Dipt \’dipt\ dipped 1. To be immersed in fine clothing 2. The act of being well dressed < get dipt and stay dipt >
Unappealing, dingy, and unethical used to be the best way to describe the atmosphere of urban fashion boutiques in Canada. Street wear used to be an unaccepted form of style in the fashion scene. However, in December 2000, Jeff Martin (better known as Martini) reformed Vancouver’s hip-hop fashion scene with the creation of Dipt. As a result, a sophisticated, clean, and distinctive image had become associated with urban apparel in Vancouver. Martini’s brilliance combined with the quick risen popularity of the Vancity Original apparel has created a sub-culture; Dipt isn’t only just a fashion boutique, it’s a lifestyle. The atmosphere inside the shop has a chill and friendly vibe where the customers are treated like old friends. The store also has one of the most unique features I have ever come across in a retail boutique; an in-store barber shop. We recently caught up with Martini to discuss the creation of Dipt and his take on fashion.
How was Dipt created?
I actually had another store, like a real hip hop shop, more central in the city. So I sold my half of the store, went out on my own, and opened up Dipt. I focused more on the clothing aspect of it with a real hip-hop frame of mind. I wanted something that appealed to the broader range of people.
Usually when people think of Vancouver, they think of Nickelback instead of hip-hop. What about Vancouver makes it so hip-hop?
I don’t know if there’s anything direct exactly that makes it hip-hop but we got a pretty little good scene, we always have; just a lot of people making good music. Vancouver as a whole I find, just travelling across Canada in particular, is really pretty up on their street wear fashion. It’s not necessarily known as a high fashion place but as far as street fashion, I’m not sure what it is exactly, but people are on it here. They are onto the next step pretty quick so its got a real good street wear market and there’s not a lot of players in the game so it’s good as far as that goes.
If Dipt were a lifestyle, how would you describe it?
The act of being well dressed…I would say just Dipt- fresh and fly.
What are the top three pieces of your store that express the Dipt lifestyle?
Basically the Vancity brand as a whole. Our top three selling items in that define the store are definitely the Vancity original Un-DMC design, the hoodies and t-shirts, and any of our snapback or fitted Vancity original brand hats.
If there were one celebrity that you would put your Vancity t-shirt on, who would it be?
I’ve had a lot of celebrities wear our shirts, from Rick Ross to Method Man to Ron Artest. I’d probably have to go with my favorite artist, Jay-Z, and then everyone in the world would want it (laughs).
What made you want to put Vancity on a t-shirt?
When I had my first store Fuck What You Heard, I had made a shirt that had our FWYH logo on the front of the shirt and on the back it said “Vancity original Established 1994” in reference to it being an original store. Vancity was kind of Vancouver’s nickname and I kind of liked how it sounded so I was like, “I’m going make a clothing of Vancity originals” and it started off as a way for people to represent Vancouver but it’s become almost like a global brand now.
There is a lot of stigma attached to hip-hop street wear. How do you deflect that?
I’m very conscience of making sure that the brands we carry are quality products. We carry higher end merchandise such as 10 Deep, a really fashion forward, yet still street wear brand. Other brands such as Billionaire Boys Club and Play Cloths, which are merchandise that is still very street, wear but push the fashion boundaries.
If Justin Bieber walked into your store tomorrow, how would you “Diptify” him?
I hate to keep bringing it up but I would definitely say anything Vancity Original you want is yours and I know he likes his super shoes, he gets those for free and stuff. I would try and get him in some local flavor.
How would you “Diptify” me?
Well we don’t carry a lot of woman’s stuff anymore, we used to have half our store woman’s but we dropped that quite a while ago. Now we just kind of have woman’s Vancity stuff. Maybe, a Vancity Original’s tank top and a snapback for a nice sunny day at the beach.
Is there a certain trend that you want to see being picked up?
I think it’s good that people are kind of off the denim shorts and big tees. I wish Air Force 1’s didn’t die out like they did. I was a big collector of those (laughs). I think people are going to start loosening up a bit, get a way from that super tight stuff. I don’t think it’ll get back to the super baggy days but I think it’ll get a little loose.
What is the one thing you would never be caught wearing?
There are a lot of things but you will never catch me wearing anything bootleg!
If you could deny service to anyone for a piece of garment that they are wearing, what would it be?
You have got to be fair to everyone. If someone’s cool enough to want to come in and want to buy it, I wouldn’t deny them anything. You gotta show love to everyone. If they are showing love to me, I will show love back.
Name 5 of the hottest up and coming Vancouver designers or even artists?
In my market, I haven’t seen a crazy amount of clothing designers coming out. They are out there, there’s a brand that used to be called Gold but they’ve changed their name, I don’t quite remember the new name; I have a terrible memory (laughs). We have artists like SonReal and Heatwave; -he’s doing it up, he’s still going hard. He has his solo stuff and his band stuff, Vanguards. He’s doing it. The homie DK, he’s got some cool videos showcasing our Vancity Original brands. He’s actually starting a brand of clothing called “Stay”. There’s a whole lot more, you’re putting me on the spot with that one (laughs).
Located on 819 Hornby Street, Dipt is the go to place in Vancouver for hip hop/urban apparel. Make sure to drop by and definitely check out the famous Vancity Original clothing.
With love & style,