Founder Keith Hufnagel grew up skateboarding in the gritty streets of New York City's late-80s. In those days, skateboarding was simply not accepted: it was punk rock, it was hip-hop, it was a counterculture of outcasts misunderstood by the masses. It was a way of life that would ultimately shape Hufnagel's outlook on life. In 1992, Hufnagel moved to San Fran-cisco to pursue his passion of skateboarding. He turned professional soon after, providing him a rare and rewarding opportunity to travel the world by means of his skateboard and the industry that supported him. Brought up by the very do-it-yourself approach that came along with skateboarding, Hufnagel saw an opportunity to give back to that same community which had raised him, and opened a small boutique in 2002 on an offbeat block of San Francisco's Tenderloin District, the first of its kind. Its aim: to bring together under one roof the most respected brands that the skateboard, street wear, and sneaker communities had to offer. He named the shop HUF, and it quickly came to be recognized as the Bay Area's premier purveyor of hard-to-come-by goods.
With its rapid growth and popularity, Hufnagel found the necessity to launch his own line, HUF, assimilating into one label what he felt epitomized skateboarding, street wear, and sneaker fashion. Since its inception, HUF has evolved into an independent manufacturer of premium apparel, footwear, and skateboarding goods. Though much has changed over the course of the brand, Hufnagel still holds strong to the same core beliefs that drove him since day one. He sees skateboarding as more than just another hobby, and something far from simply a sport; he sees it as a way of life, a skateboard-lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that he feels brings together a vast assortment of similar countercultures: from artists, to musicians, to photographers, to any creative like-minded individual, skateboarding transcends race and social structure, and exposes the individual to a world free of prejudice or restriction. Driven by these ideals of self-expression and the freedom for individual belief, he sees skateboarding asan extension of those very values that permeate American history and tradition. He attempts to express those standards through the concentrated collection that is HUF.