Built To Last, Canada’s Pillars Of Streetwear
With around 36 Million of a diverse population, the “We The North” country is a powerhouse in terms of creatives, talents and treasure. And “streetwear” is no exemption to this.
Canada having a fair-share of streetwear brands and creative force that are taking over the globe. From a design studio, promotions house or skate crew in Montreal to the alleys of Toronto, the country has taken the world by storm as they’ve truly offered a good mix of different brands that speaks their heritage to their respective audience. Mainly, the youth, enthusiasts and cultivators.
We have listed these heavyweight brands that carved their path in the map of the ever-evolving “streetwear” world. Surely, they have truly influenced a lot of newer brands whilst strengthening their game as always. Let’s take a quick dive on what we’ve got.
Founded in 2005 by a skate crew from Montreal, Quebec, who just wanted to skate and have fun. Along the way, from being a group of teens who love to shoot fun videos about skateboarding. Respectively, Antoine Asselin, Phil Lavoie, Bob Lasalle, Hugo Balek, Charles Rivard, Eric Riedl and Alexis Lacroix.
By 2011, Dimestore crew was joined by a creative force, Vincent Tsang who later on became Dime’s art director. Basically, Tsang gels with the general aesthetics and art direction of Dime that resonated well to their audience.
As to date, the clean aesthetics and colours they’ve meshed in to produce in their apparels have not only touched the skate aficionados but the street fashion as general. Truly, they’ve gone global as their presence is in almost all continents– from Canada, the US to Europe and Asia.
October’s Very Own
Fronted and founded by Drake in 2012 as a record label along with El-Khatib and producer Noah “40” Shebib. The label carried out artists and later on extended to producing clothes, outerwear and accessories The brand has been the face of Canada’s pop culture as it is also being represented nonetheless by Drake himself.
Surely, aside from their iconic owl logo, the brand gained wide popularity being repped hard by Lil Wayne, Halsey and DJ Khaled. Recently, the brand worked for collaboration with brands such as Dsquared and BAPE.
Simply, you can’t just miss Drake, OVO and Canada. Indeed, it is beans in a pod.
Raised by Wolves
Founded by Pete Williams in 2008 who is also the editor-in-chief of Highsnobiety. The aim of the brand is to put Canada in the global “streetwear” map. Surely, they’ve always pulled it off with the vast arrays of fabrics/garments that they’ve been utilizing and been producing.
Aside from their on-point lookbooks, you can just miss the brand is brave enough to use colours and graphics, the brand has not limited themselves to just clothes but they’ve also expanded to more lifestyle stuff such as incense, scented candles and even masks which is very timely.
They’ve collaborated with a bunch of artists, musicians, other brands, restaurants and even museums. You can’t just miss their work with Saucony.
A designed studio founded by Justin Saunders in 2006, JJJJound has recently taken the world by storm. The vibe that they created has always been about the sophistication of the curated pieces that the studio has always been putting together.
With their recent collaborative work with New Balance and Reebok, truly JJJJound has landed a bigger audience.
The Montreal based studio has produced items from socks, to sweatshirts, shirts, being complete apparel to home and office stuff like aprons, coffee beans, markers and calendars, tumblers and many more. Consistency and the branding for this brand have been strong ever since producing timeless release in every item they put out.
Founded by partners, Zach Macklovitch and Nathan Gannage in Montreal in 2011, Saintwoods has become a household name in the clothing industry in Canada.
From being a multidisciplinary creative agency to events and production/promotions house, it is deeply rooted in nightlife and lifestyle.
The name Saintwoods is a combination of crossroad streets in Toronto–Saint Claire and Oakwood as noted by Nathan. The brand has expanded across the world, being available in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Founded in 2013 by Montreal designer and creative force, Emeric Tchatchoua. The brain behind the brand is inspired by the modern interpretation of philosophies and ideologies combined. It has always been the perspective beyond the human race experience and existence.
The brand is rooted in street fashion and a dear cross over to high-fashion as well. Recently, the brand debuted their release for Fall 2020, Land of the Free.
The story of the recent release is more of the political climate in the US featuring a US one-dollar bill tells more of telling paper chasing dreams. From nothing to something. Surely, the lookbook and their editorial bring a message across the board.
Atelier New Regime
Hailed in Montreal and started as a passion project in 2009 by founders, Setiz Taheri and brothers, Koku and Gildas Awuye. Rooted in screen printing to convey a message to their audience or stand their political ground to the love of music or hip-hop culture.
Throughout the year it became a vessel of creativity, freedom and self-expression.
The playful part in their lookbook and actual pieces can be easily seen in the latest items they’ve produced such as printed denim in monogram logo plus their essentials that looks so comfortable. Orange is the new black so they say.
The Legends League
Founded by Bryan Espiritu in 2004 in Toronto, started as an outlet for emotions contained, Bryan needed an outlet and started a blog to express his emotions. During the process, a lot of his audience gravitated and related to what he is putting up online.
From words turned into graphics and translated to illustrations then merchandise. In 2007, he finally followed his gut and made a full collection. As they say, the rest is history and now.
The brand focuses on athletic and sporty vibes. They also got an advocacy campaign that you can check out. Support Cycle Jordan–aimed to raise funds for Jordan’s therapy.
Get Fresh Company
Started in 2013 in Toronto, the underdogs as they want to describe themselves, the brand has been built from the ground up. GFC is the product of knowledge, experiences and creativity combined altogether. The store initially sold brands/products the owners loved then eventually made their own pieces.
Proudly owned by black, it is nonetheless, founder Jebril “Fresh” Jalloh who had tunnel vision from a very young age. The brand has then become a staple name in the scene of Toronto. They have also collaborated with Puma, worked with Remy Martin. Be sure to grab some essential and basic tees from their store in Queen Street.
As the world continues to evolve with the modern time situation, may your passion, intuitions and your vision be with you. Stories of success only prove that we always have the power to do what we always wanted to do and the will to carry on. The first audience you have to always convince is yourself. Thus, in a fast-changing world, you get to adapt and evolve without compromising your values and roots. We have listed brands that honed and shaped up to what Canadian Streetwear has put out in the world.
Do you think there are other brands that we may have missed? Please do comment down or message us up.
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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.