‘It received’t let you know anything else helpful’: how Palace became product descriptions into artwork | Style


Palace, the London skate label based in 2009, is well known for 2 issues: the outstanding triangle brand – or “tri-ferg” – that includes on their T-shirts, and their collaborations. During the last few years they’ve labored with everybody from Stella Artois, Harrods and Ralph Lauren to Cîroc, Umbro and, maximum just lately, Gucci. However, for the superfans, there’s one thing else – the product descriptions.

All of us look at those brief texts each time we store on-line. Those are the phrases that let us know concerning the form of a jumper, how a boot fastens, what sneakers to put on with a midi get dressed. However a Palace product description is other. It received’t let you know anything else helpful and the textual content isn’t concerning the garments. As an alternative, it’s random, stream-of-conscious ideas, with in-jokes, feedback at the information cycle, stoned humour and existence recommendation thrown in, at all times in caps lock. To take one instance, a product description for a long-sleeved purple T-shirt reads:

Any other, for blue hoodie, reads:

A page from the book, with a product description for a Ralph Lauren shirt.
A web page from the e book, with a product description for a Ralph Lauren blouse. {Photograph}: Phaidon

Those don’t seem to be, as they’re for many manufacturers, the process of an e-commerce author crew. They’re written through Lev Tanju, Palace’s co-founder. Do maximum Palace fanatics know this? “I believe they suspect I’m cleverer than that,” says Tanju. “There are at all times tweets like ‘who the fuck writes those? They’re superb.’ No person is aware of it’s the person who owns the corporate.”

Tanju’s product descriptions are quickly to be not unusual wisdom. A e book, Palace Product Descriptions: The Decided on Archive through Lev Tanju will probably be launched through arty publishers Phaidon this week, amassing greater than 3,000 product descriptions right into a prominent having a look tome, whole with themed chapters (“information & present affairs”, “romance”, “etiquette”), an index (N for Nando’s, R for Rizla) and an creation from educational and poet Sam Buchan-Watts. That is, after all, a part of the gag. “It’s so silly, the content material, so I sought after it to have a professional writer as a result of it could make it funnier,” says Tanju.

Palace Product Descriptions: The Selected Archive by Lev Tanju.
Palace Product Descriptions: The Decided on Archive through Lev Tanju. {Photograph}: Phaidon

A quite laddish humour – person who places the sector to rights round a pub desk with beer mats and pint swills – is central to Palace. The product descriptions were like this because the model started, when a chum of Tanju steered it. However, as the logo has grown, so has Tanju’s workload. Now he’s going to ceaselessly write them multi functional pass earlier than a brand new assortment drops at the web site on a Friday morning, and it’s in part this trend that induced the e book. “I used to be like, ‘you recognize what, I must put my identify to [this], it’s one thing to be pleased with,’” he says. “It’s been a large number of overdue Thursday nights after I may simply be chilling.”

A page from the book, with a product description for a Moschino shirt.
A web page from the e book, with a product description for a Moschino blouse. {Photograph}: Phaidon

Product descriptions integrated within the e book contact on Tanju’s speedy setting. “[Looking through it], I’d bear in mind the flight that I used to be on after I watched the movie I used to be speaking about or the chilly knives and forks at the airplane or no matter,” he says. “It’s relatively humorous.” The turmoil of the decade, together with Brexit and Covid could also be coated. Would Tanju tackle one thing like Liz Truss’s contemporary resignation? “Yeah, however I wouldn’t get without delay into politics. I may write one thing about ‘oh, possibly I must renounce’. I in reality like topical stuff so while you’re studying it you recognize what’s taking place.”

So much has came about since Palace introduced in 2009. Tanju, an ex-skater – they’re nonetheless the board sponsor for 13 pro-skaters – started the logo so that you can improve and sponsor skate crews. It’s now on the level the place it has the clout to collaborate with a mega-brand like Gucci, and put the double-G brand on the entirety from a skateboard to a soccer blouse coated in a strawberry print.

Tanju says the Italian model used to be a revelation as it put creativity first. “It’s the other of ways maximum manufacturers paintings, beginning with margins and worth issues. You’ll be able to make a bike if you wish to.” (He did – the Palace Gucci Moto Guzzi may well be yours for £42,500).

An image from the Palace Gucci collaboration.
A picture from the Palace Gucci collaboration.

Tanju says some other folks now pass to the Palace web site simply to learn the descriptions, with out purchasing anything else. He describes that as “cool”, in part as it presentations up the absurdity of this layout. “There’s all this guff that individuals write on web sites about merchandise nobody cares about,” he says. “On the finish of the day, it’s a jumper, you recognize, so why does that knowledge even exist?”

Does he have a favorite product description that he has written? “‘Squid sure. Octopus no.’ [for a T-shirt in 2019]. I’ve at all times put them in the similar boat. Then I used to be in Spain in the future and I used to be like ‘fuck guy, octopus is terrible and squid is good.’ Additionally, octopuses are artful.”

This newsletter used to be amended on 27 October 2022. The vodka model that partnered with Palace used to be Cîroc, now not Absolut as an previous model mentioned.

Palace Product Descriptions: The Decided on Archive through Lev Tanju is printed through Phaidon, £34.95