If you’ve been around for a while, you should already be aware of Freshjive’s historical impact on streetwear, But how to adequately describe Freshjive to a 2018 audience? Never mind the standard blend of diverse Southern California subcultures business that usually accompanies classic streetwear labels; that’s just a way to say that people who liked Sponge wore it, but people who liked Orbital wore it too, without actually knowing bands from 1994. Everyone gets it. If you want a real sense of Freshjive’s influence, just do a simple image search. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that we are living in a world that Freshjive created.
Irreverent, cease and desist inviting corporate logo parodies, uncensored profanity, erotic imagery, before these aesthetic elements were ubiquitous conventions in streetwear, they were pioneered by Freshjive. Try to imagine a time before everyone with a half-baked idea that they saw on the internet had access to Photoshop, Illustrator, and a t-shirt printer. Now imagine seeing a logo, like that of a certain popular laundry detergent, that you see every day, repurposed into something hip and clever. This kind of culturally subversive, creative energy had never taken this exact form before, and the concept of combining elements of various, disparate subcultures into a unified, hybrid, youth culture would set the template for all of the streetwear that followed.
Drawing from 90’s Los Angeles street culture, Freshjive asks us to question the essentials: W.T.F.I.R.G.O.? What the fuck is really going on?