neil chester


The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. Meet Neil Chester, skater at heart, cycle fanatic and Amsterdam’s most coveted Venetian blond. 

“Hi, I’m Neil, I’m originally from the UK, Sheffield to be precise, and after a few countries I currently reside in the beautiful port city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. My background is largely in skateboarding, a mix of the creative and the marketing side. After long bouts running the skate programs at Converse and then Adidas, I recently left to co-found Parade with a longtime friend.

Parade draws on all my past experience whilst throwing me into the e-com world (in the deep end!) as it’s a marketplace business model, which has not been created before in skateboarding. Our goal is to build a platform that showcases the best of skate culture alongside affiliated contemporary lifestyle brands on one modern e-com platform. All whilst supporting existing retail structures and collectively fuelling the community and helping to keep the scene moving forward.”

Best 2020 moment so far.
I was in the US for a few months early on, so either the warm sun that LA in January gives or the emptiness of Amsterdam at 9am on any morning throughout lockdown. I was gutted once it opened up again, haha.  

What should we watch?
I’m always saying to people ‘have you seen this or that’, it’s prob annoying. I actually watch a lot of YouTube so I see a lot of stuff on there. Once that algorithm gets you, it can serve up some interesting stuff, kinda like Spotify I guess. As humans, we follow patterns easily. I have so many films that I adore, the list would so long. In the past few weeks I’ve re-watched a few films that I’ve already seen shit loads, so here these: 21 Grams (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and La Grande Bellezza (Paolo Sorrentino), two awesome films from two great directors. 

I recently watched this doc, and it is mandatory viewing, called Autopsy on a Dream, this is so so good and proof that Youtube has great content! It’s about what is probably one of my favourite buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House. I was obsessed by it as a kid and the story of its creation is just next level. 

Favorite off-screen activity.

As in non-digital? The togetherness that drinking and dancing to music brings. Preferably in someone’s home or close environment. Not like Pacha or something, haha!

What should we listen to?

Whatever the hell you like, I’d say just don’t follow trends. I listen to all sorts, a deep twenty-odd year love of Nick Cave through to 80s/90s camp pop that comes out in party environments, anyone who knows me well knows the context of this, haha. 

Also, this is one of my favourite YouTube clips ever, gotta be up there with the best live performances ever. How Springsteen introduces his band is pure love, and Clarence, oh my god, the best ever. Just watch it until the end, you’ll be moved!

Favorite spot in the world and why.

Wow, so many. I’ve been around the block a little bit and I think it comes down to who you’re with and the memory it created, could be anywhere. 

Who or what inspires you right now and why?

Right now the warm weather is keeping me full of energy and stoked! Haha, But aside, my daily inspiration comes in many forms, literally the daily beauty I come across, which is just my definition of beauty. This could be a building, a person, the way the light falls, cycling in Amsterdam can be a movie at times. Also, the Pro Cycling season has finally re-started post Covid! I love watching the races.

Artist to check out.

If for some crazy reason you’ve not heard of one of the finest photographers ever, Helmut Newton, then get on Google and order Sumo. 

What new skill would you like to pick up?

Well, embarrassingly enough, the language of the country I’ve lived in for six years now!

Best advice you’ve ever received.

I’m hopefully yet to receive it, still gotta lot to learn and figure out, but I guess stay open, stay curious. 

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