Dipt has been an iconic fixture in Vancouver’s urban wear scene for 13 years now, so we thought who better to shed some light on here on the newly-minted This Is Blueprint blog than founder, Jeff ‘Martini’ Martin.
How did you get started in fashion and lifestyle?
I got my start in the industry when I was going to UVic. I started distributing and repping a brand called X-New that was loosely related to X-Large in the ’90’s. From there I got the licensing for Canada and designed a couple collections that I sold across Canada under the name Extra New Worldwide Apparel and a women’s collection call Scenery designed by well known local designer Dace. From there I moved into my first retail venture and became co-owner of FWUH when it moved downtown. That’s where I started the Vancity Original® Brand. I sold my half of FWUH in 2000 and opened Dipt (then Dipt Urban Hook-Ups).
13 years later Dipt is still a major fixture in the retail scene in Vancouver and the Vancity Original® Brand is in its 15th year and more popular than ever. We recently launched our online store www.vancityoriginal.com that is run by my long time partner in crime Jungle who works out of our Chinatown Headquarters. This year I also launched my signature line called VCOG by Mister Martini which has been really dope and received a great response. To commemorate our 15th year of Vancity Original® we are releasing a Premium Label collection in November so look for that.
What is the most fun project you’ve worked on?
What was the most stressful point in your career?
2008-2010, for sure. I had just opened a high end street wear/men’s wear store call Freshman and the recession hit. Anyone who saw the store knows I put mad loot into it and those people will also know it never worked out!! Haha, You win some you lose some! The concept was ahead of its time and people weren’t shopping as much due to the recession. Chalk it up to bad timing.
If the Vancity brand was known for one thing, what would it be?
Well I would obviously have to say our ‘UnDMC’ logo merchandise. This was a logo that we put out in about 2002/2003 and was supposed to be a one time thing but due to demand it became our staple logo and the most bootlegged as well! Don’t support bootleggers!! The brand is only available at Dipt and www.vancityoriginal.com.
What is the best thing about living in Vancouver?
Vancouver is the best in almost every way. The landscape, the fact that you can see the ocean and the mountains in the same view brings a bit of much needed serenity to my life.
Whats the next big thing in street wear?
That’s for me to show through my selection of brands going forward at Dipt and through my Vancity Original® Brand and VCOG collections!! Streetwear will continue to become more and more fragmented which I think is good since its boring seeing a bunch of clones. Definitely seeing a heavy influence of luxury brands on street wear but also a lot of classic pieces as well.