How FTP Changed Streetwear

Streetwear has solidified itself within the fashion world. High fashioned juggernauts are looking at streetwear brands for inspiration, have even reached their hands out for job opportunities from some of streetwear’s most coveted designers, or they just steal from the smaller creatives who don’t have a big enough name (or bank account) to defend themselves. There’s no denying that Supreme is number one when it comes to streetwear brand rankings, in the sense of sales, resale and overall hype. Last year the brand partnered with The Carlyle Group, where the firm invested a staggering sum of money in the amount of $500 million for a 50% stake of the company, which in return brought Supreme’s overall evaluation to 1 Billion dollars. Yes, Billion with a capital B. In my opinion, this move will actually open doors for future and current streetwear brands that are making a statement in the culture. With a lot of promising brands on the horizon, one brand in particular that could very well take the throne from Supreme is FTP.

FTP, also known as Fuck The Population, is a Los Angeles based streetwear brand started back in 2010. Since the brand’s inception, owner Zac, hasn’t shied away from spreading his mission statement and that is “Fuck The Industry”. If you’ve followed FTP’s earlier drops, you’ll know the brand has never censored themselves from anything. One of the most memorable drops in FTP history was back in 2015 when the brand dropped their infamous porno/lookbook. It was the first time I realized that the brand had no boundaries but it’s also what intrigued people about the brand.

Choosing the right people to collab with can make or break the future of most brands. FTP has managed to stay away from hyped reviews and gain even more attention by linking with the minds of brands such as DC Shoes, HUF, FUCT and UNDEFEATED. With each collaboration they’ve done more than just create a shirt with both the brands names on it. They’ve used iconic faces within the culture to not only represent them, but push the mold for who or what should be a model for lookbooks. You can look at each collection and find something about it that sparks a distinct memory or feeling that only they can replicate. Using their medium, they’ve found a way to create signature pieces that will act as time stamps in their timeline.

With the recent death of hip hop icon Fredo Santana, FTP has made it their duty to pay homage to someone they’ve viewed as more than an artist but a genuine friend. Fredo and Zac seemed to have a very close relationship. He even had him star in one of FTP’s lookbooks back in 2016. Fredo had his own business endeavors that were similar to FTP. He had a similar “don’t give a f*ck” attitude with a presence that could fill the room. It makes perfect sense why their worlds would collide. Unfortunately the next time we would see these names together would be for FTP’s collab with DC Shoes and Highsnobiety. Fredo graced the cover of the 16th issue of their magazine and was immortalized in the hip hop hall of fame. It’s safe to say everyone will miss him dearly.

Even though FTP doesn’t follow the hype, they sure do know how to create it. Back in December of 2015 they held a pop outside of Pink Dolphin in a U-haul truck. That’s right, a U-haul truck. This caused havoc in the streets leaving hundreds lined up outside clamoring to get their hands on a piece. See FTP doesn’t have a retail store. So anytime there is a way to pull up and get some of their exclusive pieces the masses show up and show out. It has almost become tradition since 2015 for that to happen. Since then they’ve had multiple pop up’s that have resulted in chaos like the FUCT collab for instance. The latest pop up with DC Shoes was another example of that. It gets to the point where people are ready to riot if the release is threatened to get shut down by the law. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. Their influence within the culture is like a train catching speed. Once it is at full speed there is no telling what the brand won’t be able to do.

Video shot by Max Beck

You might wonder how do they gain so much attention. The answer is simple, social media. Their use of social media marketing is second to none. People love to support the underdogs, and more importantly love to support people with the same mindset as them. With our new president in office the mood of the country has been shifted. More people are becoming aggressive and in your face about their opinions. FTP is based of a similar idea. People have built a genuine connection with the brand through that idea. Everything about their social media accounts relate to the street culture. A culture that doesn’t have a certain skin color or race that dictates what is going on, but a culture that does what it wants, how it wants to do it, when it wants to do it. FTP goes hard for their supporters. They treat them just like family, and that is why they will not only succeed but take over anything in their way.

Feature Image : Vuhlandes