You’d have to admire just how creative people are sometimes. Sometimes we think that everything’s been thought of and done already, but then someone comes along and just adds a tweak; and all is brand new again. Some feline mascot has been popping up on random street corners and buildings in the form of art, and it’s making everyone smile. The character is lovingly known as Lord Nermal by its creator, the founder of skating label Ripndip. Lord Nermal is a plain white cat with a propensity for being cute, adorable, and utterly unforgettable.
The Los Angeles-based label has opened up a pop-up store and gallery in New York, and it has taken over the skate scene in the city. Many thanks to Lord Nermal for giving this label something different to stand on. Who would’ve thought that cats and boards would go together so well? Sometimes you just never know what works and what doesn’t until you try it. Ripndip’s founder Ryan O’Conner thought it was much simpler. He simply liked cats. When he started the line back in 2009 in Orlando, he used Lord Nermal as his main design.
Why on Earth would anyone use a random white cat for a design? You should ask this, and the answer is more personal than you think. According to O’Conner, Nermal comes from his childhood. When he and his friends were growing up, they grew up in a neighborhood that was somehow full of stray cats. They called every single one of the strays “Nermal,” and each time they did, the cats would always turn around.
What that all means is still somehow lost on us, but for O’Conner, it represented something personal that people were able to relate to. Plus, it probably just helps that many people love cats in general, especially cute fuzzy ones like Lord Nermal.
The Ripndip team has been talking about hosting an even that would open people up to the possibility of adopting cats for pets. This is something that they’ve wanted to do for a while now, but they don’t want people to feel as if they’re being forced into taking upon the responsibility. There might even be a possibility that the company might start working with adoption groups just to help promote the idea. For O’Conner, it’s something that comes natural, but he’s just doing his part to represent his brand and his beliefs.
Ironically enough, O’Conner is allergic to cats. Maybe that’s where the obsession comes from—the fact that he can’t really have them. That doesn’t stop the shop owner from scribbling and putting Lord Nermal on anything and everything that you could think of, especially your clothes. Lord Nermal could appear on the side of your shoes or the top of your slippers. Lord Nermal could also multiply in numbers and have an entire litter on your shirt. Lord Nermal also likes to appear in front of bakcpacks, on hats, various accessories such as pillows and umbrellas, and of course, on skateboard bottoms.
It’s probably one of the most original and coolest skateboard lines that have come out in a while. It’s completely unpretentious and its own. There’s nothing else like it in that industry, and people seem to get it. Some of our favorite products are the umbrellas that have Frida Kahlo and the Mona Lisa lovingly holding Lord Nermal. It’s absolutely and ridiculously good, and it’s hard not to get obsessed. Just be wary though that Lord Nermal likes to put up the finger from time to time. That’s just who he is, and you’d have to just deal with it if you want Lord Nermal in your life.
Ripndip’s lookbook is full of ideas on how you can dress up Lord Nermal. Thankfully, this cat is 100% hypoallergenic, so no worries there if you do have cat allergies. You might develop the same obsession that O’Conner did with Lord Nermal, but you’ll be okay. You can shop online until you drop or visit any one of their popup locations. You can guarantee that you’ll have a great old time. Their stores are a different experience altogether, and once you visit, you’d be glad that you stumbled upon one of the coolest brands of the decade.