Emily the Strange

Emily the Strange is a gothic conundrum with a sharp tongue and a clutch of black cats in tow. Globally popular, with celebrity endorsements piling up and a movie entering production, this underground phenomenon has the world at her curiously clad feet. The brainchild of Californian skater and designer Rob Reger, Emily was originally conceived as a skateboard design, but Reger soon understood that Emily was much more than stickers and decks. "A successful character," he says, "is one that can support an idea, be recognisable and memorable, and can work on lots of different products and mediums."

Picture the scene. It's the early 1990s and somewhere on the west coast of America Rob Reger and his buddies are busy printing T-shirts in the designer's garage. "There's lots of punk rock music, skateboarding and college parties," adds Reger. It sounds like the opening scene of Teen-Wolf.

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