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10 Highlights from #10yeeeahs of Aotearoa’s Very Own ilabb

To help celebrate the milestone, we let ilabb's creative director Matt Saunders list ten highlights from the first decade of the Kiwi streetwear brand.

Has it really only been ten years? While it all started with graphics that graced the bikes of locals at Digger McEwen, the brand has ended up on the backs of punters at everywhere from Rhythm and Vines to Los Angeles. Now, a decade on, ilabb is one of the most commercial streetwear brands in New Zealand, seen on some of the biggest names in action sports around the world. To celebrate the first 10 years, The Fast Times let co-founder Matt Saunders and his ilabb family name ten highlights from the last decade of radness.

1. All in the ilabb family

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We have to start with watching Nick “Gunna” Saunders, our first supported athlete, race around the track with the pink helmet. While we started with that, the rest are in no particular order.

2. ilabb = inspiring collaboration

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Next up, it would be signing “Mad” Mike Whiddett and Levi Sherwood, our first internationally competing athletes.

3. The ride day

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Back in 2012, ilabb had its first ride day, an event we put on to introduce the sport of motocross to our wider community of supporters. It was a massive success, which saw people buying motos for the first time.

4. New HQ

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We can’t forget when we moved into our current headquarters. It was a massive jump up in size and professionalism, as we had outgrown our small-ish garage-sized space.

5. On the right track

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Just a single year after launching the brand back in 2007, every athlete who took a title at the New Zealand Motocross Nationals was using ilabb products.

6. The ilabb stores

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We have three stores: at our HQ in Grafton, another in Onehunga and one in Queenstown. But opening our first dedicated store will always be pretty special.

7. The Lone Star State

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At X Games 21, we headed to Texas to support our athletes that were competing, which also included having a pop-up store on site.

8. Kickin’ off

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We love getting to collaborate with not only our athletes, but also events like Farm Jam and musicians such as Shapeshifter, which brings us to another massive moment: the opportunity to do the ilabb x etnies collab.

9. ilabb x Red Bull x “Mad” Mike

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For the first Red Bull Drift Shifters event, we team up with Red Bull and “Mad” Mike for the ilabb x Red Bull x Mad Mike collab. The response was insane, with the collab almost sold out halfway though the event.

10. The family

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A continual highlight is creating insane-ness with the ridiculously talented and growing family. Our first employee, who is still with us, was a young kid named “Batman”. Now, we have a crew of over 25.

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