanted from A to Z and that’s how we’ve been rolling since. We are still based in Lyon, then when Dwindle bought Cliché we could have moved the brand to the States but having our own independence and our freedom of speech gives it a plus. Having that French touch and look is exactly what we are after.
J / So the company has now two offices, one in Lyon and the other one in the States ? How’s the brand doing over there ?
J.D / It works really well. Thing is 90% of the brands are from Cali and they all have palm trees to show whereas we have something else, we have our own identity, our own background, a different vision of everything and that’s what they like from us.
J / I know that Mark Gonzales has inspired you a lot in your projects. How did you meet him and what could you tell us about him ?
J.D / Well it’s him and Nahan Copaz who invented the Ollie and brought skateboarding to the streets. It’s them who really invented street skateboarding. Marc by coincidence found himself living a year in Lyon in 1995 because his girlfriend was studying here. We skated together everyday, it’s a big influence in skateboarding, he’s still around a lot and still skateboarding.
J / Do you still skateboard as much as you use to ?
J.D / I don’t skateboard as much as I use to as my body doesn’t let me to. Although I’m on my board every day, I actually go to work every day on my board. This summer I’m making my own bowl made out of cement in my countryside house, a bowl made to me fit and just for me, so that’s it, I’m still skateboarding.
J / Everyday there are more French and European brands emerging. How do you perceive the future of skateboarding in Europe ?
J.D / It’s developing quite well but the problem is that skateboarding has become for the wide public, everyone talks about it, and everyone sells skateboarding gear. If you want a ‘skateboard t-shirt’ you can buy it anywhere, you don’t need to go to a skate shop anymore. So shops are suffering because of this. Skate shops are very important though, it’s the meeting point of all skateboarders, it’s a point of contact and exchange of motivation. It’s super important, plus it’s usually them who first sponsor skateboarders, who do the first videos and boost it a little. If we lose that culture it will be a major problem.
J / Thanks for answering all of our questions. What are the new products and videos to come ?
J.D / We are working on a new video scheduled for Christmas time called “Cheap Flight” around a tour we did this summer. In terms of new products we have some new boards by Mark Gonzales and Eric Dressen.