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Jody Just: Heart Inside Out

The cult Sydney label returns with their second collection. We caught up with designer Roman Jody to get an insight into their process, inspiration and working with some of the biggest artists in the country.

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Off the back of the successful launch of their debut collection ‘Candy Flip’, Australian fashion label Jody Just announces the release of Collection Two: ‘Heart Inside Out’. The collection is sewn together by the thread that connects romance and pain through grandiose expression, isolation and excitement. Since relocating from New York to Sydney in 2019, founder Roman Jody has been a frequent collaborator with members of the Australian hip hop scene, dressing Triple One, Blessed, Huskii, Chillinit, Nooky and 24KaratKev to name a few.

The new collection ‘Heart Inside Out’ is a homage to residents of the night, who are now venturing back into the world of early-morning deep human connection and conflict.

‘We Fucked Up Major’ by chuckfucks is the melancholy and reflective soundtrack for the campaign video, shot by Durtbag Dan, a photojournalist documenting Sydney’s entertainment underbelly.

New wave/post-punk Sydney band Johnny Hunter, a frequent collaborator and muse of Jody are featured as a printed motif on a white dress shirt, one of the band’s regular stage pieces. For this collection, Jody has also collaborated with digital art trailblazer Serwah Attafuah on several artworks that appear as t-shirt graphics, fine art prints and an NFT. Alcohol brand, Alizé has also worked with Jody on a basketball and t-shirt set as well as mesh shorts and t-shirts with Brainumb, a clothing label from artist Huskii.

We caught up with Jody Just designer Roman Jody to gain some more insight into his creative process and talk about the new collection ‘Heart Inside Out’.

Can you tell us about the meaning behind the collection?

The title ‘Heart Inside Out’ reflects the idea that love and pain are interconnected like a positive and negative balancing force. There’s a feeling of loneliness in the collection but also romance and the energy of the night. When I was designing this collection it was during another period of lockdown for Sydney so creating clothing that’s made to be worn out was kind of therapeutic. For this collection I wanted to show brand development and growth, still developing streetwear staples as well as exploring tailoring and new graphic styles.

Your clothing seems to be deeply connected to music, what are some of the ways music helps inform your designs?
There’s definitely a connection between Jody Just and music that goes deeper than whatever I’m just listening to at a particular moment in time. Culture is shaped through music and I’ve always been a really big fan of different genres and scenes. I like the idea that you can tell who someone’s favourite band/artist is by how they dress and all the styling/aesthetics that go with that audience. Because I’m into a lot of different artists and bands that aren’t necessarily in the same genre, when creating a collection I do like to stick to a particular vibe so that it’s a cohesive narrative. It’s like being a DJ and making a mix, if there’s too many styles in one mix it can clash even if they’re all individually good songs, you want to create a vibe more than anything else. For this collection I took inspiration from bands like The Strokes, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Johnny Hunter. The soundtrack for the campaign video is by chuckfucks who really embodies the gloomy-love-sick-ironic-fuckyou attitude that I put in the clothing.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve collaborated with for your new collection?
The biggest collaboration for this collection is with Serwah Attafuah who I am so so excited to work with in any capacity. She really is a trailblazer and just an overall crazily talented and nice person. We never really set out to do a full on collaboration, it just kind of happened after I wanted a commission for myself and we kept chatting about what the opportunities there were. Serwah created these cyborg, post-apocalyptic, mega-babe assassins wearing Jody Just signature cowboy hats and tank tops. There’s a digital artwork that will be available as a print, a graphic t-shirt and a NFT.

There’s another collaboration with my muse Johnny Hunter on a dress shirt which is one of their signature performance pieces, featuring a vinyl print of a shoot we did recently. They have one of the best if not THE best stage presences that I’ve seen and are truly paving their own path in the scene right now.

Alize are also a collaborator with the training kit combo that features an Alize blue jersey layered on top of a white Jody Just tee that bleeds through the jersey. A real full-circle moment from the days of Alize lemonades circa 2011.

You relocated from New York to Sydney, what are some of the things that first stuck out as being different?
So I’m from Sydney and moved to NY for 5 years just after my 19th bday. Spending most of my formative years there going to uni and experiencing the real world post high school I got used to living a particular way that involved not a lot of sleep and a grind mentality. When I moved back I was kind of taken back by the pace of things and how long it can take to get things done. I’ve been in Sydney now for three years and it is my home, I love this city and the people. There’s an amazing community of musicians, artists and designers in Australia and I feel like there’s a lot of crazy talent that’s about to pop off.

What’s one thing you miss about NYC?
My friends.

What’s one thing you’d miss if you ever left Sydney?
Also my friends here and working with Australian musicians here that are doing amazing things.

What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced as a young designer working in Australia?
Access to production resources and the distance from Australia to the rest of the world.

Which artists have been on your rotation recently?
Hearteyes, Defeater, Depeche Mode, Benny The Butcher and Blessed

What advice would you give other young designers who are trying to get their start?
Don’t start your own thing too soon, learning experiences through school, internships or other work opportunities is so important. Once you have started, keep the blinders on and don’t compare yourself to others. This will help keep you sane as well as original because at the moment there are so many people tryna jump on someone else’s wave rather than developing their own unique perspective and brand voice.

Who are some of your style icons/inspirations?
I like to imagine that if Jack White and Skepta had a baby that would be me.

What is one fashion trend you would like to see gone forever?
I honestly can’t think of any fashion styling/product trends that I would get rid of because I like seeing people do their thing especially if there’s an element of weirdness to it. One fashion consumer trend that I would want gone forever would be super cheap, poor quality clothing that ends up in landfill after a month.

What does the rest of 2022 hold for Jody Just?
I’m really excited about 2022. Finally able to travel and the Australian borders are open. Working on the next collections as we speak and planning something special for the next collection release coming in winter!

Jody Just’s ‘Heart Inside Out’ collection is available online now via jodyjust.com

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