Ksubi (formerly known as Tsubi) is an Australian fashion label, co-founded by Gareth Moody, Dan Single, George Gorrow, Paul Wilson and Oscar Wright. The brand, founded in 1999, was placed in the hands of receivers on 18 December 2013, leaving many staff sacked and with their final wages and entitlements including superannuation, in doubt. The receivers have kept the seven retail outlets, online shop and a wholesale business trading for the time being while they assess the label's financial situation.
In 2000 Paul Wilson Oscar Wright Gareth Moody, Dan Single and George Gorrow were dissatisfied with the range of jeans on the market and could not find pairs that fit properly. Under the name Tsubi, they started manufacturing their jeans and other denim clothing. In 2001 Tsubi made international headlines when they released 130 live rats onto the catwalk show at Australian Fashion week
Tsubi made its international debut in London in 2002, with fashion displays held in an abandoned tube station at Aldwych. Following this, Tsubi was sold in a concession at Selfridges Department store in London alongside the likes of Stella McCartney, Martin Margiela, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs.
In 2006, Tsubi changed its name to Ksubi.
Ksubi has three official stores, and their garments, jeans, and eyewear are sold in boutiques around the world.
The Ksubi Group quickly grew to a turnover of A$19.7 million in 2007, prior to suffering major operational and financial issues in 2008. In 2010 Ksubi was purchased by the clothing manufacturer Bleach, who also own and produce Insight and Something Else.
Despite Ksubi having a very successful 2013 Ksubi's parent company Bleach went into liquidation and ksubi was acquired in a hostile takeover by Saif Mansour from Californian-based Breakwater Capitol. Saif promptly removed all the founders of the business and began trading by replicating all the old ksubi trademark designs and prints.
On 12 September 2012, co-founder George Gorrow announced his resignation as Creative Director. George noted that he was leaving Ksubi on good terms, but wanted take some time out to spend time with his wife and practise surfing. In 2014, Gorrow re-emerged founding an art based fashion label called with New York-based gallerist and curator George Benias .
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 6 stores in Australia—in the Sydney suburbs of Bondi and Paddington, Sydney CBD, in Melbourne Central and Chapel Street South Yarra and most recently in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley on James Street. 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. The New York store has since closed.
As of October 2009, Ksubi will feature in 19 "shop-in-shop" concept stores within David Jones. The Ksubi that is available through David Jones will include exclusive lines that are priced lower than their traditional boutique range.
In May 2012 Ksubi launched its online store to complement its existing retail base.
In 2006 Single and Gorrow reached an out-of-court settlement with U.S. 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, which 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.
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.
Books and photography exhibitions
Following this, in 2006, Ksubi also toured an exhibition of campaign photographs they commissioned for their eyewear range, "Magnum Opus", to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Paris.
In 2007 Ksubi produced and released the book "sign of the times" the photographic reportage style book featured photos by George Gorrow, Paul Wilson, and Michael Nolan. The photos captured the journey of a 7 ft high Ksubi sculpture depicting a giant hand doing the peace symbol with the fingers cut off and bleeding. The sculpture was toured by Ksubi from Los Angeles to The Burning Man Festival in Nevada and then across country to New York.
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, such as 3rd Class in Melbourne and have progressed to supporting Daft Punk in their Nevereverland tour of Australia in late 2007.