We’ve all had a ghost crush or two. How could we not? With social media we have infinite access to so many crush-worthy and inspiring people, places and more from around the world. Our t-shirt line pays tribute to what it means to have a Ghost Crush.
GHOST CRUSH: n. An innocent, but intense infatuation for someone who doesn’t know you exist.
A ghost crush might only live in our minds. It might last forever or just for a moment, but it’s still the real deal and we’re here to celebrate each and every one of them.
Creative Director and Founder Jolie Clemens launched the Southern California-based Ghost Crush Creative Lab in the summer 2018 with a graphic t-shirt line. It was a natural progression for Jolie after a 22-year career including her role as Creative Director for Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers were she created and maintained the brand’s DNA in the categories of apparel, beauty, sneakers, an animated series and much more. Early on, she worked as art director for the bands No Doubt and Social Distortion.
Her debut pieces from Ghost Crush Creative Lab are meant to be styled with anything from thrift to designer to create a look that uniquely expresses individuality. The term “Ghost Crush” is an innocent, but intense infatuation for someone who doesn’t know that you exist. The brand celebrates this concept and the infinite access social media offers to crush-worthy people, places and more.
It all started with a disgruntled fan club letter...
During Jolie’s teenage years, her favorite band Social Distortion released an album. She read every single liner note and ordered t-shirts from the fan club, but they never arrived. To add insult to injury, she wasn’t allowed to go see bands in LA so she only saw them once, at a rare all-ages show they played where she lived in Orange County. Oh, the agony.
So what do you do when you’re sixteen and can’t even crush on your favorite band? You write a letter to their fan club!
Months later, Jolie’s mom told her that someone named Jim Guerinot had called and left a message. It couldn’t be! She checked the latest Social D album, and scanned the liner notes. BOOM, there it was: “Jim Guerinot: Manager.” The next day they spoke. Jim said he had received the letter and apologized that the merch didn’t arrive. He invited her to see the band open for Iggy Pop in LA (it was on her seventeenth birthday, so she was allowed to go).
Then in the mid-90s, she saw an article in the OC Register about Jim launching a record label out of Laguna Beach. So what did she do? She wrote him a letter of course, and a few weeks later had a job as the label’s receptionist. Eventually working her way up to become the label’s art director (as well as Social Distortion’s)!
In 2001 Jim began managing No Doubt, and as luck would have it, they were coming out with a new album at the end of the year. Jolie got the chance to mock up one of Gwen’s ideas, and she ended up loving it so much that it turned out to be the cover for Rock Steady. The opportunity opened Jolie to designing the rest of the album and soon after she became the band’s art director.
Three years later, Gwen released her first solo album, Love, Angel, Music, Baby. That same year, came the biggest break of all: Gwen launched Harajuku Lovers with Jolie as creative director. Harajuku Lovers was supposed to be a way for Gwen to do more fashionable tour merchandise, but it grew to be much more. For over fourteen years they worked together on twenty-eight fragrances, hundreds of handbags, a children’s line with Target, an animated series on Nick Jr, and much more. Her time at Harajuku Lovers overlapped with work as a creative consultant for Gwen’s other lines L.A.M.B and Gx.
Looking back, Jolie can’t help but feel gratitude knowing that had she not written a letter to Social Distortion, she would’ve missed out on a dream career filled with so many amazing opportunities. She’s proof that a Ghost Crush can become a real driving force in life.