Fi5th

Fi5th

According to the post-war French fashion house founder and designer Pierre Balmain “Good fashion is evolution, not revolution”. Even Gertrude Stein gave Balmain a thumbs up for creating clothes that were not just sophisticated and elegant, but that real people could actually wear.

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It is therefore no surprising that FI5TH Clothing, known for its men’s wear (mostly tees, sweats, tracksuits and shoes) in clean, geometric lines of two contrasting colours. Some are red and black, some black and white and others electric blue on black. Others are quieter yet with overlapping patches of triangles in the same shade but different fabrics. FI5TH likes to vary its fabrics, even in the same garment, so you will easily find the very sheer with huskier weights.

No wonder the brand has chosen Balmain as their reference, for the French designer also described the art of clothes-making as "the architecture of movement", showing he understood that true fashion was made for the swing of the body and not for the body to be stuffed inside the clothes.

FI5TH was born in New York’s SoHo, a once down-scale neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan now famed for its art galleries and artist’s lofts as well as its fashion boutiques and street style. Just like London’s Soho, New York’s combines a history of brothels and decay with a recent regeneration and, as the brand’s owners describe it, “the new undiscovered creative leaders.”

However they also say that the unique individual style of Manhattan’s Soho people is rare to find on the British fashion scene, and thus aim to encourage more experimentation on the streets here which will challenge standard trends. Foremost among these is that, as Balmain indicated, you start with how clothing fits and feels as you gradually build your own personal statement.

Inimitable – unique – means that you are ultimately the creator of your style, by starting with basics and then adding on with quirky charity shop accessories or a very expensive hat or scarf. FI5TH clothing is known for a bold simplicity where bandings of lines or triangles and cloud-like camouflage shapes give no sense of disturbance or crowding - it’s up to you to take the next step forward.

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