5 minutes with Federation’s Jenny Joblin

24 August 2016

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

Federation's Ben Dundas and Jenny Joblin
Husband and wife team, Ben Dundas and Jenny Joblin, from Federation

Federation made its NZFW debut in 2002, but it’s been seven years since we’ve seen the streetwear brand on the runway.

This year though, they’re back – hailing their NZFW 2016 show as an introduction to Federation 2.0. 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. “We have a super cool but small team.”

With one week to go until show time, we caught up with Jenny to see what Federation has in store for NZFW 2016.

FQ: Okay first thing’s first… We’ve missed Federation at Fashion Week and we’re so happy you’re back! Why did you choose this year to make your NZFW comeback?
Jenny: When Fashion Week approached us, we hadn’t put it in this year’s plan, but thought actually, we would love to. The last few years have seen a lot of change mixed in with a bit of a hectic time for the brand. This year has seen us come into a bit of a Federation 2.0 and Fashion Week is such a great way to show everyone us now; same-same, but just a bit different.


Jenny Joblin styling a Federation look

Tell us about the vibe of your show… Can you give us any hints about what we can expect?
The show is based around a concept of birds versus bees. It came about after a lot of pondering on where the idea of birds and bees came from, all the cool illustrations that can be connected with these guys, and then twisting the concept a bit in that way we love to do with things as a brand. The collection features lots of our favourite things – denim, teeshirts and leather – with some really amazing brocades, a bit of fur and sequins in the mix, too. And prints as always are a bit of a vital expression for the brand.

You’re showcasing your winter 2017 collection. What’s the one thing we should all have in our wardrobes next winter, then?
I think my favourite thing for winter will still be a leather jacket. Next winter we are getting into a bit of colour with that idea but I’d still call a black leather jacket vital. A 3/4 length skirt and wider pants than we have seen in a while will be in our winter wardrobes, too.

Did you have a muse for this collection and what kind of guy/girl do you seeing wearing your pieces?
It has been so easy having a lot of muses this season as we’ve had amazing Federation love from people that are so excited about the brand. So we think of them, and create garments for them to get stoked on.

What would you say is the secret to a great fashion show?
It’s taking all the details and making sure they are all thought of. Some things are easily ticked off for us, like the models wearing Chucks, and Dan Aux doing our music. Dreams are filled with details currently. I don’t know if there is a secret to a good show. We are just trying to convey Federation and all it is as a brand into the show.



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