Looking Back At 2 1/2 Years Of Fitted Life Design
Fitted Life design is a dynamic process. It is an ever-changing process inspired by experience through culture, imagery, and connection. Every design we made was an educational experience for us and helped us grow as artists. Though we’re a very young company, we’ve delivered a smooth collection of tees. Today, we look back at 2 and 1/2 years of Fitted Life design.
Many of our hardcore Fitted Life residents will remember that we used to run two blogs under the Fitted Life brand back in 2010. These blogs were called Checked! IN GEAR and Trendsetter. The Checked! IN GEAR blog was all about the car culture while the Trendsetter was mostly about fashion. During that time frame, we were covering tons of automotive events so we decided to get promotional black tees printed with the Checked! IN GEAR and the 2nd variant Fitted Life logo.
Back in 2011, we decided to relaunch Fitted Life as a design brand. We combined the Checked! IN GEAR and Trendsetter blog and we ran everything under Fitted Life. Of course the change would be a shock to many, but we pressed forward with our vision. Later that year in October, we decided to launch Fitted Life’s first clothing line available to the public. We debuted 4 tees all printed in-house.
The Fitted Life High Standard Society tee was a simple tee inspired by our high standards. We don’t settle for less and everything about our lifestyle was all about aiming high and accomplishing greatness.
The SURF.SKATE.CYCLE.DRIFT tee paid a tribute to the cycle of sports in Southern California. Since we’re next to the Pacific Ocean and the weather is pretty awesome year-round here in California, we have plenty of time for surfing, skating, riding and of course drifting.
Now at this point, I was highly sensitive to the feel of Collection Zero’s prints and they weren’t up to our standards. Collection Zero had some great designs, but due to quality issues we pulled them off the market and then relaunched Fitted Life’s clothing line with Vol.1: End of Year Collection. This next collection utilized a new ink solution that gave us smoother prints and the designs improved.
In this collection we had the In Focus tee which was inspired by our love for photography. On a deeper level, the In Focus tee was all about keeping our vision “in focus” and never losing track of what we we’re trying to accomplish.
Aside from the In Focus tee, another favorite of mine was the Keep Moving Forward tee inspired by Walt Disney who once said, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney’s actions and words act as a constant reminder that we all can achieve our dreams if we keep moving forward.
As the designs evolved, so did our taste for better fitting and quality made tees. Our main aim was to look for a shirt supplier based here in the United States as I wanted to keep Fitted Life’s production local. I didn’t want us to outsource the tees and let some other third party company from across the globe to manufacture our goods. That wasn’t the way I envisioned my brand and I wanted to provide our fans quality goods manufactured close to home. With that detail in mind, we ended up using a new shirt supplier based in Southern California.
With new shirt blanks at hand, we kicked off 2012 with our Spring/Summer 2012 Collection. The collection featured new designs that featured our new smooth finish printing formula. This collection featured our Feel the Bass tee, Super Allstars tee, Defend the Stronghold tee, and our Family Crest tank top.
Our Feel the Bass tee was heavily inspired by the whole EDM music scene going on in 2012. We had some massive tracks drop that year and I even got to shoot Avicii’s House for Hunger event up at Reno which was a blast. While my head was rattling from all the bass pounding music, I thought of incorporating the phrase “Feel the bass and then the drop” into a tee and the rest is history.
Drawing inspiration from Japanese pop culture and minimal aesthetics, I created the Super Allstars tee. The design featured our current Fitted Life icon logo and a combination of English and Japanese characters which made out ス-パ-(Su-pa-) Allstars, hence Super Allstars. The minimal layout and placement of graphic-to-type was inspired by the minimal tees of Japanese shirt culture.
Undefeatable. Indestructible. Unstoppable. Our Defend the Stronghold tee was all about defending our brand’s mentality and values. It pertained more to our fighting spirit than our competitiveness. Our passion was undefeatable, indestructible, and unstoppable. We were survivors and leaders in an industry filled with brands that have conformed to mainstream ideals. We didn’t want to follow that path. We defended our stronghold.
We were feeling a bit adventurous for our 2012 Spring/Summer line so we also released our first ever tank top featuring our Family Crest logo. The Family Crest design featured details based off the idea of family tradition and lineage. Among our designs at the time, this was one of our most intricate and detailed prints.
After the successful run of our 2012 Spring/Summer line, we were faced with the dilemma of balancing design and printing. With the increase in demand and in quality control, we had to source a local and dependable printer to help out with production. Hiring a printer gave us more time to focus on making new designs while perfecting the Fitted Life experience. Likewise it allowed us to produce even higher quality t-shirts.
So with a new printer on hand, we pushed forward with our cleanest production line, our 2012 Fall/Winter collection. This was the collection that really pushed our work into the spotlight. It featured detailed designs, meaningful messages, better print finishes, and overall a better experience for our fans. We finally found a solution that we were extremely proud of. The 2012 Fall/Winter collection included our Motor Work Japan tee, Aloha Mindset tee, and California Collective tee.
Our Motor Work Japan tee was a tribute to our love and respect for the Japanese car culture and our roots in automotive photography. Showcasing an iconic wheel style in Japanese car culture, our Motor Work Japan tee was a personal fan driven design of mine. It was a great design that fused my passion for art and my interest in Japanese cars.
During the summer of 2012, I got into motorcycles and picked up a classic 1978 Honda CB550 for my café racer project. While working on a full restoration of the bike, I was inspired by the tail pipes shooting off the side of the bike. It was then, at that moment, that I drew inspiration for my California Collective tee. The tee featured a minimalistic cursive hand drawn type that flowed identically to the tail pipes of my CB550 motorcycle. The tee represented the open roads of California and the opportunities that our state has to offer. It was based off the collective mindset and the idea of creating greatness through community.
Last year in 2012, my parents, relatives, and I decided to take a trip back to my birthplace Hawaii. The trip was splendid and it brought back plenty of awesome memories. Drawing inspiration from Hawaii’s beautiful sights, amazing plate lunches, and amazing scenery, I created the Aloha Mindset tee. Aloha means hello and goodbye and it also represents the spirit of traditional Hawaii. It was a positive mindset that aligned itself with Fitted Life’s values.
Near the end of 2012, we developed our Amplify Your Mindset campaign, a motivational initiative aiming to inspire individuals to amplify their ideas through literature, art, and design. As a final design for 2012, we created our Amplify Your Mindset tee using the idea of a communication tower to broadcast our message. Thus, we closed 2012 strong with our first ever two-color print tee that delivered a positive message while retaining the style of Fitted Life.
So here we are in 2013 and ready to rock n’ roll. Thank you all for the continued support and get ready for even more awesome Fitted Life designs this year. Amplify your mindset. Amplify your life.