Givens' image at Rochester now fashion accessory
By Josh Givens

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

It is true, inspiration may strike when least expected and where such inspiration leads is never certain. In the realm of art and fashion, even the simplest of places and events can lead to larger concepts.

So with that said, it should come as no surprise a part of the town of Rochester is now part of the fashion scene. C. Josh Givens -- who grew up in Diamond Springs in North Logan -- detailing the chipping paint of a child’s quarter-a-go amusement ride has been transformed into a belt buckle by Atlanta artisans Julie Farrar and Stacy Hendels, also known in retail circles as the company Princess and Butch.

The image was shot in Rochester in Butler County, where Givens works as news editor of The Banner-Republican.

Assisting in the design was M. Todd Graham, an Atlanta resident, who is originally from Lewisburg, as well as a common friend of Givens, Farrar and Hendels.

“I am so impressed with what Princess and Butch did with my image,” Givens said. “I was contacted by Todd, who asked if I might be interested in submitting some of my photography. After looking over Julie and Stacy’s Web site to see what they are about, I recognized right away I wanted be part of it, no matter how small.”

Farrar said Princess and Butch was an outgrowth of her experience as a buyer for retail outlets in the Atlanta area. After purchasing belt buckles for a store, and seeing them sell out within three weeks, she made another purchase. The new buckles were disappointing, so she struck upon the idea of doing her own.

Initially, she made 10 buckles in 2008 -- all Princess and Butch buckles are hand-made -- which quickly sold out. As she expanded, the company’s products were in 10 stores in the region in just a few weeks.

“We are now in more than 400 stores from Los Angeles to Seattle to Denver, as well as Minneapolis and other markets,” Farrar said. “We could not be happier with how the buzz has grown. Last season we started the art and photo collection, working with people we knew.”

Givens, Graham and a photographer in the Los Angeles area are the first artists Princess and Butch have worked with outside the company.

“It’s exciting to receive input from other folks and see their concepts,” Farrar said. “I am really not an artist, though people will tell me I am artistic. I am more of a business person, so the art is more from recognizing a cool opportunity, and putting the business skills to work.”

The Princess and Butch company name is in honor of Farrar and Hendels’ childhood pets, a cat and a dog. In addition to the unique buckles, the company markets the belts to go with them, as well as ladies’ clutches, also available utilizing the buckles.

Givens said he never envisioned his photography would become a fashion item, though he is excited at the result.

“The buckle is pretty much the image I shot, with a little color manipulation,” he said. “Some may find it a little different, but that is what art is about. Art is seeing things in a different way, and pushing that vision into a form you can share with others. Yeah, some may be surprised when they see me wearing it, as my fashion sense includes the view that camouflage is a ‘color,’ but to think others across the world may very well wear my image, I can’t describe the feeling.’

Princess and Butch’s Web store can be found at The buckle with Givens’ image is called “Maxim” and is in the Urban Collection. The hand-made buckle is priced at $40, yet Princess and Butch has unveiled a coupon code of “Banner” for customers to receive a 25-percent discount on any item on the site.

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