IMAGES Alice Veysey
BEN DUNDAS & JENNY JOBLIN.
Designer & Owners of streetwear brand Federation.
Household names in the fashion helm of New Zealand and worldwide, streetwear fashion label Federation is a creative force to be reckoned with. Behind the face of the successful brand stands Jenny Joblin and Ben Dundas. True creatives, curating what it means to be successful in their own space and rights.
As the creative director of the brand, Jenny Joblin is the design guru, conceptualising Federation’s famous hand-drawn imagery as well as designing the women’s ranges and many of the men’s cornerstone pieces. Her husband, Ben Dundas, is the label’s general manager, and as well as heading up the business side of the operation, he also assists with designing the men’s range and creating the graphic design elements. “We both overlap in loads of the business at the moment,” explains Jenny.
Walking into Federation is a graphic designer and fashionistas helm. Large graphic prints created and hand drawn by Jenny and neon signs that encapsulate the brand and friendly faces to boot. Everything about the brand is decadent from the workspace and its grunge luxe interior to a mix of industrial modernism.
Federation, in its sixteenth year, has grown from small beginnings to being one of the most influential streetwear brands in New Zealand. Self-described by Joblin and Dundas as having a “bit of an edge and a play on elements of pop culture and quality cuts”.
Walking through Jenny’s workroom it is clear that an interior style is present, but when asked Jenny admits “I’m really not sure how to say what my interior style is”. Nethertheless it is clear by even the slightest glance that Joblin loves an eccentric mix of modern, slightly industrial, with featured aspects of minimalism and time-honoured antique pieces that have been collected as heirlooms.
As a creative in her own right Jenny assures “I just love having things around that make me smile or that I really enjoy the design of. Then bridging the gaps with complimentary and functioning pieces.”
It is somewhat custom to credit that such style in her personal life rubs off from her brand aesthetic, which attaches to her interior style. Bright graffiti prints, neon signs and objects can attribute to aspects of Joblin’s other undertakings such as Minti; a childrens clothing label, and Somekind; Jenny’s exclaimed extension of herself, a showcase and portrayal of her art in form of neon lights and hand painted graphics.
Mother to 3 kids, Ryder (12), Monte (10) and Dusty (8) Joblin admits that “the kids are pretty much everything”. Often in a hectic world of fashion and art, “me time” can be hard to establish. Upon pondering the thought of distinguishing work and home life balance Jenny admits, “I think for the time being, I have embraced that there is no perfect work / life balance and that trying to achieve this place is more stressful than just rolling with it”. With Ben and Jenny working together, they often find it hard to completely switch off from work. “We call ‘no work talk’ and then half an hour later one of us will be like … “hey what you think about this idea” and we are off into work talk again” laughs Jenny.
Jenny admits she is readily distracted at times, and embraces all the help with organising systems – the more storage the better. Her workspace, like most artists and creatives is acclaimed “never tidy” and has grown over the years with suspicion and awe of people with always tidy and perfect desks.
Favourite aspects of the space include the loft style space idea and the wall between the workroom side of the store and the retail side. Other key attributes shine through as the desk; made out of pressed sheets of ply and rad Rimu legs from the old board room table.
It is clear that space influences the minds of Jenny Joblin and Ben Dundas in collaboration with the curation of Federation. Everything about the brand is encapsulated through a small peep into the couple’s life and workroom. The loft style industrial space can be accustoming to many wild and successful ideas. When looking to the future of the brand, Joblin admits that “people realising just how many different aspects we have in each collection and jumping into the fan pool has been rad to see and hear lately. It’s been such a cool year of feedback on the collections and brand in general.”
Looking to the future the limitations are endless, it can be credited that sincere creativity is due to a collaboration of two of New Zealand’s finest creatives, Jenny Joblin and Ben Dundas. The endless potential for growth and expansion with the strong back bone of teamwork and ultimately family expands on the innovation and demiurgic ways of Federation and its scaling growth and success.
Pop in and have a visit! 16 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland. Or shop online.
All information is deemed true at time of publication. To see more, grab a copy of Renovate Magazine Issue 23 today.