Over the past years, the popularity of streetwear or fashion per se has taken and conquered almost all corners of the world. In Canada, amidst the skyscrapers and cold woods, the streetwear movement has been blowing up to its fullest potential and Toronto is not an exemption. And while the big players such as Drew by Justin Bieber and OVO by Drake have been continuously making waves in fashion whilst being strongly tied with music, we can not just miss the brands built from the ground up that are making noise, rooted from culture or inspired by the ones who pioneered the movement.
In Toronto, A city of many nations, the culture and community is backed with a strong driving force of creatives, friends and like minded people who wanted to express and create a future they’ve foreseen in their own factory of ideas or minds. Here is some Toronto streetwear brands that are taking their art to the next level that we believe you shouldn’t miss and should be in your next store visit or “copping” spree.
No Fun Press
Created in 2011, the brand is producing apparels and specialty items such as keychains, key-holder, frog pillow and even tape measures. Staying cool, being fun, the brand offers some “positivity” with their strong campaigns such as “stress”, “anti-you” and etc. Contradicting as it may seem, it is very consistent in their name/theme– No Fun Press.
But surely the irony in their messages brings a fun touch on how we deal with life. From mini-bat, to pins, the helping hand, even laser sword to tote bag and rugs, surely this would complete not only your home and brand essentials but will match your outfit as well.
Not to mention, they are available in other parts of Canada, USA, in Taipei, Europe and even Australia. So basically, they operate globally.
The Peace Collective
founded in 2014 by Yanal Dhailieh. The brand is true to their name, not only do they have minimal and comfy looking apparel they have also ensured that in their own platform and circle of influence, they are lending a hand to those who are in need and deserve to be heard.
Some of the organizations they support are, Food Banks of Canada, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and UNHCR. You can’t just miss their campaigns such as Love Yo Self and Pride.
Their brand is known for their tagline Home is Canada and their hashtag #HomeIsCanada. Their goal also is to raise $1,000,0000 to donate to their chosen beneficiaries by 2030.
Toronto’s rookie doesn’t mean they have to act as a newbie. The brand was founded by Joey Gollish in 2019. The designer is a former student of HXOUSE– Toronto based incubator and accelerator of the art movement.
He spent time learning in this institution even though he does not have formal training in fashion design. Yet not to be missed, he is also under the training/apprenticeship of iconic fashion designer, Matthew Williams.
Part of his process is documenting his life, even the night parties and making it contemporary as possible. You can set an appointment if you want to have a tailor-fit or customized design.
Founded by comedy duo/YouTuber brothers–Jae and Trey Richards. Putting up a clothing brand is part of their expansion and expression of their creative skits and natural instincts.
The brand is vocal and active in supporting the black community and reiterating the importance of fair treatment and anti-black racism. The brand is known for their durags and eventually clothing for all sizes–catering to bigger fits as well.
Get comfy and stylish with their intricate yet minimalist design and eye-catching paisley durags.
Life and Wisdom
Originally from Scarborough, Life and Wisdom is strongly built through the friendship of individuals sharing different perspectives about the society/community they grew up in.
With a strong eye to details and experiences rooted in their tight knit friendship, the designs revolve in simple, wearable statement pieces exuding relax fit and comfort .
Check out their relaxed and stylish releases via their website.
Founded by Brady Shaw, the brand is all about freedom and being happy. Shaw mentioned in a recent interview with Style Democracy, that “paradise is not a place, but a state of mind.
If you love what you do, you will forever be on permanent vacation.” Doing what you love the most, even in everyday life, if you truly put your heart into it, it would always feel like you are on a vacation. And in terms of design, the brand has been very consistent in the aesthetics and wearability of their pieces offering a range of essentials that can simply be worn easily.
You can check the campus hoodie or landline joggers via their website.
Untitled and Co
Being pop, bright and eye-candy, this brand is strongly represented by women thus the power they exude is something you can’t miss.
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Their ampersand logo on a circle with good color combination and rebel yet “clean” mix is a good addition to your trendy and iconic garments.
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Their store is located at 438 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON and be surprised with their wide range of choices. Must cop is their Andreas Sweatshirt in yellow.
A culmination of ideas combined and funneled into one by founders, Matthew Chrones Scott (BLEEDINGHEART) and Caleb Cooper. The aesthetics is true to their name. Inspired by conspiracy theories, propagandas and apocalypse.
Iconic symbol they’ve got is the radiation icon in teal color. I guess, being weird works to your advantage if you learn to embrace it. Surely, the pieces they released were well curated and executed. Not to mention, their being hands-on in the actual production of their merchandise, having the manufacturing onsite gives a huge advantage to the quality of items they produce in the market.
Yes, they do screen print for others too who want to avail their service. These guys are champs. Big graphics and bold colors are the expertise of this brand. They’ve got it all covered from shirts, to outerwear and headgears. Make sure to visit their store located also in Queen street.
What does it look like having past and future at the same time. Well, this is the path the brand has been following and carving out. With the brand’s strong persona and edgy aesthetic, the pieces you get are kind of addicting.
The prescription from their resident doctor is a long list and we just can’t find the perfect cure. We can say that the branding is strong and consistent whilst staying relevant and not afraid to explore.
Their iconic pieces have the prescription/medical logo and the biohazard symbols wisely spread throughout their important staples– high fashion tee, hood pharmacist tee and their script logo trucker hat.
Tight Knit Clothing
This brand is founded in the pillars of what’s important to a man’s existence– family, friends and fashion. Surely, the brand is a vibe with the choices of colors they make.
Plus, the iconic yarn and needle that amplifies the feeling of calm in home on an easy Sunday afternoon visible to their essential items. Their pieces are something you can wear for a reunion or a casual day at work or get together with your close kins. It is stylish yet classy at the same time. The brand has also worked with several local artists and communities. So be sure to keep tight and neat. Check out their page to know more!
Reflecting On These Toronto Streetwear Brands…
Definitely, in a world of cutthroat online presence and new normal situations with restricted outdoor movements in mind, being actively present digitally is very important and a key point to stay affluent. Thus, these brands have established a strong connection to their audience and started from a small community of friends and strangers they’ve truly vibe in. The growth of these streetwear brands has been consistently on the rise. Surely, the current situation did not stop them to release new offers to their respective markets. The idea of connection is being continued or started for some through the message and the feeling these brands created throughout the years through digital approach. As we all know, Toronto is a city of diversity and creativity, thus it is rightful to know and love what we truly have here–our homegrown brands.
Doing what you love is definitely a fuel to keep the wheel going, but staying in the game and going further is a daily midnight race you’ve got to play to keep you going, move further and reach your never ending destination. At the end of the day, we vibe in what we believe in.
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Jastin Andrew Nilad is a Contributor to the magazine website vibeant.com. Based in Metro Manila, Jastin covers stories from the creative scene of the Philippines to global streetwear and high fashion scene.