Character of K' Road - James Dobson, Director/Designer of Jimmy D
The label Jimmy D seems synonymous with K' Road fashion design. The creator of Jimmy D is James Dobson, a designer who is generous with his time and support of other designers and a great believer in the creative community of K' Road.
There is no Jimmy D store on K' Road, but James has a workshop above the street and has been very much part of the K' Road community since 2007.
How long have you been involved in K' Road?
I started my label on the floor of my flat in Kingsland in 2004, then finally graduated to my own space out the back of my ex boyfriends PR agency on K' Road, just near the intersection of Queen Street around 2007. It was a draughty, ramshackle space covered in graffiti but it was amazing to not have live around my work which at the time was taking over my home….
Describe your business and why you love what you do?
I love how fashion is never something you can 'clock', it's ever changing and impossible to pin down. I love that every season starts with a blank page - I have the potential to create ANYTHING I want. I love that it's the perfect meeting point of art and commerce. And I love that I get to create my own worlds and tell a different story every season.
How would you describe your label Jimmy D?
Dark but humorous, pretty but weird, luxe but relaxed, smart but accessible, ageless, genderless and inclusive of all body shapes.
Why did you decide to set up business in K' Road?
I'm originally from Wellington, and what I love about Wellington is exactly what I love about K road - it's unpretentious, there's a great sense of community, there's lots of great owner operated businesses that all support each other, and it has the best places to eat and drink!
What inspired you to go into fashion in the first place?
I came to fashion through photography. Not long after I first picked up a camera I discovered fashion magazines like The Face and i-D and I was pretty convinced I wanted to be a fashion photographer. After high school I did a Bachelor of Design majoring in photography and approached one of my favourite fashion boutiques and convinced them they needed to hire me to consult on their branding and creative direction. Slowly I made my way onto the shop floor and that's when I started to realise I was more interested in the clothing. After finishing my degree, I did a year OE in London, then came back to NZ and started my label in 2004.
Who would you consider your greatest mentor/influencer?
Probably Margarita Robertson of Nom*D and Plume - she's been one of my longest stockists and is incredibly supportive. Her fearless creativity is pretty inspirational.
What is it that continues to attract you about K' Road and/or your business?
It really is the sense of community here. There's a lot of really inspirational business owners that all look out for each other and the wider community. All the best people live or work on K' Road.
How do you see the future of K' Road?
I really want to be positive and say I think the community will strive to keep K' Road all about owner operated businesses and embrace rather than vilify the sex industry. If so we'll retain the artists, musicians and designers that are living on and around K road… but we'll see!
Fave spot on K Road?
It's a tie between Cocos Cantina and Peach Pit for their energy, community vibes and epic food. I can also be found downstairs at Daily Daily most days grabbing too many coffees.
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