Hufnagel, the founder of the streetwear company Huf Worldwide, has been battling brain cancer for more than two years. His brand announced his death on Thursday.
“We are absolutely broken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away,” the company wrote on Instagram.
“Keith wasn’t just the ‘HUF’ nail in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought a community of people together like no one else could,” the post continued.
CNN asked Huf Worldwide for an explanation but received no response.
Hufnagel founded the brand in 2002 after moving from New York to the West Coast.
“The name HUF has stuck to me as a kind of nickname among my friends,”
The brand’s first store opened in San Francisco, but eventually grew globally, with stores from Dallas, Texas to Tokyo, Japan.
“Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. Get out there and create your own future – do it yourself, do it in style,” urges the HUF Worldwide website.
Describing the brand name as “born on the street,” Hufnagel told Complex, “After living and skating in San Francisco for a bit, I decided to open a retail store that would fuse the skateboarding and sneaker and streetwear scenes.”
In tribute to its founder, the Huf Worldwide Instagram post concluded with the statement that Hufnagel’s “legacy at HUF will live on. Today, tomorrow and forever. Rest in peace, Keith.”
Hufnagel leaves behind his wife Marielle and their two children.
In an Instagram post in November, Hufnagel shared a picture of himself with his son as the couple held hands and skateboards together down an empty street.