KSUBI TODAY Over the past 12 years ksubi has evolved into one of the most notorious and recognisable fashion brands in the world. Undeniably one of the most famous Australian brands in the international marketplace, ksubi has built a significant presence and cult following along the way. Ideas, individuality and authenticity have developed ksubi into a tangible subculture; one that encompasses all that is fashion, art and music. Remaining uninfluenced by consumer trends, choosing instead to set its own agenda, the social commentary that originates from ksubi is as relevant and through provoking as ever. Whether it be their numerous conceptual feats, topical fashion aesthetic or signature denim, the boys behind ksubi have already inspired one generation and is well on the way to inspiring another.
TIMELINE Born from the depths of Sydney’s Northern Beaches by a group of young creatives (the original collective and respective founders of ksubi include George Gorrow, Dan Single, Paul Wilson, Gareth Moody and Oska Wright), ksubi was always going to make something of itself – no matter how hard it tried not to. And so, because of this attitude, from the very beginning, ksubi was infamous for doing things in their own time, in their own way. From the moment the rats were released onto the catwalk as part of Strangers In Paradise (their first public launch) at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in 2001, ksubi has managed to consistently raise the bar in shameless self-promotion and high jinx. Continuing its infancy with a countless array of stunts - modelling Converse sneakers out of raw meat, shooting a marketing campaign in the desert using Aboriginal kids as talent, making models walking the plank into Sydney Harbour post-show in 2003 or the hot-rod inspired Roadkill Heroin And My Death Machine calendar in 2004 with the likes of a young Miranda Kerr in various states of undress - ksubi has rewritten the rulebook when it comes to developing a brand. Launching internationally in 2002 with an event held in the depths of an abandoned tube station in London and in-store installations at premiere UK department store, Selfridges, ksubi has always created noise by doing things in their own unique way, be it at home or abroad. Opening its first international flagship, Bring Back Life, in New York’s Nolita in 2005, ksubi instantly attracted celebrity endorsement and a cult US following, later continuing its assault on the US market with a ground-breaking collaboration with famed US designer, Jeremy Scott, Jeremy Loves ksubi in 2006. With further collaborations with the likes of Richard Nicoll, the Askill brothers, The Cobrasnake, Modular Records and Bang Gang (to name but a few), and working closely with internationally renowned artists such as Jonathan Zawada, Dmote, Michelle Jank and Richard Bailey, ksubi has defined the way people think about popular culture. The creation of ksubi’s Gold Book marked the label’s five-year anniversary in 2005. Paying tribute to the life and times of the ksubi collective - the art, the people, the fashion and the fun behind what defines ksubi - the book cemented the brand’s status on a global stage. Staging a worldwide tour to celebrate the launch, in Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the book was testament to the calibre of friends, family, celebrities and influential media that lusted after a part of the ksubi experience. In 2007, the Sign of the Times book was published – again marking the alluring spell ksubi could cast with its unique sense of humour and imagination. With images of a hand forming the peace sign with its fingers freshly cut off, photographed in iconic American locations, the book was finished in NYC, with a 9/11 arrival serving as a tongue-in-cheek statement - questioning the unscrupulous politics of our time. More recently ksubi has launched cultural programs such as Big In Japan – uncovering the avant-garde artistic underbelly of Japan for the Australian market – and the Sex & Fashion program – a visually arousing capsule collection and online publication. Coupled with its kustom program – run from the flagship in Paddington, Sydney, which sets a new standard in retail with one-off pieces becoming available to the public for the very first time – its recent kolors program – whereby it launched a new selection of denim colours (which it initially pioneered in 2004) through an online film which garnered over one million unique views – and six flagship stores across Australia - ksubi, in 2011, continues to produce a new kind of cool – in quality denim, eyewear, footwear and fashion.
BRAND VISION Since the beginning, ksubi has marked its own unique cultural platform, and with that, become synonymous for its sick sense of humour, cheek and frivolity. Taking an innovative and at times outrageous (perhaps its secret to success) approach towards fashion, art and music, ksubi has built a brand that breedâ€™s creativity, life and irreverence into all that it does. Never once employing traditional forms of mainstream marketing or design, ksubi has achieved global recognition by maintaining its strength with word-of-mouth campaigns, all the time evoking discussion and consistent global press. For ksubi, the mess and noise it creates along the way is as much a part of the reward as the collectable denim or sought after fashion it designs. All about cultivating a collective, ksubi has developed a unique lifestyle aesthetic and with that, has grown the brand into a phenomenon all in its own making.
BRAND VALUES Thanks to the iconographic double cross logo that adorns the rear of its denim, ksubi is one the world’s most recognisable fashion brands, but there’s more to it than that. It’s about the lifestyle that ksubi has cultivated – a place where fashion, art, music and the best of popular culture can sit side-by-side. Be it aspirational denim, luxury street fashion, cutting-edge footwear or some of the world’s most sought after eyewear, ksubi fosters a cult following, one with undeniable loyalty. Collaborations with the likes of Richard Nicholl, packed parties in NYC and Tokyo, windows at Selfridges or a beachside bar, the ksubi aesthetic is as comfortable on the curb as it is on the catwalk. With a unique diversity that allows ksubi to straddle multiple points of difference - be it its design, availability or cultural relevancy – the brand (never trend driven but rather a trend driver) remains as affordable as effortlessly on-point should ever be. If you can even put a price on that.
THE KSUBI CONSUMER Young at heart, youthful in age, the guy and gal who swoon over ksubi is the type of kid who stands alone. Educated artisans, musicians, designers, filmmakers, fashionistas and bloggers – they appropriate their own sense of style and are experts at creating trends. Essentially they are the ‘what comes next’ crowd. Moving in their own orbit through contemporary cities, they are creative, irreverent, educated, digitally savvy and outspoken. Hard to access from the mainstream (as they look back at it with distaste) they lead their peers towards a more relevant brand experience/lifestyle. Being in the know and ahead of the game is their social currency. And the rest, well they just want to be like them.
WAR In a salute to those fighting against the global system, and taking inspiration from those strong enough to stand tough, ksubi approached the concept of ‘Luxury Street’ with its notorious style for its NH SS12 collection, WAR. Combining disparate elements to create a new hybrid aesthetic to shake-up the city, WAR redefined the way eternal ksubi swagger is worn. Working closely with famed stylist, Christine Centenera on the collection, ksubi gave rebirth to the rebellious grunge of the ‘90s and modernised it with an engineered sensibility.
FASHION FOR KIEHLS Reflecting ksubi’s ongoing commitment to charity and following in the footsteps of previous worldwide campaigns to support children’s causes, ksubi collaborated with War Child (a family of independent humanitarian organisations working together to help children affected by armed conflict) and iconic beauty brand Kiehls in November 2011 on its Crème de Corps holiday collection. Designing a bold label for the collection, ksubi utilised hand drawn illustrations, inspired by kids, game shows, tattoos and punk flyers, to create a design with a playful quality. Donating the proceeds of the sales to War Child, ksubi exercised its creative flair for a good cause.
$3,000 FOR DECORATIONS Celebrating NYCâ€™s Fashion Night Out in September 2011 with premiere retailer OAK, ksubi launched $3,000 For Decorations, an art installation featuring 3,000 individual $1US bills nailed to the wall. Having arrived late in town for the event, the collective, in typical ksubi fashion, provided their guests with a tongue-in-cheek take on the current status of the US economy â€“ inviting guests at the end of the evening to fill their pockets with as much of the money as they could. Causing an instant stampede in store, the collective instantly won friends and applause.
DER FACE To celebrate the exclusive concept frames designed by George Gorrow - inspired by a hand-drawn sketch of a pair of optical frames in acetate and metal - ksubi unveiled the Der Face series of hand illustrated record sleeves designed by internationally renowned identities such as Will I Am, Orlando Bloom, The Killsâ€™ Jamie Hince and Allison Mosshart, Oska Wright and Devendra Bandhart at Hong Kongâ€™s IT Hysan in August 2011.
JEAN MACHINE ksubi welcomed Fall 2011 at Hong Kong fashion mecca IT with the Jean Machine installation. Staged throughout the month of August 2011 at IT Hysan the Jean Machine, a ksubi kustom denim machine appeared to mass-produce the unique hand finished ksubi kustom pieces. Holding an in-store press conference and subsequent party, Jean Machine then toured other parts of Australasia.
SEX & FASHION In 2011 ksubi unveiled Sex & Fashion, the ultimate online sex pop culture magazine, where fashionable personalities meet to talk candidly and explicitly about sex and offer a fascinating and voyeuristic insight into sexuality. ksubiâ€™s Sex & Fashion takes readers on an unexpected and unrestrained journey through sex in fashion, film, music, art and the world at large. Sex & Fashion offers a thought-provoking mix of discovery, extravagance, spontaneity, sophistication, cheek, fame and humour. The online publication presents uninhibited conversations between the icons of yesterday, today and tomorrow and unites creative spirits to meet and talk freely about sex and is complimented by a capsule collection sold in store. sexandfashion.net
KSUBI KUSTOM Reflective in technique of early year ksubi, the brand returned to its core by applying artisan finishes to their denim in 2011 with ksubi kustom borne out of the eclectic atelier studio space housed within The Ghost Shoppe in Paddington, Sydney. kustom pieces offer an extension to the current collection through one off and limited run samples. ksubi garments and classic collector items are altered to create â€˜of the momentâ€™ pieces that are modified through experimentation and specialist fabric treatments from bleaching, tie-dyeing, printing, embroidery, studding, and shredding to ensure limited runs with only one of each piece in the world.
KSUBI KOLORS Originally credited with creating the coloured denim trend back in 2004, ksubi reintroduced the trend in mid-2011, teaming up with renowned Australian director Daniel Askill to release the film kolors. kolors, a fume-fuelled, slow-motion battle between three colour-clad models (Bambi Northwood-Blythe, Cisco Gorrow and Heidi Harrington-Johnson) and a trio of â€˜80s muscle cars, garnered international acclaim and received well over one million views online. This in turn prompted an unprecedented sell through rate for the kolors range throughout the world.
ONE VIA ZERO Marking its tenth anniversary with One Via Zero, a catwalk show at the 2010 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, ksubi once again turned its back on the traditional catwalk format. Sending models out into the audience from underground tunnels, and projecting a visual charged digital installation, the show boasted a collection of dark and avant-garde fashion, styled by acclaimed stylist Brana Wolf. Known best for its Has Bean graphic (a fingers up to the brandâ€™s recent financial woes), One Via Zero once again led to substantial international press coverage for the brand.
BIG IN JAPAN In 2009 ksubi created the first of its Big In Japan events for Japanese beer company, Kirin. Uncovering an avant-garde selection of artists from all corners of Japan, each who works with a unique medium (including performance, video, music, noise and installation), Big In Japan, now in its forth year, acts as a cultural exchange program, allowing artists to display their talents to both Australian and international audiences by focusing the spotlight on contemporary Japanese expressionism. biginjapan.com.au
HOME HONEY IM HI! It was late 2009, on the fifth floor of Shibuya’s Cannabis store when ksubi erected a bright blue plastic home away from home. Inspired by the hand built shelters of the homeless people of Tokyo’s streets, the installation Home Honey, I’m Hi! reflected both the Japanese obsession for material comforts and a desire for a simpler existence. Post exhibition, the installation became ksubi’s second ever ‘Pop n Shop’ pop up store.
THE BOMBED MACHE Launching its first flagship in Melbourne, Australia in 2008, ksubi set a new standard in retailing with The Bombed Mache – a ‘shop in shop’ concept built entirely from recycled and refused materials in an attempt to make a statement to the transient nature of retail design. Winning the 2008 Interior Design Award for best Retail Interior in Australia (Australia’s foremost interior design accolade), The Bombed Mache also featured a one way mirrored glass toilet and pink powder coated shipping container as the storeroom. Complete with life-size installations in the courtyard of the store, customers came from far and wide to view the award winning space.
KSUBI FOR RICHARD NICOLL Having wanted to work with good friend Richard Nicoll for years, ksubi finally had its chance in 2008 when he accepted an invitation to collaborate. Inspired by idiosyncratic ‘40s / ‘90s futurism with a nod to ‘social misfits’, ksubi for Richard Nicoll entailed a sunglasses collection which drew from Nicoll’s SS08 collection and played in hues of white and silver metal teamed with clear, white and grey acetates. A collaboration borne between friends, ksubi for Richard Nicoll was an instant hit with media and consumers alike and was again launched with his SS12 collection at New York Fashion Week in September 2011.
SAID THE RAINBOW TO THE APOCOLYPSE Awarded best show and models at 2007 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week by internationally acclaimed fashion publication Grazia, ksubi staged Said The Rainbow To The Apocalypse. Bringing supermodel and good friend Erin Wasson out to Australia to walk the show, ksubi played homage to the beauty of the cosmos through a collection of digitally remastered silk printed clothing, the first the Australian market had ever seen. Once again rewriting the books on a new way forward.
THE CONTEMPORARY EYEWEAR DESIGN PROJECT Frequently approached by world famous icons such as Kayne West, Beyonce, The Kills Jamie Hince and Allison Mosshart, Kylie Minogue to name yet a few, ksubi developed the Contemporary Eyewear Design Project, on ongoing program focusing on the development and production of eyewear for stage and film. Inspired by early costume design eyewear by the great Alan Mikli, the project has won (and continues to do so) worldwide attention from press and consumers alike, further attracting an endless list of celebrities to the ksubi brand.
SIGN OF THE TIMES In May 2007, the ksubi collective launched a 160-page art book and website focusing on the Sign of the Times project; in June 2007 they held the exhibition at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. The book and exhibition focused on ksubiâ€™s journey to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, and their consequential road trip across the USA, starting from the west coast and finishing in NYC on 9/11 with an eight-foot-high sculpture in tow. The sculpture, titled Sign of the Times, demonstrated a hand forming a peace sign - index fingers sliced, with blood spilling from the cuts - and was a tongue-in-cheek statement questioning unscrupulous politics and the current state of world peace.
MAGNUM OPUS: KSUBI FOR DICKHEADS Celebrating the launch of its ksubi For Dickheads eyewear collection in November 2006, ksubi staged a nationwide exhibition titled Magnum Opus. A salute to the collectiveâ€™s way at poking fun at itself, Magnum Opus showcased 12 images, each featuring a real penis, styled as an iconic rock star, wearing a pair of the sunglasses from the collection. Causing uproar amongst the media, Magnum Opus gained huge media coverage and once again proved to the masses that if done the ksubi way, itâ€™s done the right way.
SAD EARTH PROGRAM In October 2006 the ksubi collective participated in the walk against global warming in Sydney, Australia. Concerned by the lack of response from Australian and US governments in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, global warming and providing funding for alternative energy research, ksubi developed the Sad Earth Program. Producing a limited edition organic cotton tee-shirt ksubi donated its profits to developing carbon neutral strategies for itself, its retailers and its supply chain.
JEREMY LOVES KSUBI In 2006, a collaborative project with US style icon and fashion designer, Jeremy Scott titled Jeremy Loves ksubi launched at Scottâ€™s SS06 New York Fashion Week parade alongside his own collection. An ongoing collaboration, Scott showcased the Jeremy Loves ksubi collection alongside his own SS08 collection in Paris during Paris Fashion Week in 2007. Both collections were huge successes, with the worldâ€™s leading boutiques lined up to purchase the collections.
GOLD BOOK Celebrating the five-year mark, ksubi, then called tsubi, pieced together its short but rich history, culminating in the Gold Book. Paying tribute to the life and times of the ksubi collective - the art, the people, the fashion and the fun behind what defines ksubi the book cemented the brandâ€™s status on a global stage. Staging a worldwide tour to celebrate the launch - in Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles â€“ the book was testament to the calibre of friends, family, celebrities and influential media that flocked to be a part of the ksubi experience.
KSUBI X MODULAR RECORDS Collaborating with good friends has always been ksubi’s trademark move, so when, in 2004 ksubi started working with Modular Records it was inevitable something great would happen. Hosting Christmas parties around Australia and later overseas, ksubi and Modular Records fast built a reputation for hosting the party of the year. Debuting the talents of internationally acclaimed bands such as Wolfmother, The Presets and The Avalanches, it was these parties which later become a launching pad for many of Australia’s most promising young acts – yet again proving ksubi’s worth in cultivating young, creative talent.
PISS TAKE A tongue-in-cheek campaign aimed to make fun of high-end fashion advertising campaigns, Piss Take certainly was just that. Having been reprimanded by Parisian fashion house Chanel for using its iconic logo on a t-shirt, with the slogan ‘If I were riding a horse, I would wear flannel but I’m going to the disco so I’m wearing Chanel’ on it, ksubi, in 2002, thought fit to go the extra mile and develop a full campaign to poke fun at how serious they all take themselves. With huge viral coverage on the international, it certainly got noticed, even by the likes of Karl Lagerfield and Tom Ford.
STRANGERS IN PARADISE Undoubtedly ksubi’s most acclaimed stunt to date, the collective went about their first public launch – Strangers In Paradise (in 2001 at Mercedes Australia Fashion Week) in typical ksubi fashion – they released 300 live rats down a runway clad with models in over the top costume! Showcasing their first collection in a deconstructed production, ksubi landed itself on the world stage, overnight. With footage making the evening news around the world, Strangers In Paradise is still to this day, rated as the most talked about show in Australian fashion history.
CELEBRITY & PR HIGHLIGHTS
Abbey Lee Kershaw
Harper’s Bazaar, AUSTRALIA
No, NEW ZEALAND
Dazed and Confused, UK
QUESTION & ANSWER What is the essence of ksubi? Humble beginnings, hard work, music, parties, surfing, skating, more music, more parties, more surfing, more skating and we’re still working. Do you design with a certain type of person in mind? Backstage models and rock stars? No, we started designing jeans for ourselves because we were looking for something different. We design for the person who doesn’t want mainstream. When and why did you decide to start ksubi? We were a bunch of five guys hanging around the northern beaches and we couldn’t find any jeans that we liked or that fitted us properly. We thought we could do a better job at designing jeans ourselves and we were right I guess. Art, music and popular culture seem to be the underlying source of inspiration to ksubi. How do you choose people to collaborate with? It works both ways, we choose people and people choose us because there is a natural fit. There has always been a vibe that something creative and different, which will challenge us, can take place and we’ve gone from there. You had to change your name from tsubi to ksubi – how did that feel and how did it affect the brand? It didn’t feel very good, it would have been the beginning of the end if a strategically placed line through our logo hadn’t made it all better. It didn’t affect that brand, tsubi or ksubi – our followers are loyal. Which projects would you say are you most proud of? Our projects have meant different things to us for different reasons both at the time and afterwards. They are all part of our journey. Rats were our starting point, and who knows what the end will be?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ksubi was founded in 2000 by George Gorrow, Dan Single, Paul Wilson, Gareth Moody and Oska Wright. ksubi was first based on Sydneyâ€™s northern beaches. It later moved into the city in Sydneyâ€™s Surry Hills and then to its current Australian HQ location of Rosebery, Sydney. ksubi also has a global HQ in Los Angeles, USA. ksubi was originally named tsubi but later had to change its name to ksubi due to copyright issues. George Gorrow is Creative Director of ksubi however there is a huge collective (based all over the world) who make up the ksubi family. ksubi has six flagship stores in Australia, three in Sydney, two in Melbourne and one in Brisbane. ksubi is stocked in 19 countries around the world. ksubi represents a creative collective that constantly redefines the way people view popular culture through revolutionary marketing and a unique design aesthetic.
ksubi retail allows the collective a unique opportunity to truly showcase itself in its entirety. In 2011, the brand boasts six flagship locations around Australia.
ksubi has the ability to sit within a broad spectrum of retail environments. Whether it be department stores or high-end boutiques, ksubi’s brand diversity allows the brand to perform well, further reflecting the varied ksubi consumer, unique product mix and increasing demand for the brand.
City Of The Dead | 82 Gould St. Bondi Beach NSW 2026 The Ghost Shoppe | 140 Oxford St. Paddington NSW 2012 Welcome To Earth | Level 4, Westfield Sydney, Pitt St. & Market St. Sydney NSW 2000 The End Of The Moon | 559 Chapel St. South Yarra VIC 3141 White Bored | Level 2, Melbourne Central, Shop 206, Lonsdale St. Melbourne VIC 3000 K.O.M.A | Shop 2/30 James St. Fortitude Valley. QLD 4006 As a premium brand, ksubi retail brings clients into a space where the brand can be experienced first-hand. By steeping their senses in the brand’s values and symbols, the point of purchase becomes a multi-sensory environment. This was illustrated by ksubi collecting the 2008 Interior Design Award for best Retail Interior in Australia (Australia’s foremost interior design accolade) for The Bombed Mache store in Melbourne (now relocated to The End Of The Moon). With a long-term strategy to repeat this highly successful model within the European, North American and Asian markets, ksubi is earmarked for an even greater street presence in the not so distant future.
Key accounts ksubi experiences success through include the likes of David Jones and General Pants (Australia), The Department Store (New Zealand), I.T. and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong), Cannabis and Beams (Japan), Selfridges and Net-A-Porter (UK) and OAK, American Rag and Revolve Clothing (USA).
GLOBAL NETWORK | CONTACTS Maintaining a truly global network, ksubi’s distribution channels compliment the brand’s unique positioning and form the basis for future global growth and development. Distributed across key international territories Australasia, North America and Europe, ksubi is available in 19 countries around the globe including Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Middle East, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA and Vietnam and has global HQ’s in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, USA.
AUSTRALISIA AUSTRALIA ksubi | Paul Wilson | Global Brand Manager 14 Mentmore Ave. Rosebery NSW 2018 Australia P +61 2 8373 8600 | F +61 8378 8699 | E firstname.lastname@example.org NEW ZEALAND Public Library | Emma Cruickshank | Brand Manager 11 West Moreland St. West Grey Lynn, Auckland New Zealand P +64 9 378 0072| F+6421 842 630 | E email@example.com ASIA Electric Sekki | Vivienne Ng | General Manager 4/F BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Rd. Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong P +852 2544 9020 | F +852 2544 9223 | E firstname.lastname@example.org JAPAN Big Bro | Takeo Okoshi | Director 5-23-6-1A Jingumae, Shibuya-ku 150-0001 Tokyo, Japan P +813 5778 0085 | F +813 5778 6090 | E email@example.com
NORTH AMERICA CANADA C2 Apparel | Michael Cavagionni | Director 63 Wingold Ave. Suite 208, Toronto, ON, M6B 1P5 Canada P +1 416 703 4566 | F+ 416 703 4290 | E firstname.lastname@example.org USA ksubi | Christian Stokes | Sales Manager P +1 206 349 4787 | F+1 206 260 7244 | E email@example.com
EUROPE EUROPE: SALES Indigoferra | Abby Cornelius| European Brand Manager The Yard, 89 1/2 Worship St. London EC2A 2BF UK P +44 (0) 20 7613 5551 | F +44 (0) 20 7613 5109 | E firstname.lastname@example.org EUROPE: PRESS IPR | Florence Laud-Anderson | Senior Account Manager The Yard, 89 1/2 Kingsland Rd. London EC2A 2BF UK P + 44 (0) 20 3 617 0920 | E email@example.com
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