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It’s hard to imagine a time when the Beastie Boys could pose for a photo shoot in the middle of New York’s Times Square without drawing any attention. Equally mind-blowing: that the now legendary photographer David LaChapelle was the man behind the lens.
As it turned out, that moment in 1985 was a major one for both artists, and to mark its importance, will be immortalized in the form of a skateboard.
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The image is one of five designs featured in W Room and Boards, an initiative launched by the W Hotels of New York in collaboration with STOKED.org, a charity that benefits inner city youth through action sports.
It’s a cause close to LaChapelle’s heart.
“I had a lot of help growing up with programs that helped me outside of school so it’s great to have a chance to give back,” says the photographer known for his outrageous portraits of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Tupac Shakur, among dozens more. “What can be better than having my first published photo end up on the bottom of a skateboard and help raise money for the Room and Boards program.”
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Other designers in the series include Knicks player Amar’e Stoudemire, model Cara Delevingne, graffiti artist Cope2 and fashion leather designer Zana Bayne (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga).
Delevingne is inspired by the iconic I Heart NYC photo she posed in; Cope2 sprayed his board from the rooftop of W Union Square, inspired by the 25th floor views of downtown Manhattan; Stoudemire’s board features the Knicks forward’s crest and his youth empowerment tag line “Standing Tall and Talented;” And Bayne created a harness design to emulate the busy cross streets and interconnecting characters of New York City.
View the boards along with exclusive video clips at the W Hotels New York site.
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