Three alumni start ‘street culture’ clothing line

Three students from the class of 2007 founded a clothing label that emphasizes urban fashion and street culture. Nick Tolson ’07, who attends Indiana Universtiy, Josh Brown ’07, who is currently at Cornell, and Jason Gold ’07, who goes to the University of Oregon, founded Fifth Estate Clothing this July.

Tolson said that he and Brown wanted to start something that they could be proud of when they were older. In June 2008, Brown asked Tolson if he wanted to start a clothing label, and Tolson agreed. A few weeks later, Gold contacted Tolson saying that he was interested in running the legal aspects of the company. Gold received $10,000 from his parents that the three alums used to start the company in July.

“We are really thankful for them,” Tolson said. “Without them this wouldn’t have happened.”

Brown runs the company’s day-to-day operations, Gold is the president, and Tolson is the creative developer. Tolson also comes up with the ideas for designs of the shirts. The ideas are given to Sei Shimura, who creates the actual designs with computer programs. Tolson sends the design to a printer based in downtown Los Angeles who prints as many shirts as Tolson needs.

Six different lines of shirts have been released. The shirts are sold from Tolson’s residence, but they will soon be available for people to buy on the company’s website. Gold’s goal is to sell 100,000 shirts in the next 15 months, Tolson said.

Fifth Estate Clothing has ordered stickers with the company label to use as advertisements. Tolson said that the company also plans to advertise online.

The company also wants to release two new lines of shirts monthly by the beginning of next year, Tolson said. To complement the release of the shirts, the company will make a video explaining the designs of the shirts.