Believed to be created in 2005, Artful Dodger street wear brand was originally considered a European contemporary clothing brand. Founded by Scott Langton and acquired by Jay-Z for the Iconix Brand, it was created off the idea of being a limited release, premium clothing line.
Scott Langton, who is now Creative Director of the brand, reports Artful Dodger was initially only sold in boutiques and specialty stores in both the UK and U.S. The premium hoodies and denim brand was named after the 19th Century Artful Dodger who led a group of cunning young men in mischief throughout the UK. Through the urban street wear and skateboard fashion movement created by artist such as Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco, Artful Dodger became a popular brand in the Hip-Hop fashion audience.
In 2007, through a joint venture with the Iconix Brand Group called Scion LLC., Jay-Z acquired the Artful Dodger. Jay-Z, who’s birth name Shawn Carter, purchased the Artful Dodger clothing line for $15 million US dollars. The purchase was a great move for the Iconix company who was trying to get traction in the high-spending urban market. Artful Dodger was one of the most popular street wear brands in the world at the time of purchase, giving Iconix exactly what it desired. Iconix had plans to expand the brand into more stores and countries that Langton had reach into, spreading the name of the Artful Dodger brand.
“Artful Dodger is an incredible brand with a lot of room for growth and Scott Langton is a visionary designer,” Shawn Jay-Z Carter said in a statement about the annexation. “They represent what’s next and new in fashion and we are glad to have both the brand and Scott as a part of our family. Artful Dodger represents the first of many acquisitions that will begin to shape our joint venture with Iconix.”
As part of the agreement, Scion entered into a multi-year licensing deal with Signature Apparel Group for the brand. Artful Dodger founder and CEO Scott Langton joined Signature and now acts as creative director and head designer.