Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Fuhrer is the brainchild of Shaun Gardner, Jason de Villiers and Sean Metelerkamp, and whether you like it or not Fuhrer is here to stay. Fuhrer is more than just a tee company – it’s a tangible example of brazened originality, from conception through to execution. These three like-minded creative’s, these three friends, have created a brand that is underground yet accessible, a brand that is causing glitches of social contest and a brand that speaks to the masses without using any audio aggression. Bold aesthetic dialogues of red, black and white say it all.

Despite only recently being stocked in astore – one of Cape Town’s ‘Cool Cape Town Kid’ stores – Fuhrer has been evolving since around early 2009. Shaun, Jason and Sean didn’t get ahead of themselves, and strategically let mechanisms fall naturally into place. Patiently, they spent time and money they didn’t have to do things the way things should always be done – with passion, professionalism and unpretentious perseverance. Don’t fuck with this trinity – Fuhrer knows their shit. I caught up with Jay to clear any neo-Nazi rumours, and to chat about the designs, concept and future of Fuhrer.

SCP: The designs – is there a theme that you have followed?

J: Not, exactly, we work on the aesthetic of the design first, Fuhrer has a set tone, which is quite abrasive, and the designs adhere to the tone, from the concept to the delivery.

SCP: What influences (styles/artists) are apparent in the first set of designs?

J: The designs have a graphic novel inspired feel to them, but interpreted in our own way.

SCP: How’d the name, Fuhrer, come about?

J: We wanted a name that spoke about authority, and the abuse of power. A couple others we thought of were Priest and Church. When Sean mentioned Fuhrer, we all said ‘yes’.

SCP: So, if no relation to neo-Nazism… then what does the name represent?

J: In the dictionary a ‘fuhrer’ is ‘a ruthless or tyrannical leader’. Africa has seen its fair share of furhrer’s, and we want people to realise that people in authority can easily be corrupted by power. Usually this realisation comes after the human cost. That’s why our logo is a rabid dog. Something that was once loyal, now in an aggressive frenzy. Aside from that we think it’s just a cool name for a tee company.

SCP: Finish this sentence:

“If I were a soldier I’d …”
J: “If I were a soldier I’d mutiny.”

SCP: The colours – black, red and white – these are bold colours that have, throughout time, been synonymous with revolutionary agendas. They are colours of power, force, defiance and passion… what do these colours means to you?

J: Exactly that, they are very bold colours. They’ve been used as the key colours for countless graphic campaigns; they were also the key colours of anti-apartheid poster design.

SCP: Maintaining a simple yet unabashed approach seems to show in your designs, would you agree with this?

J: Yeah, totally, the designs work mostly on concepts, which is unapologetic and quite raw. The style is a by-product of the concept.

SCP: The Fuhrer shoot directed by Sean Metelerkamp that took place earlier this year - what was the concept behind the shoot and how was it applied?

J: We created a photo-concept for each tee design, which in turn is going to form part of a viral for Fuhrer. It’s going to be mad.

SCP: Barks, balls and bullets aside, what is Fuhrer really about?

J: Getting shit done.

SCP: Do you have any other ideas in the making… such as rabid dog stickers perhaps?

J: Yeah, we have a whole bunch of ideas, but we’re not going to give any away just yet.

SCP: With Facebook continuing to shut you guys down, will your website be up soon? What can we expect to see on the site?

J: Yeah, Facebook really hates us for some reason; I guess they can’t see through the surface to who we really are. The website is going to be up by the end of this month and its going to be better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

SCP: Aside from astore – how else can we get hold of some tees?

J: On the website

SCP: Lastly, is Fuhrer going to release a ladies range?

J: This is something a lot of people have been asking us about, but for now, I can only say, ‘maybe, maybe not.’

Thanks J… and thanks Fuhrer – my rabid dog tee is a social lubricant that keeps on whetting the crowd.

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