In front of their downtown Woodlawn shop, Morgan wears Taylor Stitch “Adler” women’s jean, Royal Apparel tee, vintage Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, and Club Duquette custom military jacket, a refurbished Korean war era design. Duquette wears a Taylor Stitch white tee, jean in Indigo Broken Twill, and Utility shirt in Indigo Jacquard woven on a loom from the 1800’s, detailed with indestructible Japanese buttons. Jewelry on both is handmade by Morgan under the name of their lifestyle brand, Rugged & Fancy.
Written and styled by Tracy James//Photography by Chuck St. John
From pop-up shop with REV Birmingham to brick-and-mortar storefront in Woodlawn, Club Duquette is the brainchild of musician Duquette Johnston, 44, and his artist wife Morgan, 32. Opened September 2016, Club Duquette hosts a curated collection of goods—both domestically made and globally found—that reflect the couple’s philosophy on living, a lifestyle brand of sorts they have named “Rugged & Fancy” (the title of one of Duquette’s past albums).
Club Duquette is proud to be an official stockist of Opinel knives, which have been made the same way for nearly 200 years in Savoie, France. Opinel was the knife of choice of Picasso and many great French explorers, and is even used in the kitchen by Chef Robby Melvin, former Style Icon and current Southern Living Test Kitchen Director and Club Duquette customer.
The philosophy encompasses their desire to offer items that allow for “long wear and easy living” at an accessible price point, as well as to promote small businesses, especially those that give back to the community. “Fair manufacturing really matters to us,” Morgan says. This is not surprising, considering that Morgan grew up on a sew-and-cut factory floor in Cullman. Four generations of her family worked in the business that eventually saw jobs outsourced to Egypt.
Duquette, the “rugged” in the mix, grew up splitting time between a ranch in Wyoming and Birmingham. He was then and is now a free spirit anchored by his longtime career as a rock musician, singer and songwriter. Despite the bohemian vibe both Duquette and Morgan exude, they stress that living as full-time creatives in fact takes discipline. The couple currently live in Eastlake, only minutes from the store, with their toddler son, Tennessee Wolf Johnston.
Another vendor unique to Alabama is Juniper Ridge. Their products are 100% wildcrafted and produced using classic perfume making techniques including distillation, tincturing, infusion and enfleurage. “A hundred years ago, all perfumes were made this way,” the California-based company says. “Today we’re the only ones who handle every step of the process ourselves, from beginning to end.” Their products include trail soap, incense and cologne, and formulas vary from year to year and harvest to harvest, based on rainfall, temperature, exact harvesting location, and season. Every Juniper Ridge product has a harvest number stamped on it, which can be looked up on their website to view photos of the source plants and extraction techniques.
Part of Club Duquette’s purpose is to share good vibes, product and creativity with others. However, true to their commitment to community, if a certain something a customer seeks isn’t part of their repertoire, they don’t hesitate to promote other local businesses. After all, as Duquette notes, “The rising tide raises all ships.”
One of Club Duquette’s specially selected vendors is One Feather Press, which specializes in hand made, custom bandanas. They wash, cut, sew, print, and wash again each bandana in East Nashville, TN. Soon Club Duquette will be selling these bandanas featuring their own designs.
Proud of their community, Club Duquette had “Woodlawn High” tees made and donates half of the proceeds to the school’s music program.
On the right, light tan leather wallets from Birmingham-based leather accessories designer Alan J. Slattery, 2016 graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design and winner of Birmingham Fashion Week. On the left, Wayfarer Journal, “the perfect companion for all of your adventures,” by Needle & Thread Manufacturing Co., a leather goods company created by 15-year-old artisan Cole Armistead from Rainbow City, Alabama. Specifications include: Horween Brown Chromexcel leather, natural stitching, cash flap, and pen holder. Edges waxed & burnished for durability.
Morgan wears a Club Duquette custom military jacket, a vintage Korean war era design refurbished with hand-drawn patches and stencils, created by Morgan herself.