Keith Hufnagel
Photo: Huf

Keith Hufnagel Photo: Huf


Obituary: Keith Hufnagel, Brand Founder, 46

Keith Hufnagel, founder of the Huf Worldwide street- and skatewear brand, died from brain cancer, according to a Sept. 24 post on his brand’s Instagram.

“Keith paved the way for all of us as a respected professional skateboarder, shop owner, brand founder, footwear-and-apparel designer, creative director and industry leader. He shows how to do it, and how to do it right,” the brand statement noted.

In the 1990s, Hufnagel rose to fame in the skateboarding world for his prowess in the sport. In 2002, he introduced his self-named Huf brand. The brand’s first platform was Hufnagel’s first store, also called Huf, which was opened the same year. The shop was located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Along with the Huf brand, the skate shop carried streetwear and skate brands including Vans, Stüssy, Adidas and Nike. In 2015, the brand opened a new shop on Los Angeles’ Fairfax Avenue. This shop recently stocked the brand’s newest line, a collaboration collection with the 1990s rock band Smashing Pumpkins.

Hufnagel’s apparel company, Huf Holdings LLC, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., made a wide collection of clothing and footwear. In December 2017, the Japanese company TSI Holdings Co., Ltd., closed a deal to acquire 90 percent of Huf for $63 million.

The streetwear world posted remembrances of Hufnagel throughout social-media platforms. Bobby Kim, known as Bobby Hundreds, the co-founder of Los Angeles–based The Hundreds label, said Hufnagel was a highly influential figure.

“Keith leaned into every corner of his life; he lived a thousand years,” Kim posted on Instagram. “I’ve always believed that brands act as avatars for the people behind them, so in that sense you can understand how Huf remains solid and poised. Keith was a cornerstone in the community, a linchpin.”

Hufnagel’s survivors include his wife, Mariellen, and their children.