People: Tom Kingsnorth
It isn't everyday you would really get to know someone without actually meeting them face to face. I was lucky enough to speak to Tom on a regular basis when Transform was one of the brands we stocked backed in the day. A true gent, Tom continues to push his love for snowboarding through not only the gloves he produces but also the original content I could spend hours reading on Pyramid Magazine. It's the people like Tom who keep our industry alive through pure passion and hard work, and I was fortunate enough to get 5 minutes of his busy schedule to ask him some questions...
AW: What’s your story?
TK: I have been snowboarding since 1994 and it was a very typical British introduction. Saw people snowboarding when I was on a ski holiday, came back and rode dryslope as much as possible and then started doing seasons. I actually had a bad day at college, told my parents I was going to Austria and basically didn't return.
AW: What made you start a glove brand? And where did you get your inspiration from?
TK: There wasn’t any inspiration really, I just didn’t like any of the gloves and mitts that were available back then. I wanted to just see if I could make a few pairs and flow friends that I knew and riders that I respected. It grew from there.
AW: In your opinion, was there a moment in time when Transform really took off?
TK: There wasn’t a moment where it exploded to be honest. It’s just grown in gradually the past few seasons. In Asia it’s pretty big now which is interesting as I personally haven't been to China or Korea and that seems to be the big growth areas.
AW: We know there is a lot of competition between brands out there at the moment. What are you doing to keep ahead of the curve?
TK: Honestly, I don't follow what other snowboard brands are doing too much and just like to make things that myself and the team are backing. There has never been a huge plan to make what sells the best- If anything skate is much more influential to me and fashion in general. Snowboarding is always last to pick up those trends.
AW: Any exciting stuff planned for the future?
TK: There will be a lot more streetwear in the future. Not some fruit of the loom screenprinted tee but actual cut and sew pieces that got fashion designers to get good measurements and fits. Ideally Transform will have items that you won't just want to wear on a mountain but pieces you can wear in a pub, at a football game etc. Keep an eye out for that.
AW: Thanks Tom. Last one, what advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a career in the snowboarding industry?
TK: Really depends on what you want to do, if you want to work for a brand or set up your own. I was lucky that I just met a lot of cool people early on that I could ask for advice and feedback and that was my education. Doing an internship for a snowboard brand is how most successful people I know started out. You might not have the most glamorous starts but you will end up working in the best industry in the World.
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