Sex, drugs and rock’n'roll is the mantra that has defined Sydney-based label ksubi for the last decade. Under the direction of founders Dan Single and George Gorrow, the high street label delves into the experimental and subversive, shaking up and reshaping the local fashion and arts scenes. Infamous for their wild parties, boundary-pushing exhibitions and controversial stunts, ksubi have let loose hundreds of rats on the runway; forced naked models to walk the plank in the middle of Sydney Harbour and arranged an annual Big In Japan party to showcase the works of genre-defying international artists. To celebrate their new denim range, ‘ksubi kolors’, they’ve collaborated with Australian multi-disciplinary artist Daniel Askill from the film collective Collider. The resulting film is an operatic matador-style face-off between coloured denim-clad babe and fume-spewing metallic beasts. In typical ksubi-style, the film was shot in an industrial wasteland next to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport, starring young beauties Cisco Gorrow, Heidi Harrington-Johnson and i-D fave Bambi Northwood Blyth. i-D Online caught up with Australia’s enfant terrible, George Gorrow, to talk about the future of Australia’s most in-your-face label. Tell us about the kolors collection… We used to have a saying called “bring back life”, and I guess that’s what we’re yearning for right now. The kolors collection is actually a selection of our favourite colours that ksubi has run over the years. We have never released them all at once like this for men and women, and we have never made them in this high-quality super-stretch denim before, either. How would you describe ksubi’s aesthetic, and how is it evolving? More than anything, ksubi is a reflection of the collective personalities behind the label. Our geographical isolation, our sense of humour, and our commentary on popular culture combine to give us a unique attitude. That’s our point of difference. Aesthetically, we’ve never been a pretty or beautiful label. It’s always been about a tougher, effortless look. What are you working on at the moment, and what are your plans for the future of ksubi? We have a bunch of ideas that are coming to market over the next two seasons, including a new eyewear collaboration, our new blog about sex and fashion and some limited edition custom pieces. We don’t really plan these things too much… We just want to be an interesting contemporary label that continues to bring new ideas to fashion. Sometimes they’re great ideas; sometimes they’re shit. Ultimately the customer decides. How did yourself and Daniel Askill of Collider come up with the concept for the film? We found the girls, the coloured rubber tyres and designed the jeans. Daniel turned it into a modern day bullfight with smoking Aussie 80’s muscle cars and beautiful girls. Can you share a story from the day of the shoot? We were so distracted by the cars and hot girls all day that we forgot about our male model. We realised right at the end of the day and then took five photos of him in some green jeans. Now we have to Photoshop all the other colours in men’s denim onto the photos! What was the funniest moment during the shoot? Seeing the first practice runs of the burnouts made us laugh a lot. Those drivers are insane. It’s like every man’s dream to drive a car out of control like that. What was your first car? An old, salmon pink, 1962 Ek Holden. It was a classic Australian surf mobile. What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done in a car? We were in Melbourne for our show. We’d just finished, and were on a high. Driving back to the hotel, I said to my partner Dan, “I feel good. I could throw myself out of this moving car.” Dan said, “Hell yeah! Do it!” I opened the door, hesitated for a minute, and then I launched out. I ended up just rolling in a mess, but I was ok — just a few grazes and cuts. Then Dan said, “I want some of that!” So he lay on the bonnet of the car and ordered the driver to speed up to about 60k’s before slamming on the breaks. I thought, “Wow! This is going to be a great photo!” So I opened my door, and was half hanging out the window with my camera ready. The car sped up then slammed on the breaks. Dan went huge, but what I didn’t realize was that I was not holding on either. My leg got tangled in the door and the camera smashed on the road! What’s your favourite… Colour: Aged black. Model of car: An old, beat-up Toyota Celica in emerald green. It’s got a ding in every panel, rust in every corner, and just about the worst sound system in history. It’s basically the worst looking car on the road, but my grandmother gave it to me and I will drive it until it dies in her name. It’s amazing driving it up to the door of fancy events. I love it. Denim-wearing character: Brad Pitt in Thelma And Louise. Place to drive: LA to Burning Man, then onwards to New York. But take your time. Short film: A movie by Vincent Gallo for John Frusciante. Airport: Sydney, ‘cause it means I’m either off to see the world or coming home. The ksubi kolors collection is available now from Selfridges.
ksubi doobi doo
Text: Zac Bayly