It goes without saying that Michael Kopelman and Gimme Five have been essential to my career progression (and I don’t think I’m alone in being grateful to Michael either). Given the company’s admirable reticence to do nostalgia, I always thought that a few stories in British streetwear were lost and the importance of what they did was overlooked. Thanks to Gimme Five, we were first when it came to discovering a lot of brands and the Gimme Five line itself was experimenting with Champion tees, parodies and collaborations way ahead of several others. I’m happy to see that, accompanying a new collection of guilty pleasure inspired Gimme Five shirts that lift from Foreigner, Streisand & Gibb, Hall & Oates and Donald Fagen, they’ve added an archive to the site. I loved the era of a label added to an existing t-shirt brand’s label and Gimme Five’s brief history reiterates that some serious talent passed through: Stephen Bliss’ (who has done some recognisable work as lead designer for Rockstar Games) Wild Bunch shirt for Massive Attack that’s an early UK streetwear collaboration, several creations by Hysteric Glamour designer Stephan Jay Rayon including the Halloween II homage, Grover and Clint Eastwood graphics, a Sk8thing Mister Fantastic, Judy Blame for Massive Attack, plus a never-released Goodenough shirt with Paul Simenon and Damien Hirst shirt from the 1990s that was shelved because, “Damien Hirst told Michael that he would only approve the tee if he pulled down his trousers and had the conversation with him in front of a lot of people present…”
The short-lived HOP Hideout Projects line with Kostas Sermetis, plus the Supreme and Stüssy team are there too, so go check it. It’s all just the tip of an iceberg too.