Unable to find a brand that fit their fashion sense and personal tastes, Andres Izquieta and Dee Murthy decided to create a line synonymous with their own lifestyle and generation. Pinning themselves as the target customer, Izquieta and Murthy design what they love. A modern aesthetic, quality fabrics, and affordable price points define Five Four. With new projects in the works including a Five Four Womens collection, Bazaar accessories, and Five Four Living, we hope this brandâ€™s visionary ways will help maintain them through tough economic times.
â€œWhen we first started, we didnâ€™t know what we were doing. We knew we wanted to do something that was our own and most importantly that defined our generation.â€
Format: Please state who you are and your role at Five Four.
Andres Izquieta: Andres Izquieta; co-founder, co-CEO and creative director.
Format: You have come a long way since debuting at the 2002 Magic Show in Las Vegas. Give us a brief history of how your vision became a reality.
Andres Izquieta: When we first started, we didnâ€™t know what we were doing. We knew we wanted to do something that was our own and most importantly that defined our generation. Over time, we have evolved with our brand and it has become a sophisticated menâ€™s contemporary brand defined by modern detailing, the use of quality fabrics and an attainable price point. The key with us is we have always been able to focus and innovate while maintaining a clear vision of our end goal.
Format: How did you come up with the name Five Four?
Andres Izquieta: Five Four means â€œoneâ€; at first it meant â€œoneâ€ or â€œone loveâ€, but over time the definition has evolved with the brand, thus evoking we are one.
Format: Who makes up the Five Four team?
Andres Izquieta: The Five Four team was founded by me and Dee Murthy in 2002. Since then, we have grown to a company of twenty employees.
Format: Do you have a background in fashion or design?
Andres Izquieta: I donâ€™t have a background in design. I graduated from USC with an undergrad degree in business with emphasis on entrepreneurship. My senior year I wrote a business plan for the entrepreneurship program with my friend Dee Murthy and the rest is history. I know what I like and want and Iâ€™ve always been conscious of my style. Itâ€™s something that was embedded in me from day one by my parents.
Format: What characteristics embody a Five Four consumer?
Andres Izquieta: The Five Four consumer is someone that aspires to a certain kind of lifestyle thatâ€™s defined by success and happiness. He reads everything from the Wall Street Journal and Vogue Hommes to The Selby and Selectism. Heâ€™s into art, sports, fine dining, yet heâ€™s not afraid to eat from a snack shack on some random street corner. He is fashion forward, yet wants to feel comfortable. He loves to travel and take on new adventures.
Format: Why only menâ€™s clothing? Did you feel you had to fulfill something that was lacking in all the other menâ€™s lines out there today?
Andres Izquieta: There are some great menâ€™s lines out there, but I didnâ€™t feel that any of them truly defined who I was and the kind of person I was aspiring to be. As time has passed, Five Four has continued to be a direct embodiment of my lifestyle and ambition. At the end of the day, I design what I want to wear.
Format: I heard that you will be launching a womenâ€™s collection. Can you give us a preview as to what this line will feature?
Andres Izquieta: The line is slated to launch either fall 2010 or spring 2011. I want the timing to be right to make sure I can dedicate enough time to ensure that it upholds the Five Four aesthetic and vision. When launched, the line will be a progression of the brand; complimenting the Five Four man.
Format: Tell us about FFTV.
Andres Izquieta: FFTV is a project we launched in the fall of 2007 to highlight a special project called the â€œFive Four Projectâ€. We basically went to ten hot spots in L.A. all dressed the same and created chaos. We drew inspiration from the Thomas Crown Affair and all the guys were wearing Five Four. It was the most fun I have had at Five Four to date; it felt like we were in a real movie.
Format: You have grown from a line of six basic tees to a full collection of over 150 styles per season in just five years. Recently, you added pillows to the mix. Why did you decide to create this collection for the home?
Andres Izquieta: I have a love for decorative pillows so it was the ideal place for me to start. The pillows are accessible to everyone and an easy way to bring life to a room for a relatively low cost. The pillows came out great, so now Iâ€™m teetering on the concept of launching a full home range.
Five Four means â€œoneâ€; at first it meant â€œoneâ€ or â€œone loveâ€, but over time the definition has evolved with the brand, thus evoking we are one.
Format: What does the future hold for Five Four?
Andres Izquieta: The future has never been more promising. Five Four has been evolving at a very nice pace and Iâ€™m very happy with our upcoming collections. The constant evolution of every category is happening season by season, with the product consistently getting better.
Bazaar by Five Four was just launched and is composed of accessories ranging from socks and scarves to pillows and backpacks. The inspiration came from my many trips to flea markets and bazaars around the world from New Delhi to Tokyo, Hong Kong to Paris and many cities in South America. This new division of our business is set to grow very fast, as we will be constantly launching new products via the web every 2-3 weeks.
Five Four Living is another concept that will be launching in the fall of 2009. We recently teamed up with a real estate development company called Stuho, who develops properties in the USC area and provides student housing.Â The concept that was created was Five Four Living, an ultra modern and sophisticated living experience for those college students looking for something more along the lines of hotel living vs. traditional student housing.Â The first project on tap is the re-modelling of a California craftsman home by USC area. The project is symbolic because both myself and business partner went to USC, so the project was very personal.Â The long term strategy with Five Four Living is to simulate this concept across other student housing properties, in addition to regular residential properties and hotels.Â