In the mid 2000s, Feti and his friends Sophie and Tomas (FS&T) (from left to right above) designed t-shirts for a club magnate and other entities in Germany. Feti was a DJ and the former grafitti artist known as "ROCNE", Sophie was a product marketing specialist for Dell by day and MUA (Make-up Artist) by night, and Tomas was a web designer who had worked with Feti on several programming jobs. For the entities FS&T designed shirts for, they also designed marketing materials and hired street teams to distribute stickers and flyers throughout Germany, mainly at clubs and private parties.
In 2005 while on vacation and partying at the legendary "Park Cafe" club in Wiesbaden, Germany, the trio discussed the various branded clothing being worn by others in the club. Even though FS&T admired the many clothing brands being represented that night, FS&T felt no emotional connection to any of the companies. The expensive brands were just being worn because people believed wearing expensive clothing boosted their social positioning within society. The brands being worn due to having been seen on a celebrity were being worn simply because people either felt a need to show their love of that celebrity's body of work, or people believed that wearing that celebrity endorsed product would allow them to become a member of an exclusive group, brimming with like minded individuals. Either way, all of these reasons were reactive results of individual internal conflicts. Reactions to wanting to belong, to wanting to fit in.
This discussion went on until 4 A.M. As Feti, Sophie, Tomas and a few other friends were leaving the club on their way to another one, Feti asked, "why don't we just create a 'Proactive' brand that gives people that emotional connection we all need to have in our clothing? We've all had times when people put us down, or we felt we weren't good enough for something or someone because we lacked confidence in ourselves. Regardless of how cool we feel certain clothing brands are, when we put on that Abercrombie or FUBU shirt, or slide up those GUESS and Diesel jeans, they only tell people we like those brands, but it does not tell people how we feel inside. We need to create a brand that does just that. A brand that shows people not only do we like to wear premium clothing, but we are also confident within our own skins. We need to show people that no matter what they say or do to us, they will NEVER take away our confidence! You can look at me with disdain, disgust, desire or disbelief, as long as you're looking at me. oh shit, that's it! 'I see you lookn'! It says everything we need it to say. It says I'm confident enough to wear something that shows I'm confident, and it says that I don't care what you do because you're looking at my confidence."
By 2006, Feti and Sophie were in Chicago, working with a technology firm while still working on what would eventually become "ISLK", the abbreviation for "I-See-you-Loo-Kn". Operating out of the third floor of the historic Fisher Building downtown, they discovered a void within the Chicago fashion scene. There was no help, no mentors, and no collaborations between different artists and brands. That was when Feti founded the Chicago Fashion Industry (now Chicago Fashion Scene) Meetup group (see above photo). The purpose of the group was to give aspiring individuals within Chicago's fashion scene an opportunity to meet, collaborate freely with each other, and host fashion shows so that everyone's talents may be utilized and hopefully seen by potential customers or employers. The group was an instant success. With Feti's team leading the way, scheduling Meetups and fashion shows, and coordinating sponsors, the group quickly grew in 2 months from a couple of folks to over 300, and has continued to grow to now over 5000 plus members. Eventually, Sophie had finished her portion of the tech project and had returned to Germany, while Feti was still in the city, meeting with and learning from the many different individuals he had met within the Chicago Fashion Scene.
As time went on, between traveling and consulting for several technology and business firms, Feti continued to perfect the plan for the new clothing line, and 2017 marked the year that the ISLK apparel brand was officially launched.
ISLK's Mission Statement
To AID you IN PROJECTING confidence
AT ISLK, OUR VISION IS TO BRING TOGETHER PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. WE WANT TO INSPIRE OUR CUSTOMERS TO fight against prejudice, sexism, and bullying by displaying their confidence in themselves.
the above crest is based on the founder's love of the college and prep school lifestyle, mythology, and family heritage.
"VIRĪLIS, ERŌT, BELLUS"
VIRILE (having or exhibiting masculine energy, forcefulness, or strength)
EROTO (love or sexual desire)
BELLUS (beautiful or pretty)
ISLK Double Dot Logo
The two dots represent the eyes of the person wearing ISLK apparel, or the gaze of the onlooker, staring that hot ISLK girl or guy up and down.