|Founder(s)||Dan Single, George Gorrow, Oska Wright and Paul Wilson.|
Created in 2000, Dan Single, George Gorrow, gareth moody, Oscar Wright and Paul Wilson (who spent most of their spare time surfing and playing in a band), were unsatisfied with the range of jeans on the market and couldn't find pairs that fit properly. Under the name Tsubi, they started manufacturing their jeans and denim.
Ksubi made its international debut in London in 2002, with an installation held in the depths of an abandoned tube station at Aldwych. Following this, Ksubi became a contender in the fashion league with their in-store installation at Selfridges Department store in London alongside the likes of Stella McCartney, Martin Margiela and Marc Jacobs. (Selfridges have since dropped ksubi due to a string of late deliveries)
Ksubi has four official stores, and their garments, jeans and eyewear are sold in boutiques around the world.
Ksubi Goes into Voluntary Administration
January 11th 2010
The Australian company behind local denim fashion label ksubi has been placed into voluntary administration to help ensure its future. Co-founders Dan Single and George Gorrow said they had been "struggling to achieve the margin necessary to fund the growth and development of the brand". Voluntary administration was the "only way to ensure the future of ksubi", they said in a statement. "We are and will remain fully committed to the ksubi brand and in assisting the administrator to achieve the best possible outcome," they said on Monday.
The pair said there had been "significant attempts" in recent times to address ksubi's financial difficulties. These had included "licensing the manufacturing and distribution of the brand to a culturally aligned, Australian-based company with overseas production experience and networks". "However, despite best efforts it has not been possible to formalise a new restructure leading to the appointment of an administrator," the pair said. "ksubi is grateful for the loyalty shown by its suppliers through this difficult period."
The company employs about 20 people. The label would go into voluntary administration as part of a restructure of the Tsubi Pty Ltd group of companies, they said.
Paul Billingham and Said Jahani of Grant Thornton Australia were appointed administrators. Mr Billingham said in a statement it was "business as usual" for ksubi. "Our job is to try and preserve the inherent value of the business and we will be working closely with the directors and key stakeholders to do this," Mr Billingham said in a statement."For the time being, all ksubi's stores will remain open."
It was understood that Westpac had pushed for administrators to be appointed. In 2009, ksubi was believed to be in the market trying to find a buyer, but was unsuccessful.
In 2006, a collaborative project with U.S. style icon and fashion designer, Jeremy Scott titled ‘Jeremy Loves Ksubi’ was shown at Scott’s New York Fashion Week parade alongside his own collection. The collection received rave reviews from the fashion media, and will be available worldwide from April 2007.
Previewing at London Fashion Week in September 2007 was Ksubi’s latest collaboration—"Ksubi for Richard Nicoll sunglasses SS08," designed by Nicoll, made by Ksubi. The eyewear collection consists of three styles and draws colour from Nicoll’s collection.
Ksubi has three stores in Australia - two in the Sydney suburbs of Bondi and Paddington and one in Melbourne. In 2005, Ksubi opened its first international store in the fashionable New York downtown Nolita district of Soho with a launch party that attracted the likes of models such as Erin Wasson, and the 2 Many DJs crew. Guests were entertained by the DJ sets of Paddy Boom from the Scissor Sisters, The Rapture, Dangerous Dan, James Friedman and Australian band Cut Copy, performing live.
In 2006, Single and Gorrow reached an out-of-court settlement with US shoe company Tsubo, who threatened to sue Tsubi following a trademark infringement dispute. Tsubo argued in a New York court that Tsubi's use of the first four letters of its name was a breach of its trademark, which was established in 1998 and had been registered in Australia before Tsubi was created. The dispute settlement terms means Tsubi will keep its name in Australia but will now be known as Ksubi in the rest of the world. While the brand, who thrives on notoriety, was not damaged by the name change, there was a lot of talk in the media about the daunting task facing Single and Gorrow - rebranding the label to the rest of the world and creating a new identity and name recognition for the new brand name, Ksubi.
Ksubi is pronounced as "soobie" in Australian accents, and "sue-bee" in American accents. The first letter in both Ksubi and their earlier name Tsubi has always been silent.
The label hit headlines around the world in 2001 when they unleashed 200 live rats onto the catwalk, and is now known for its rebellious and attention-grabbing antics, such as warehouse installations, late-night booty bar parties, boat fashion shows (where they pushed all of the models into the water), and, more recently, 2006's futuristic parade and post-apocalyptic inspired collection at Australian Fashion Week. It's now reported that they are in $8 million (AUD) debt to their manufacturers after being reported in the BRW Rich List of 2008 as having a combined worth of $24 million (AUD).
Alba Fan Club
In 2006, Single and Gorrow designed and released a diffusion line of fashion for Australian chain-store Jeans West called Alba Fan Club. Originally planned as a cheaper and limited-edition label, due to its success and popularity in Australia and New Zealand the designers are now contemplating a wider international market for the brand. Alba Fan Club has featured in the August 2007 issue of Nylon magazine.
It was rumoured in 2007 that the brand Tsubi had spent a masive 2.3 million in a rebranding campaign masterminded by Christopher Hanlon: a young artist known for his graphic design flair and who also sucessfully rebranded the dying cosmetic company Napoleon Perdis in 2004.
Books and photography exhibitions
In 2005, Ksubi released a book to mark their five-year anniversary, and is described as one of the most important concepts they have worked on to date. Its pages showcased the art, the people, the fashion and the fun behind what makes Ksubi. The launch of the commemorative book took place on a worldwide tour of cities: Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong and LA. Friends, celebrities and influential media guests were in attendance in each country.
Following this, in 2006, Ksubi also toured their latest photographic exhibition ‘Magnum Opus’, shown in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Paris. The exhibition highlighted the ‘Ksubi for dickheads’ sunglasses range, and will also be seen in LA and NY.
Musical side projects
2006 also saw Ksubi collaborating with record label K7. Single, under the name DJ Dangerous Dan, mixed a CD under the Ksubi banner for a national and international release of K7 ‘KSUBI presents DJ KICKS CD for! K7 RECORDS’. This project is the first of many that sees ksubi becoming more involved in the music scene.
Dan Single, or Dangerous Dan, is also part of prominent Sydney based DJ six-piece "Bang Gang". Bang Gang consists of Ajax, Nolan, Jamie Doom, Gus Da Hoodrat, Dj Damage, and Dangerous Dan. Their early party days in dark nightclubs have progressed to supporting Daft Punk in their Nevereverland tour of Australia in late 2007.