JG4B (Jasper Goodall for Bikini) Swimwear Collection
JG4B began as a collaboration between myself and Louise Middleton a swimwear designer, in 2003. Initially we only intended it to be one collection, a collaborative bit of PR for both of us. Once the pieces in the collection were made we launched with an alternative fashion show in a shop window in Portobello west London. We set up a camera with a long cable release and the models marched one by one through a packed shop to stand on the stage in the large window and photograph themselves. As the shop was full of guests, many watched from the street where the view was perhaps even better, Outside the traffic was slow and at one point we had a whole London bus gawping at the display.
So started the press we would continue to get on the bikinis and we eventually decided that the response was so good that we should go on and try to build a swimwear brand – people seemed to be loving what we had made, saying they had never seen anything like it before, so we decided to make JG4B into a company.
We employ a relatively recently developed printing technique – Die Sublimation, which is digitally printing onto a polyester Lycra. We Print each bikini not as a repeat as in most fabric printing but as a placement print. This means we treat the swimwear as a bikini shaped canvas and strategically place emblems and motifs in specific areas of the bikini. Consequently composition on the bikini is important as opposed to repeat patterns that you will find on the vast majority of swimwear.
In 2005 Louise decided to turn her attention to other areas of her life and I now run the brand with the help of creative agency Big Active. The unique selling point and our point of difference from the vast majority of swimwear on the market is that we are an artist led label; the bikinis are perceived more as an illustration on a piece of swimwear than just a repeat pattern of print. Each piece in the collection has an identity and a name, much like an artwork would. So rather than something like ‘pink stripe halter neck’ our bikinis might be called something like ‘midnight parade’ which happens to be a piece that features flamingos in the night. So each bikini communicates something. It can be humorous, and cheeky like a bikini we called ‘Melt' which has a melting Ice cream positioned strategically over the crotch area, or it can be a subtle conveyance of themes such as capturing the feel of the 80s electro music scene which would be a much more abstract design.
It is a real cross-disciplinary venture as up till very recently I was primarily known as a freelance commercial Illustrator and indeed that was what I had done and become known for creatively for over 12 or so years previously. But as my work is known for it’s sexiness and fashion bias, clothing and in particular swimwear, has been a perfect way to move my creative output forward into a new medium. In much of the press coverage we receive on the bikinis, I am referred to as ‘The Artist Jasper Goodall’ or ‘Artist Jasper Goodall has collaborated with…’ etc.
So the business is not faceless, its image and Kudos comes directly from my profile as a successful commercial artist. I am still known as an artist, indeed at present I am shifting my career into printmaking and away from commercial work, the swimwear is just part of a larger move I see many more illustrators taking – to move the ‘means of production’ away from the advertising agencies and onto the individual ie to stop relying on commissioned work for an income and create our own ‘product’. For me this is a swimwear business and a business selling my artwork as prints.
In 2006 we were approached by sales company 1927, who look after several very successful fashion brands and have been in the top 60 growth companies in the UK for 2 years running.
Peer-reviewed by Lawrence Zeegen in his book Digital Illustration (Rotovision) p 33-35.
"UK graphic artist Jasper Goodall, known for his vibrant, semi-erotic art, has teamed up with fashion designer to the rich and famous, Louise Middleton to create ‘Land of the Liquid Sun’, a range of super-luxe swim wear, and just in time for summer! Jasper’s work includes numerous contributions to leading editorials including The Face and Zoo and has worked with brands like Nike, Levis, and Adidas, while Louise has designed suits for the rich and famous including Gwen Stefani, Jade Jagger, and Sienna Miller. The perfectly suited duo is giddy with excitement about the collaboration, JG4B, (Jasper Goodall for Bikini). The perfect combination of fashion and design, Louise and Jasper’s line of couture swimwear promises to be as hot as the summer sun! Ladies, get over there! Pick up yours and check out Jasper’s mural, which premiered at SXSW ’05, all at Factory People."
"Ok, so summer is almost over but there's no excuse not to get your hands on one of these hot bikinis by JG4B. The name stands for Jasper Goodall for Bikini. Goodall, a renowned British graphic designer, has designed the luxury range's divine exclusive prints, which are like nothing we've ever seen before. It's like art for your behind."