Artful Dodger is young, contemporary men’s clothing brand that hails from the concrete jungle of New York City. As a newer company, started in 2006 by Scott Langton and now under joint-ownership of Scion LLC and legendary rap super-star Jay-Z, Artful Dodger promises revolutionary changes in the streetwear market.
Artful Dodger embodies and reflects an attitude that is exemplified when wearing their clothing…that attitude being to cause mischief and have fun doing it! From the karmaloop website:
“Every piece of Artful Dodger clothing is meticulously planned and expertly executed to achieve maximum individual enjoyment and facilitate ease of havoc-wrecking. They don’t do your standard basics, so each style is choc-full of details that you will come to discover and love through time. Each trim detail, each complex print, each stitch of each embroidery are a result of hours and days of reckless thought and careful application. They are the prank-planning, joke-cracking, trouble-making and fashion loving bits in everyone. Those are the Artful Dodger bits.”
What makes Artful Dodger special to New Bedford is the influence brought to the brand by designer Sydney Hawes, who is originally from the South Coast. Her ties to the area go all the way back to her whaling ancestry, where her great-great-grandfather, Johnathan Capen Hawes, was captain of one of the most successful whaling ships (The Milo) out of New Bedford.
As a local artist, Sydney brings her own unique impact to contemporary clothing design. After joining the Artful Dodger team in 2008, she has helped the brand to become refreshed, re-energized, and ready to rock in a new light and better direction. Sydney brings a New England perspective to the creative team, which is comprised of the talents of creative director Just C. Greenidge, designer Brook Bergland, assistant designer Lakeisha Dale, production coordinator Kilsy Filpo, sales representative Brittany Clymer, and PR representative Natasha Sanchez.
I had the opportunity to speak with Sydney recently and discuss the Artful Dodger brand, as well as the impact the South Coast has had on Sydney in her designs and contributions to the clothing line.
What is your position with Artful Dodger?
What does Artful Dodger represent?
Our goal is to speak for the young, talented, unsung heroes of our time. Much like during the ’70s and ’80s, New York is full of young people with a dollar and a dream, and we do our best to help these people in the ways we can. Our motto, ‘Kick Ass, Die Young,’ speaks to the wild lifestyle that we like to create for our customer, that is completely reachable to anyone who wants to be a part of our crew. We want to represent a real lifestyle that exists in our world full of people who have grown to know and love us because we are who we are.
What about New Bedford inspires you as an artist?
I have lived in the Greater New Bedford area my entire life, so by default I am hardwired to be a New Englander. I am a sucker for the ocean and nautical things, specifically whales and fish, so any chance I have to incorporate these things into my designs, I do! I also love a good Oxford shirt or some Nantucket red pants for every man’s closet.
In what ways does New Bedford represent the Artful Dodger spirit?
The UMass Dartmouth Art Department moving to Downtown New Bedford has brought a new dynamic to the city in the last seven years that speaks directly to the Artful Dodger scene. The young artists and musicians, the free-spirited, do-it-yourselfers of the downtown scene are the exact the people we want to reach out to and make aware of our brand and lifestyle.
Do you have any future plans to bring Artful Dodger events to New Bedford?
Because our team is small, we all influence the brand heavily, so who we are is reflected every day. We hold events showcasing underground bands we love, do photo shoots with the real friends we have, and even travel to local stores we believe in and throw in-store events to meet our customers and connect with the people in the world who have a story to tell. Knowing that Artful Dodger is sold in my home town, it seems perfect to throw a future event that celebrates an important aspect and inspiration of who we are.
The essence behind Artful Dodger makes it a perfect companion to the attitude of New Bedford. Artful Dodger apparel is available for sale locally at Ideal Styles, located at 768 Purchase Street, next to the Pour Farm Tavern. Ideal Styles is a local barber-shop that offers the best in fades, blow outs, tapers, trims, facial grooming and more, as well as the newest men’s urban clothing. For more information on Ideal Styles, they can be contacted by phone at (774) 202-0762, or visited in store directly.
Artful Dodger apparel is also available for sale online at www.karmaloop.com.