Style Stories: Just C Of Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger gets its name from the mischievous character in Charles Dickens‘ Oliver Twist.
As stated on the brand’s official website:
“Much like the character, the brand goes against the grain, and is consistently reinventing itself. The Artful Dodger is rich in history as an 18th century rogue who rejects modern society, and finds a way to attain wealth. Our brand is a modern adaptation to that cutting edge energy.”
Artful Dodger launched five years ago, helmed by Scott Langton, and has since become a staple urban brand with rugged, masculine appeal. From artistic graphic tees to innovative denim finishes, A.D. brings the heat with every collection, and a very important person by the name of Jay-Z took notice.
In 2007, he acquired Artful Dodger through a joint venture with the Iconix Brand Group called Scion LLC.
“Artful Dodger is an incredible brand with a lot of room for growth, and Scott Langton is a visionary designer,” Jay said in a statement about the annexation. “They represent what’s next and new in fashion, and we are glad to have both the brand and Scott as a part of our family. Artful Dodger represents the first of many acquisitions that will begin to shape our joint venture with Iconix.”
Since taking off, the brand has brought a new creative genius into the mix—meet Just C.
I got a chance to catch up with him to find out what a day in his life is like, what Artful Dodger has in store for summer 2010 and much more:
DrJays.com: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
Just C: “I got my start like most successful individuals, as an intern. Packing boxes, doing inventory, folding shirts, and picking up lunch.
I was lucky enough to work for my family, and they always had my best interest at heart. I became more and more involved in the company until I was assisting with a lot of the graphic work (thank you elements of style!). Then followed a semi-formal education in design (thank you F.I.T.!), followed by a mosh-pit of freelance and permanent design jobs.”
DrJays.com: Describe a day in the life of Artful Dodger’s Creative Director.
Just C: “Have you seen Project Runway? Well it’s nothing like that. The easiest way to describe it is like being in a Super Bowl huddle, brainstorming the best attack and then going out into the field to complete the play. Plus lots of coffee and music!”
DrJays.com: What is the concept behind your spring/summer 2010 collection?
Just C: “It is a mix of American heritage and contemporary fashion. Drawing our inspiration from the whole Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha Vineyard vibe. Mixing that classic look with the heavily distressed and treated look of our denim and graphics is what makes it Artful Dodger.”
DrJays.com: On your Web site, it states Artful Dodger is “consistently reinventing itself.” How has the brand evolved since its launch in 2005?
Just C: “Evolved is probably the wrong word to define it. I mean, we’re still all walking on two feet and designing clothing. The best way to characterize it is refinement. We’ve seen the brand come a long way and we are lucky enough to be able to bring our customers along with us.”
DrJays.com: Any exciting news or collaborations in the works?
Just C: “Ha! That’s all we have! Can’t give it all away right now, but on the horizon for fall 2010 is a very special Letterman jacket that we developed with Coleman Knitting Mills. This company has been developing Letterman jackets in the U.S. for over 40 years. A test to craftsmanship and quality—keep an eye out for that.
A small Artful Dodger jewelry assortment is also in the works. Made in the U.S., each necklace combines several types of chain links and charms with mini cleavers and daggers, all made by a professional knife smith. Filed down from old metal files and with wood trimming, the necklaces are a perfect balance of menace and art.”