Mikey’s past? Covered. What do people think of the boss? Covered. But what does the future hold for Mikey LeBlanc? Snowboarding, and a new appreciation for the things around it, “I am still 100% into snowboarding, I spent 15 to 20 years only caring about riding, now I’m expanding on everything else.” Video projects, clothing companies, and of course being a pro snowboarder are Mikey’s future. But why keep riding pro? Mikey can answer that, “Why am I pro? Why do you think I’m pro!” Oh yeah, because Mikey is still pushing the limits of snowboarding each time he straps in.
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Remember Love/Hate? Burning Bridges? Yeah, me too, and Mikey, with the help of Darrell Mathes and the Ashbury crew, will be producing yet another movie for our viewing pleasure. Mikey’s next part will be in VideoGrass, and he is going to make damn sure that it will blow your mind. A 14-year pro career may seem exhausting, especially on the knees, but legends don’t rest. Mike’s driven, “I am doing this is for the kids I know and respect, they wanted to do another one, so I am giving my time and effort to help create something we all think is legit. Also, I like the idea of creative kids being able to come together and create a video their own way.” I asked how similar to the old KidsKnow productions it would be, he responded, “The premise is the same, but you can’t repeat, and I don’t know why we’d want to repeat the past anyway.” And his personal riding? He can’t wait, “I will be doing what looks fun. I like to punish Mike, he deserves it.” Expect big things.
Important top secret work stuff.
Mikey will also continue running Holden. The brand that created the alternative to ugly and awkward fitting outerwear by creating tapered fits, with better fabrics, and little details that please the artistic side in all of us. The future of Mikey’s brand is simple, “The future of Holden? It’s about refining our style, simplification and sophistication with some rock n’ roll thrown in. About giving people that ‘that’s what I’ve been looking for’ thing you know. That ‘…finally here it is, something I don’t hate, no stupid logo, no stupid cheesy dog tag, or zip out vest that sucks.’” The key to Holden is quality, and originality, “Our future customers can be sure when they by Holden that the gear is top shelf, no skimps, no bullshit. The best fabrics, the best production, the best costumer service.” What Mikey is looking to do with Holden is create a coat that fits a persons needs, not just a snowboarders. A coat that on hill will keep you warm, dry, and happy, but off hill won’t leave you feeling like a cliche boarder.
Such originality comes with a price, and Mikey has been feeling it. The industry is copying Holden in ratherÂ hideousÂ and obvious ways. A few seasons ago Holden released the Ring Jacket, the following season Sessions released the exact same jacket. The only difference, a stupid black and blue pattern, and one extra button. You can see the same copy cat antics in sweatshirts, pants, and coats all over the industry. Mikey, and especially Scott (Holden’s Head Designer), not only see these copies being created all over the industry, but feel it in their bottom line. These brands are stealing ideas from Mike and Co. left and right, “Burton, North Face, Sessions, Quicksilver, Volcom, Bonfire, the list goes on. They are biting us hard, and they bite each other too.” Mikey doesn’t mind calling these companies out. Holden is moving forward, staying true to their principles, giving all of us original and great outerwear. He alsp isn’t shy about expressing his thoughts on the industry’s attempts to copy Holden. “We noticed! We noticed, and everyone else that knows a damn thing noticed too. It seems like industry designers went to design school and learned to look over the shoulder of the head student and copy their ass. So put Head Copier on your business card and resumes, not Head Designer.” So many companies decided to simply steal ideas from Holden rather than compete with their own, but Mikey’s attitude isn’t to defend himself either, it is his employee’s and customers he feels for. “I don’t matter, but the people here at Holden and I try to create our pieces with effort and with passion. I can say I am passionate and so are my co-workers and co-owners.”
This passion for design is strictly held for Holden and other projects though. As far as Mikey’s long line of pro-model this and that, it’s done, Mikey could care less about all of that now. “Pro models mean nothing to me.” Mikey’s future will influence the videos we see, the gear we choose to buy, and it won’t have his name on it, just his stamp of approval.
Mikey’s future is bright. Don’t expect him to burn out and disappear like most ex-pro’s. You won’t see him yelling into the mic at X-games, or packing boxes at his ex-sponsors warehouse. Mikey will keep filming until he decides not to, and even after the snowboarding stops, his influence will live on in the best gear around, and who knows what else.
Holden crew. Doing it right since a little bit ago.