The Streetwear Brand Fighting Islamophobia
5ivepillars merges the poetic with the political
Sarah Ben Romdane
Coming of age in post 9/11 America, 26-year-old Pakistani-American desginer Farrukh Ershad has always believed that fashion can trigger social change. “I decided to create 5ivepillars in 2012, as a response to the lack of representation in fashion and to the climate of Islamophobia in the US”, he explains. Ever since launching the brand, Ershad has used graphic tees, hoodies and tracksuits as a means of subtly sliding into politics.
Growing up in a Pakistani household, Ershad recalls feeling amazed by the colourful patterns and fabrics his mother and aunts wore, but it wasn’t until the golden era of his local basketball team, the Sacramento Kings that he truly got into fashion. “I loved how the players dressed in their 4 XL white tees and Jordans, accessorized with Gucci belts and diamond chains”, he says.
5ivepillars is the brainchild of Ershad’s love of home and streetwear. You could call the brand just another streetwear label, but there are some delicate differences. Each piece serves as a manifesto. “Over the years there have been many topics that we’ve tried our best to cover, and one that always reiterates itself is love”, he says.