27 Jul
Building an independent art fashion brand from the ground up.


Each time I put a False tee on I feel like I sliding into something real. Almost like I can feel the blood, the sweat, the passion and the tears that went into making the garment. My chest puffs up a little, my shoulders go back and I’m filled with a sense of pride. I’ve got other shirts in my closet that I love to rock, but I don’t get the same feeling when I pull them over my head. My gratification doesn’t simply come from a design aspect, I get it knowing that the two creative types behind the False brand (and it’s subsidiaries Better Off Dead, and Fallacy Of Rome, which is in collaboration with Lupe Fiasco), Le Messie and Amanda Scully, have literally hand-screened and hand-finished the tee I’m wearing in their Singapore home/office. They’ve been doing it this way since launching the brand in 2005. There are no machines involved—just a simple wooden silk-screen placed free hand, a high quality cotton combed tee, squeegee and paint. (Peep the second video below.) The idea of a tee shirt being a canvas is nothing new, but these guys are bring a level of sophistication to a game not normally known for elegance. More than just a fashion brand, Le Messie also has False magazine and False Sounds. He also wrote and produced Lupe Fiasco’s cut “Fighters” (feat. Matthew Santos) featured on Fiasco’s Grammy nominated album, The Cool. Also be on the lookout for Le Messie’s EP “My Minds A Scary Place” with an appearance by Lupe Fiasco by end 2009. If you haven’t picked up on this, False is not your average street wear brand.

Read out interview with Le Messie after the jump….

Better Off Dead, Jacob The Murderer: Hand-Screened

Lupe Fiasco “Fighters” feat. Matthew Santos

I’m curious to know what the False HQ looks like. Is at your house, do you have an office? Is it just you and your wife all day?
I thought you’d never ask! We’re located in an area unlike Singapore’s tall buildings and crowded hustle. We moved to an open area far out North of Singapore. You would consider this in terms of Singapore pace an extremely quiet area with very low ratio of people living by and much open land. I could only ever work from a home office; I never really stop working if you want to call it work. I have too many ideas popping up all the time and am far too gone in my O.C.D for the love of the things I do. It’s a charming colonial styled home which we remodeled with a slight modern twist. It provides us with a roof, a workplace, a gym and a mini non-alcoholic bar after hours! Ohh it’s kinda a mini zoo as well. We have so many animals, we’re fanatical animal lovers! It’s Amanda, myself and we have a close friend and assistant named Puss that helps us with everything. We’re looking to expand but have trust issues so it’ll be a slow process, no rushing, don’t need to!

A mini zoo…that sounds interesting. What kind of animals?
When I mean mini zoo I mean we just have quite a handful of animals, 2 dogs (a Presa Canario—a very big dog 150 pounds and a Valley Bulldog) 2 Cats (a Devon Rex and a Sphinx). We’re in the process of finding the right place to settle in for a while so we’ll build on the zoo idea once we confirm where in the world we’ll be rooting ground over the next 12 months! I’ve been planning my real mini zoo for that—we both really love animals.

I hear you’re an MMA fanatic, and that you have your own mini training gym. What does being a “fanatic” mean to you? Do you study any martial art? What style?
Yes. It’s one of the only things apart from my art that keeps me on my toes! I have a small area with a few bags, pads and the basic necessities to get it on with the normal striking, wrestling and ground and pound aspects of the game. I train a lot of core strength and am currently researching into getting a BJJ (Brazilian Ju Jitsu) doll to practice my ground grappling game. I think I’ve found the right one! I follow almost every fight, am on the forums (you’re a fanatic once you hit forum level—I don’t chat but read up all the stuff posted), I do their pay per views!

MMA is an art in itself, originally it was studying and majoring in different disciplines like Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, BJJ and then you work on the rest. Now it’s more of a lil bit of all, I take most of what makes sense in a real life battle situation and put it together. In this case I practice a lot more of my ground game as an actual fight will most likely be taken to the ground. My personal style is the ground and pound into opening a submission.

Is the gym a place to exercise, or do you have fights in there?
I have fights with my bags and imaginary opponents! Actually Amanda and myself go at it quite hard with the pads from time to time, we help each other with the technical striking aspects and footwork. It’s all for good exercise building strength, keeping healthy and a good ground for self defense.

Have you ever had to kick someone’s ass?
Nah MMA is not like that, there’s a lot of discipline. It’s actually helped me to control my aggressive responses more and be clam in situations of danger and miscommunication. This is where the techniques of BJJ would be best situated for on a street level. To avoid damage to the assailant, a submission choke would suffice.

Talk to me about your philosophy on life and the roll it plays in your professional career/your creations.
I share a strong taste in going against the grain. Finding different angles to things, seeing the false in the truth and the truth in the false. These have been my true guidelines in being a passionate creator. It has allowed me to see things with different eyes and to accept things more openly and willingly.


That tattoo on your head tells me that Maori culture is something you connect with. What specifically about that culture do you identify with?
Well there’s my wife and powerful partner in crime Amanda Scully who’s roots date back to Maori tribe ancestry. Her knowledge in her ancestors has brought about a strong willing influence in me. The war tribe, the never say die, I try to share those same sentiments. My head tattoo is a representation of those things and how I translate them in my day-to-day life.


Considering your creation process, the amount of work that goes into making a single tee shirt for example, do you worry about street culture imploding? False hype, collaborations with no purpose, exploitation, etc., do you see a tipping point?
Not really, we’ve always been in this for the cause, our own cause not a “streetwear” cause or a fashion cause; these are things that just help label our message. We feel we’ve always just been one of a kind and on our own, where we take it to is the journey that we are on now, where we play is just the area where people come to trade. Our true purpose is to build a passionate following of individuals that see through all of the mentioned above.

Better Off Dead, Fallacy Of Rome, FALSE Sounds and FALSE Magazine, do you think one conveys your sense of style most?
Not one but all, it’s about being a conjoined unit that makes the entire story come to life in full view.

What makes you weak?
A 15-minute all out burst drill on the ground and pound bag. That will make your knees buckle!

What do you fear most?
Everything and nothing at the same time and it goes like that for me throughout the day.

How, if at all, does music influence your design sense?
Rhythm… it’s all in the rhythm. If you find your rhythm it’ll inspire you to tremendous things.

Make me a soundtrack/playlist that epitomizes the vibe of your work.

M83 “Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun”

Fatboy Slim “Star 69”

Sigur Ros “Svefn-G-Englar”

M83 “Run Into Flowers”

Daft Punk “Around The World”

Underworld “Two Months Off”

Sigur Ros “Starålfur”

If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to take shit, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
I don’t own an iPod.

If you were Lost In A Supermarket, what aisle would we find you in?
Anyone of them really, I get lost in a supermarket on a weekly basis, it’s a perpetual thing for me to get lost and find myself over and over again.

5 Responses to “False x Better Off Dead x Fallacy Of Rome = Le Messie”

  1. […] 2010 line of shirts. We’ve been fans of Le Messie’s stuff for awhile (read our interview), and this season does nothing to disappoint. The Karl The Butcher line is a statement on the […]

  2. Marko says:

    I bought one of their designs from Urban Cove and i love it!! Excellent Quality!

  3. Closed Back Sandals – Far more enclosed compared to the strappy style but usually with a quite open front. A really good compromise between the strappy style and the open toe shoe style sandals.

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