UR CREATIVES: Meet Alex McBride of The 5th Co.
I was told about The 5th a few months ago and immediately fell in love with their watches. With a clean, minimalist aesthetic, The 5th Co. focuses on making high-quality pieces that won’t leave your pockets empty. What started as a collection of watches online (available for only 5 days on the 5th of each month), The 5th Co. now also offers sunglasses as well as book-bags. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Alex McBride, the founder of The 5th and learn about how the brand began and what’s next for The 5th in 2017.

1. DF: How did you start THE 5TH? Can you tell us the story behind the name?

AM: It kind of just fell into place! I always had an interest in fashion and wanted to create a brand that sells affordable but high-quality products – ones that I could collaborate on with friends and family. The 5TH name came about in NYC, I had called a friend to discuss my idea and she happened to be on Fifth avenue at the time – boom, there it was!

2. DF: When did you first get into fashion and design?

AM: It’s something I’ve grown up with. My grandmother was a fashion designer before getting into the fabrics business, and my mum is an interior designer, and dad an architect, so it’s in my blood. But I tend to think of fashion and design not as confined to two separate areas, but as more of a process and an aesthetic appreciation that can cross into many different areas.

3. DF:  What inspires you and influences your work?

AM: I guess what drives me is an ability to make a difference with what we’re doing; to provide a bit of inspiration to our audience to want to do more with the time they have. But when I think externally, I’d have to say people: I have great admiration for a lot of people I meet, and these people inspire me. And what I’ve realized is these people are all around us – the quiet achievers, the people doing all they can with what they have.  

4. DF: What has been the most rewarding experience since you started THE 5TH?

AM: To walk into work every day, and see friends, family, and genuine people working away in a space you’ve created is a pretty awesome and rewarding thing.

5. DF: What’s the toughest lesson you’ve learned since launching THE 5TH?  

AM: Growing quickly has been difficult, and structuring the team around that growth has been hard. I’ve got a pretty free flowing attitude, which I’ve tried to hold onto, but with more going on all the time, I’m forced to be very clear in my direction, and sometimes make decisions on things I wouldn’t in other circumstances.

6. DF:  What words do you live by?

AM: Time is what we make it, so make the most of every moment!

Watches from The 5th Co.
Watches from The 5th Co.

7. DF: What are 5 things you’d tell your 20 year old self?

AM: 1. Stay hungry – go after what you want in life. 2. Stay true – don’t try and be something you’re not. 3. Stay focused – it’s very easy to get distracted in this day in age. 4. Stay humble – always help others who are having a go.
5. Enjoy the journey – don’t get caught up in doing or achieving everything. It’s important to have fun and enjoy each moment as it comes.

8. DF: Have you experienced the quarter-life crisis?

AM: I actually don’t think I have. Our office is pretty young, and is full of 21 year olds, so perhaps that’s just prolonging it a bit as I’m still feeling young at heart. However, this question has kinda stressed me out now – should I have had one?

9. DF: What’s the best piece of advice you could give anyone who wants to become a designer and start their own business?

AM: My advice to anyone is: trust your gut, and go after what you want. Don’t let circumstances hold you back. If you know where you want to be, then work towards it.

10. DF: Who’s your favorite fashion icon and why?

AM: I’d have to say Rick Owens. He pushes boundaries, but stays true to who he is and what he’s about. He’s to blame for my monochrome wardrobe, and personal budgeting problems! He designs with a specific purpose in mind, while staying true to his own aesthetic – something I’ve got a lot of respect for. He transcends fashion and pushes or blurs the boundaries of art, sculpture and furniture – which resonates with me a lot.


11. DF: What are 3 items every Millennial man should have in his closet?

AM: A good pair of kicks, a quality t-shirt (so a long Rick Owens one), and obviously, a 5TH watch!

12. DF: THE 5TH has cultivated an active and incredibly engaged audience. Yes, the watches are beautifully designed, but what else do you think has helped to gain such a loyal following?

AM: To be honest, since we started we’ve been really open with our audience. The fact we only sell for five days per month means the other 25 days aren’t sales-focused; they’re about everything else we like to do with our time. I think our fans appreciate being brought into the fold – we share their adventures and stories as well as our own, and it’s well received, you know?

13. DF: What are your hopes for THE 5TH in 2017?

AM: More products, and more collaborations with talented people. As we’ve morphed into a lifestyle brand from a watch brand, there’s new products in the works, and new collaborations with cool people all over the globe.


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