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For those who’ve followed us since these tops came out…

or since this video came out…

our anniversary starting point may be confusing.

I started Empire in the Air my first year of college (February 2010.) I released a few pieces here and there but didn’t have real consistency due to school and other extracurricular activities.

The team and I consider 2013 as our real launch date because that’s when we had our first event, our first collection, and that’s even when our team first ever formed. (Can you believe I tried to do this sh*t myself? Foolish 18 year old.)

@smankeyy @chrissnguyen @dontcareray@aiko.empire @jahlean and I have been doing our best to go all-out with Empire in the Air since 2013. Hence, this is our Mile5tone year.


What made Mile5tone extra special from our other events was a whole lot of new-new.

Sam & Chris designed an entirely brand new pop-up shop set-up and Chris spent the past several weekends building it. We didn’t get a chance to take a final photograph of the set-up but, thanks to IG-story extraordinaire Aiko, you can get a peek of it here:

We have new pallet walls that served as a photo display one one side and a chalk wall on the other. Like at FAME, we use our chalk wall to invite our supporters to share what their empires are. Some dive deep in writing out their passions, while others…

We spent a month or so looking for brand new clothing racks that would complement our garments. Out of frustration inspiration, Chris decided to build one himself! Check out this BTS photo of it:

On top of having a brand new set-up, we came out with exclusive products made just for the first 25 guests of Mile5tone. Chris & Jelyn spent the night before screen-printing the goodie bags with the design from our 5 Year Anniversary Jersey (what?!)

To be completely honest with you, I was really nervous in announcing the “first 25 guests!” thing. I may or may not have had a nightmare that only ten people showed up to Mile5tone a few weeks prior. Little did I know that we’d have a line way before doors opened (extra shout-out to our loving supporters that got there before we even began setting up! WE LOVE YOU!)

The giveaways included: an Empire in the Air tote, our logo pin made by AumakuaTreasures, brand new stickers, and other goodies from Post Signature, Open Daily, and Bayani Art.

We had hella more giveaways throughout the day. This time, in raffle form. Guests received a raffle ticket if they arrived wearing Empire in the Air and for every $10 spent at any vendor. Raffles included goodies from Post Signature, Haus of Godspeed, Open Daily, littleHONEYvee, Cas5andra, and us!

Since we have our own screen-printing kit, why not bring it to the event? Chris and Mia held down the screen-printing station in case anyone wanted any of our characters or logos on their clothes or prints!

Shout-out to this guy who took the shirt off his back to get our 2011 rocketeer design

We also brought back our coloring table!


Throughout our years of participating in vending opportunities and event-coordination, we’ve met so many great artists along the way. We invited these artists as a thank you for always vibin out and supporting us:



Andie Bakes x Candido Kitchen

Oatis Ice Cream

Bayani Art

Post Signature

Open Daily

Haus of Godspeed

Although not a vendor, we have to highlight the guy that kept the energy up for everyone the whole day: Dean Orbase aka DJ Bazé

As a music provider, your mission is to decorate time. I feel EITA has the same intentions but with stories and cloth. Being able to express the beauty in things is a true blessing and I’m glad to be sharing this experience at the Mile5tone! – DJ Bazé


What we’re most grateful for with Mile5tone was that it felt like we were simply hanging out with friends, including our personal friends and friends we’ve made through Empire.

The big question now is what’s next?

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