In 2013, I wanted to create something that I could call my own, something that would give me the opportunity to utilise my love of design. This is when the name was abbreviated to STLTHY. My aim was to build a clothing brand, similar to those that I had idolised as a skater earlier on in life, and also try to bring in some elements of the things I was into at that time such as Japanese car culture, and popular culture, as well as street art and much more besides.
The first couple of years were a bit of a blur, I released my first clothing designs, even had a go at printing some myself, but over time I started to realise that things weren't quite going how I wanted them to because in that time I had become a UK reseller for US-based interior styling company.
While it was really good selling some quality products I started to feel like I had lost sight of my original goal. I needed to find a way back to doing what I truly loved, and that's how Death or Glory! was born.
The idea was that I would split the clothing and stickers side of the brand from the interior parts side of the business and turn it into a brand in its own right (Death or Glory!) and over time I would phase out the parts (STLTHY) until only Death or Glory! remained, this was not a fresh start, but more of a clear and refreshed focus on my goals...
Which is where we are today!
The name "Death or Glory!" originally started life as nothing more than a tagline for a logo design I ran with for STLTHY, at that time everyone was banding about the term "Go Hard or go home!" Which I felt was a bit played out, so after chatting with some friends I went with Death or Glory! in place of the now tedious "Go hard, or go home!" (At the time it essentially meant the same thing, but I wasn't following the herd!)
Further down the line while thinking of names to call the brand I realised that by using Death or Glory! as a tagline for STLTHY I had inadvertently given myself a motto to stand by when working towards achieving my goal, that's when I decided to call the clothing brand Death or Glory!
Over the years my love for all things relating to Japanese modified car culture, the drifting motorsport, and Japanese popular culture as well as tattoo design and street art has remained at the core of my designs, meaning one design is never quite in the same style as the next.
How Did "Black nails & Bloody knuckles" come about?
I came up with the concept of "Black nails & bloody knuckles" while I was listening to an album by a band called As We Fight. The album is called "Black nails and Bloody wrists", thinking about that title somehow got me thinking about the kinds of things we put ourselves through when working on our cars.
We're forever complaining about smashing our knuckles against something when that one tough nut finally cracks free or scraping our hands to bits trying to access that one hard to reach bolt deep down in the bowels of the engine bay, not to mention the insane amount of dirt and grime you collect under your fingernails after working on the seemingly cleanest of cars!
I wanted to turn those pains we put ourselves through on their heads and make them a badge of honour, something to say "I did that, I fixed it myself!" We might complain along the way, we might throw tools around, we might curse, but ultimately we should be proud of our achievements, after all, there are plenty out there who would rather pay someone else to do all the work and then take all the glory!
That's what "Black nails & bloody knuckles" is, it isn't a moody emo phrase, it's a badge of honour for anyone who has ever lifted a spanner to work on their own car!
Do I Drift?
Of course! I love drifting! I might not be the best at it but that's part of the enjoyment for me, learning and pushing myself to do better each time I go on track! However, I do not compete. I currently drift my C33 Nissan Laurel which I have owned for a while now, it has an RB20DET engine.