“Nothing is true, everything is permitted”-5th
The subculture of street wear’s often plagued by over hyped brands with not much heart backing their products. One company indiscriminately setting that trend aflame is 5th Column. Started out as a blog at first, the brand prominently rose to being with the support of some of the most notable names in street wear. Exclusive, deep, and socially conscious, this ain’t gear to match your sneakers too but something akin to start a revolution. I first found out about the brand after a visit to the Black Scale shop (San Francisco) and was intrigued ever since. Seeing as the brand is very much under the radar, I caught up with Jason (founder) to shed some light into the mysterious and murky waters of 5th column and this what I found:
To explore all things 5C and to pick up some limited prints peep the site.
SP: Please state your name and role at 5th Column?
5th: Jason, 5th Column
SP: Are you a one-man army or are there any other troops in your entourage?
5th: We are set up like a curia, or congregation.
SP: 5th Column has quite the historical complexion to it. For those unfamiliar what’s the meaning and philosophy behind the brand and where you draw your strongest inspiration from?
5th: We are all influenced by history. The past has a way of shaping the future whether it’s music, art, politics, current events, even so-called ‘fashion.” I am a strong believer in “history repeating itself.” [World’s Fair] was a design we did which simply read “I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE” it’s easy to see what is in store for us as a society if we stop and look at what’s going on right now. Learn your history and the future becomes easy to follow.
5th Column is in a larvae stage, always absorbing and growing at a controlled pace. Our charge is to live and learn from our peers, progress at a slow and steady rate without losing touch with the people that support us, our fans. That is where we get our inspiration.
SP: How did 5th come to be? From sun-up to sundown, take us through your typical daily grind?
5th: 5th column began to take shape while I was designing at Rogue Status; the final push into this abyss came from Black Scale. The brand philosophy has always been: Nothing is true; everything is permitted. As a company we are spread out across the country like a virus, right now… It’s a sundown to sun-up type of vampire grind.
SP: Is 5th a hobby or are you living the self-employed life? If the first, what else can we find you doing to bring in the bacon?
5th: This is our life; our hobby is killing pigs and hunting ducks. There is a lot of bacon to be had right now on the black market if you are willing to get your hands dirty.
SP: Coming from one of the epicenters of Street culture (NY), does this city have any direct influence on the brand? If so, in what way?
5th: In many ways New York is the epicenter of the entire world. Brooklyn raised me and has always been an inspiration for whatever I am involved in. In such a fast paced city, it’s the unseen elements that give impetus: the sounds of the subway, the Indian burial grounds, the architecture and pre-history of Amerika all right here, the real NY a lot of people never get to see.
SP: As a young brand there tends to be many lessons learned, let’s explore some of those. What are two things you learned that you wish you would have known when you first started?
5th: Lessons are learned everyday; there is no way to fully prepare for the future. Always move on, step forward and progress; never forget what you have accomplished. When you have it all, stop and see it clear and think about the people that helped you through the years. Sound familiar? Hardcore lyrics that still hold true. Here’s an important warning: Beware of the leeches & avoid cross contamination. If you’re doing something different you’ll have to expect resistance. All birds of a feather flock together and you’d be surprised at who’s involved in all levels of treachery around here. We are changing that element in this industry with our tell-all book coming soon from Full Circle press. DTA.
SP: When running a line, the most important characteristic is_____?
5th: Don’t front.
SP: I believe our key to success thus far has been ____?
SP: I see you guys are at Magic this year, how long have you worked the trade show scene and do you have any tips on preparation etc?
5th: This was our first preview at Magic and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. We were given a chance to show the line with Black Scale. The atmosphere was 1-on-1 so it gave me a chance to explain my vision for 5th Column moving forward and run through concepts and designs for the upcoming year.
SP: You’ve done some big collaboration pieces with DTA, Rogue Status, Black Scale and Dearly Departed, how did these come about?
5th: RS/DTA & Black Scale are family, it’s where I began working with close friends and it’s where I will always be connected in one-way or another. Having built with RS & DTA from the beginning, I remember meeting Mega at the opening of the RS flagship shop in Venice. Black Scale has always been behind 5th, when it was just a blog on the RS site, to the day 5th began as a brand and we released our first collaboration with Black Scale: [GIZA]. The way our Dearly Departed [GKY] collaboration came together was pretty funny, I met up with their designer in LA, he was showing me some artwork he was working on for them and I saw the noose pop-up said: ‘That’s it, Go kill yourself’ , it worked well. Our favorite project was [Illusion] with Taiwanese artist, COLASA. 5th Column benefits greatly from a support group of friends like these. Stay tuned for our 3rd installment [Black Column] Capsule collection coming soon, an ode to everything BLVCK.
SP: Talk a bit about your upcoming releases if you can divulge: The Kids Will Have Their Say (Spring 2011) and Enemy of the State (Summer 2011). What’s behind the concepts?
5th: The theme of [The Kids Will have Their Say] was inspired by the SSD album/song, but the concept of the collection is much deeper. The strength of any movement or revolution comes from the youth. I believe the youth of today have yet to take their stand. It’s not enough to rebel against a bullshit society through music or art, the power of expression needs an armed force behind it to be successful, these are Coptic times.
Coming soon: The [Enemy of the State Tour] a real time, interactive road trip across the US, exploring some of the nations historic points of interest… some dated check points: Flight 93 memorial, Oklahoma City Bombing site & memorial, Ruby Ridge, Waco Texas, Lexington Kentucky, Roswell and more.
5th: No hate mail, just a lot of praise. [Teach Children] has no satanic message. Our education system is warping the minds of a generation. Today you’ll find some of the most evil and deceitful people embedded in your local churches. If you want to teach the kids something, open their minds and get them away from what our society calls ‘normal’ because that situation is fucked up. If you are worried about words like ‘Satan’ and ‘devil’ you’re obviously misguided on the true elements of religion. Freed minds should get beyond good and evil.
SP: Just from reading your posts on Hypebeast you certainly seem to have an intelligent viewpoint on both historical and contemporary politics, was Orwell right?
5th: I think it’s pretty obvious he had vision; the world is entering uncharted territory right now. We live in a “sheep society” and the fiction in Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” is becoming a reality.
SP: What’s the best part of living in New York?
5th: Non Stop Action.
SP: What are you currently listening to?
5th: Today: Judge NY crew 7”, [Catacombs of Doom] Blood ritual, Negative FX, Ikue Mori, Sabbath & some Wagner
SP: Having been a part of the NYHC scene, did any of it shape who you are today?
5th: Absolutely. The NYHC scene taught us to: do it yourself, hold true to what you believe, and never give a fuck about people who don’t matter. Stand proud!
5th: Reading up.
SP: Throw out some shouts and a favorite quote?
5th: S/O to the disciples: We are living between the times; the kids will have their say.