Triple Five Soul, 555 Soul or as I best remember their name: Triple 5 Soul was not just a Streetwear brand but a whole urban lifestyle collab of DJ’s, Graffiti artists, Musicians, Skaters, & Break dancers. In the 90’s, Triple 5 Soul was one of the biggest and most successful Streewear brands around.
Fun Fact: The 555 Soul name comes from a then Popular telephone party line advertised and utilized in NYC. Most likely at 3 or 4am after a festive night of partying.
in 1989, Triple 5 Soul founder-Camella Ehike worked out of 151 Ludlow St. on the lower East Side of Manhattan. Ehike had a store front apartment with a sewing machine in the front and living area in the back. Like many creative’s she started making clothes she liked to wear for herself and her good friends. Between 1989 and 1996, Camella lived in her store and sewed everything. Her friends were very influential in the NYC Hip-Hop Scene and the clothes were so dope, the brand took off and demand became higher than supply.
Fun Fact: 555 Soul’s love beads were worn by early rap/house artists; The Jungle Brothers and Boogie Down Productions. BTW: Back in the day, this was 1 of the only House records we had out in Hawaii. I used to play it over and over and over on my record player at parties at my first condo in Waikiki. circa 1988-89.
Fun Fact: Fab 5 Freddy wore a Triple 5 Soul Tie Hat on MTV, which skyrocketed exposure of the store and sales. Here’s a couple of pix of Fab 5 Freddy as host of Yo! MTV Raps. With Tupac and Madonna.
Fun Fact: Mos Def was a friend of Ehike and the face of T5S’s first advertising campaign.
Fun Fact: Whenever Long Island’s Me Myself and I, De La Soul came to Manhattan they would stop by the shop and ask for some new clothes. Here they are performing their massive hit.
Triple 5 Soul later moved to 290 Lafayette Street, It was here that I would visit most Decembers.
Fun Fact: Banksky took over the front interior of the store. It was the 1st time anyone brought Banksky to NY. Now (2015/16) you can walk down many downtown streets and see his work everywhere. Especially in the area where the infamous Cronuts exist. I know I was there in Dec 2013 amazed at how much art he had put up around Dominique Ansel’s Bakery at 189 Spring St. Maybe Banksky knew how hard it was/is to get a taste of the elusive delicacies, at least you could check out some interesting Street Art. Note: There’s also a fun looking basketball court next door to the Cronut Store. The day I was visiting the hood, there was even a comp B-Ball to borrow.
Fun Fact: Graphic Designer/Skater Alyasha Owerka-Moore designed the original logo in exchange for a couple of hats!
Triple Five Soul is known for:
- What you would buy in New York in the 90’s to show you knew true Streetwear
- Designed their own fabrics From Bohemian to Surf inspired
- Sick Insta’ Street Cred Hoodies and luxurious Velour track suits
- Dope Logo
- Wool Cargo Pants
- George W. Bush T’s
- 5 Deadly Venom shirts designed by SSUR’s Russell K
- Graffiti pieces done up by infamous Graff artist, Stash
- Backpacks that turned into Chairs
- DJ Cases with Built in Wheels
My Fun Fact: The Triple 5 Soul clothes were pretty pricey when I would visit NY, thus I owned ONE short-sleeved would be vintage now; grey T-shirt with Orange & Blue lettering. It had 3 hands on it doing some sort of sign language. I would wear it on the airplane from NY to Chicago at Christmas time. And whenever I wanted to feel like I was in the know about Streetwear in the 90’s. I remember it being very comfortable and quality made. Was one of my favorite shirts for about 4-5 years. And of course it was a Double XL-The Style of the time.
You can still find Triple 5 Soul on this website. But the most sought after items are the OG items from the 90’s. *Note: Looks like prices are the same or even less nowadays on their site. Kinda’ Wierd.
*Camille Ehike is currently running a modern bed and breakfast entitled, Breathe-Inn located in upstate New York. Contemplating a possible children’s line of clothing.
See you on the Streetz!
Brand Spotlight-Public School-March 2014
This month’s Brand Spotlight takes us to NYC to visit Public School. New York bred designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Cho are the driving force of the Public School brand. As you can see by their website and clothes, their preferred color palette is black and white. They also incorporate some nice navy blues and greys into the looks, all perfect colors for men of all ages, which coincidently are four of my preferred colors to wear, especially during the evening and night.
Ozborne and Cho met at Sean John where Chow was the Vice president of Marketing and Osborne was the intern who wore ties in his back pocket. According to the New York Times Fashion and Style section, Osborne said that in Brooklyn, “a lot of kids were gang members and wearing bandannas, so I thought it was funny to have a tie. It was ironic.” Next up, Osborne was hired as a designer and he and Yi Cho became friends and the rest is history.
Being named Public School I suspect many of you are wondering where the name came from. And yes, it did come from the fact that both designers attended Public School in NYC. Dao-Yi Cho went to PS 69 in Jackson Heights then Stuyvesant for high School and Maxwell Osborne attended Ps 41 in the West Village. According to an article in New York’s on-line magazine The Cut, Cho has mentioned a bit of his upbringing and style influences, I was sort of a floater,” says Chow of his school years. “I was never just a goth kid or a hip-hop kid, or a jock. And that’s what our label is about — this idea of convergence, bringing different worlds together and still making it feel genuine.
Public School was launched in 2008 in an apartment in Soho, like maybe some of you, I know one was me, they ate a bunch of Ramen Noodles. The two ate many Ramen Noodles and McGriddles. I remember eating Ramen Noodles and Coconuts. Nowadays, Osborne and Cho enjoy eating at some of these great New York establishments: Sasabune 401 East 73rd, The NoMad 1170 Broadway, Joe’s Pizza 7 Carmine St. and Nick’s Place 550 Seventh Avenue/Fashion Avenue. *There’s a Sasabune about 7 blocks from where I live on Oahu. I’ve been there 2x. Once someone else paid and once I paid. It is super fantastic, you don’t order, you are served delicious delicacies from the sea. But be aware, there are no prices listed at the Sushi Bar, but the tab tends to be quite LARGE. It’s a real special occasion type of place, at least for me.
Back to the Brand Spotlight: They took a bit of time off in 2012, then relaunched with new manufacturers and new distributors. And that takes us to where they are now in March 2014.
2013 was a HUGE year for Public School. In November they won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund of $300,000 and in June the two talented designers received the Swarovski Award for emerging talent in menswear. Clearly a Great year for both Osborne and Yi Chow.
Piecing everything I’ve read and seen about Public School, I’d sum them up as Having perfect colors for menswear with two eyes to the street to get the vibe, with the other two eyes on high-end fashion with impeccable tailoring.
Along with the clothes, Check out the ever coveted Rick Owens Ramone Kicks at the beginning of the vid and some nice black with a sleek double white sole kicks at the end of this Black and White Video.
Public School Jackets, Trousers, T’s, Suits, Kicks and more are available at: publicschoolnyc.com, Harvey Nichols in London, Iseten in Japan, and one of my favorite sites for Hi-End Kicks, Ssense in Canada. Also Available in New York at Odin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Atrium, and Barneys. *Barneys and Atrium are two of my favorite places to visit when I vacation in New York. I typically hit up Barneys on Day One and Atrium and the rest of Downtown Broadway on Day two during my visits to the Big Apple.
While doing research on Public School, I found another label that they design for called Black Apple, today’s Brand spotlight isn’t on them, but you may want to check it out. The Clothes are more affordable and they had some Kick A$$ Knicks shirts. All Black on Black, If they were still for sale I’d be getting myself a shirt or two for the Knicks drive to the 2014 NBA Play-Offs. I know, the Knicks haven’t been doing so well this year, but they do have a chance to get to the play-offs. Go Knicks! Go Melo! Note: Black Apple has been around since Fall/Winter 2010. I know I’ve seen many of the designs on the streetz, just didn’t know the designers from Public School were the masterminds behind it. As of the writing of this article-Sunday March 16, 2014, all three Jean designs are quite nice and priced perfectly, but all sold out, Although they do have many jackets to choose from and a few T’s I’d Rock. If you get a chance check it out. Who knows, when you read this they may have the jeans back in stock?
Sources/Bibliography for the Public School Spotlight: Esquire Magazine-the Style issue March 2014 (Print Edition), Details Magazine-The Fashion Issue March 2014 (Print Edition) ,The Fashion and Style section of The New York Times January 2014, and The New York Magazines The Cut on-line.
Do you have any Public School or Black Apple clothes or kicks? Let us know in the comment section. Let us know who you’d like to see a Brand Spotlight on? Or just tell us what you’re doing on St. Patrick’s Day? See you on the streetz! Or this Monday March 17the at the Dowwntown-Chinatown St. Patrick’s Day Block Party 2014.