Styled by Aaron- Designer Extraordinaire Justin Great
Chalk it up to damn good marketing that the color orange will always remind me of Nickelodeon and checkerboard print will always remind me of Cartoon Network. Of course, both of those things also remind me of the 90's. For today's Styled by Aaron, I channeled the offbeat inspiration from tv shows like Rocko’s Modern Life and All That, threw in a tropical twist and resulted in Justin Great’s outfit. Justin Great is a clothing designer, a blogger, runs a branding and content company that houses photography, video, and graphic design, AND he makes beats. Who needs sleep, right? I met the designer extraordinaire after I received an invitation to the launch of his Season 2 collection. Not only was I impressed with the man behind the hat by how his launch exuded this wonderful combination of hype and professionalism, I also happened to win a raffled shirt at the event. I immediately knew I'd be gifting it to someone else when I saw the t-shirt was a Large but Justin made sure to grab the correct size and meet up with me at a coffeeshop a week later to drop it off. Needless to say, I'm always impressed when someone follows through like that.
Part of my styling signature is moody, goth inspired wardrobe. But for Justin, I was looking through rose tinted glasses. Pink Levi's, a pastel tropical print shirt, a checkerboard print belt, and orange 3D glasses (courtesy of the awesome photographer Danielle Webster) made for a Spring throwback to a time where wacky cartoons were the best part of the day. Of course, I can't ignore a good personal touch and I brought my darker aesthetic into the outfit with a charcoal grey denim jacket and Justin's signature hat and accessories.
"Since we had you pose with an orange Jarritos. What's your favorite drink?"
Justin: "Coke and also Ginger Beer."
"What was your favorite TV show as a kid?"
Justin: "I’m a big cartoon head, I literally have a list of like 200-300 shows from Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney. But off the top of my head, I loved Rocko's Modern Life, Rugrats, Doug, Hey Arnold!, and Cat Dog."
I was a fan of all of those too! No surprise to anybody, I was also a giant fan of Aaahh! Real Monsters (I literally just googled that title to make sure I was getting the correct amount of a's and h's), Goosebumps, and the scariest yet awesomest (we're making it a word for this blog post, K?) Are You Afraid of the Dark? Even as a kid I loved the dark stuff. Of course, watching The Rugrats Movie in theaters was a monumental movie. I followed those characters from Rugrats in Paris to the All Growed Up on tv.
It's just fun to remember the shows that shaped our childhood. Much like clothing, you go back and remember what phase of growing up you were living.
"What's your personal style about?"
"What prompted you to pursue fashion design?"
Justin: "I really love design in it's entirety. I just believe fashion is an immediate explanation of who you are with out speaking, which is very appealing to me because it relates to everyone seeing that we all wear clothes."
"Beyond fashion design, you're a man of many hats with making beats, blogging, and producing content. How do you balance it all?"
Justin: "To me, all of these things flow as one. To me. it’s all a part of a system. It just so happens that I name each part of the process and/or system. Why pay others to do something you have the time, means, passion, and ability for? If you don’t have those components or if someone does them way better, then yes you should outsource, which I do when I run into that."
Something I admire about Justin is that he is doing the things he's passionate about. Another great thing about the days of cartoons and growing up is the ability to dream as crazy as you want to dream. Who says dreaming has an age limit? Justin is making his dreams come true. I'm going after mine as well. Do yourself a favor: Watch a rerun of one of your favorite childhood shows this week! Remember why you loved it, and remember you're allowed to dream and become anything you set your mind to.
Photos by Danielle Webster
Shot at Bang Up To The Elephant!