In latin “Supra” means “above and beyond.” Although you may have never heard of designer Angel Cabada, his brand SUPRA has been woven into your fashion-conscious minds, even if you haven’t realized. We sat down with the founder of the highly popular “sneaks out on the streets” to chat about his life and the birth of the brand. 

photographed by MICK ROCK

interviewed by CORY KENNEDY

Through a very good friend (thank you, friend), I met Angel when I was just 16 in L.A. Nine years have now passed, and I’m psyched (and a little weirded out) to be interviewing my friend in such a professional setting. Angel is the kind of friend I could call from Timbuktu, when I’m in some crazy mishap of trouble (or whatever the case may be). Basically, I know hands-down he’d drop whatever he was doing and be on the next plane out to help me. He’s kind and caring; but most of all he’s extremely modest, which is hard to find in a world compact with fashion and fakes, the money hungry and the Los Angeles wannabes. There’s an intriguing quality to him, which is hard to pin point, really — confident yet coy; there’s a sense of ambiguity, which lingers in his presence — the type of person you quasi-subconsciously observe and try to figure out what the deal is.

Being a Cali native like myself, or a beach kid, Angel was the skater boy doing his own thing. At that time, his future was still uncertain. That would all change in a moment… Angel would meet a couple of important people, make the kinds of friends that you have for a lifetime, and these friendships would inspire the success he’s found within the fashion world. Let’s take a tour with him and find out more about SUPRA sneakers.

CORY KENNEDY: WHERE DID YOU START OFF AT? WHAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF ANGEL’S LIFE LIKE?

ANGEL CABADA: I started off in Orange County. I was skateboarding and making stuff, basically making T-shirts for my friends.

WHEN DID YOU BEGIN TO THINK, “WELL WOW. I COULD START MAKING THIS INTO A BRAND?” DID YOU GET MORE ON THE SERIOUS SIDE OR MORE “LET’S SEE HOW THIS GOES DAY BY DAY?”

I never had a plan. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I guess kind of made something of it. I was growing up around a lot of interesting people with extraordinary powers, like skating abilities… Back in the day, Chad Muska and Tom Penny were pretty much my roommates. They were there when I first started making clothing, and we all kind of came up together. I was learning the way of marketing by then, and they were killing it by becoming professional skaters. And since they were wearing my stuff, it was all in magazines, and kids started buying it. It was the organic way of becoming a brand. Anyway, it’s not like we had money to advertise because we barely had money to make T-shirts and to pay rent.

You’re like still in diapers…

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU AND CHAD [MUSKA] HAVE BECOME ASIDE FROM BEING FRIENDS? 

Partners in many things. He’s been one of my oldest and closest friends. He’s a great guy that I can call a friend. You could even call him a friend.

YEAH, I CALL HIM A FRIEND. HE’S A SUPERB DUDE. HE HAS A LINE OF SUPRA SHOES…

Yep, and he’s got a lot of great stuff going on now, like he has his art, his shoes and his skating. He’s especially been minting the old age that we are, which is almost like a grandfather.

YOU ALSO JUST DID THIS PINK SHOE THING FOR A CANCER FOUNDATION. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT.

It’s because of my friend Eylsse Walker, who lost her mother to breast cancer. She has this thing “The Pink Party Foundation,” which ties to Cedars Sinai. They help women detect breast cancer at its earliest stages and fund a bunch of doctors. She’s been doing this yearly event, so we’ve been supporting it for the past five years. We at SUPRA feel that we all have a woman out there we love — whether it’s your mother, friend, sister, wife or daughter. We gotta’ protect women, because without them, we ain’t gonna live so…

YOU’RE STILL GROWING WORLDWIDE EVEN WITHOUT A SPECIAL PR AGENCY PAYING PEOPLE TO WEAR THE SHOES OR HYPE THE BRAND. THAT’S THE REAL DEAL IF I’VE EVER HEARD ONE. SO LIFE IS GOOD IN ANGEL CABADA’S SHOES (NO PUN INTENDED)! 

Haha, life is good…

AND MICK ROCK?

I will forever love Mick. He’s a good dude. We actually just did a collaboration with some shirts, which will be cool.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING I WILL BE NEEDING IN MY CLOSET. WELL, LOVE YA, MAN! I’LL SEE YOU REAL SOON, BUDDY. ANGEL #CABADASS AND CK SIGNING OFF. 

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