Thursday, July 18
Stepping into Meadow Gifts + Apparel is like walking into a candy store. There are so many little things to look at that you become mesmerize. Oh yeah, and you drool a little too.
Adele Tetangco: When did you open?
Casey Myrfield + Sasha Freeman: We opened our doors on November 6, 2012.
AT: I go to your store all the time and love it, but for someone who hasn’t, can you tell them about it?
CM + SF: We carry gift items and clothing for men, women and children. Almost all of our products are handmade. We carefully select everything for the shop – we want “cool” handmade. We are very selective about what we sell. We want the shop to be a happy and accessible place so you want to stay for a while and see what we have to offer.
AT: How would you describe your store in 3 words?
CM + SF: Whimsical, inspired and accessible.
AT: What types of items do you carry?
CM + SF: We have a great selection of baby & kids clothing (t-shirts, leggings, moccasins), women’s dresses and jewellery, leather satchels, cool art prints, handmade soap, men’s t-shirts, and a lot of cute little items that you didn’t know you needed until you saw them at our shop.
AT: Are they all independent lines?
CM + SF: Yes 98% of our brands are small, independent lines. The majority are handmade.
AT: You ladies aren’t lying about all of those cute little things. I’ve bought quite a few packs of those paper straws. Do I use straws? No- but I still bought them. Where do you do find all of the items you stock.
CM + SF: We have had a “dream list” of brands we would stock if we ever opened a shop. We have talked about opening a shop for years. We have both been selling our own lines of handmade products for a while and so we have met and been exposed to a lot of really talented makers.
AT: I have to buy a b-day gift and I only have $50. What should I buy?
CM + SF:
BABY – A Hazel Village doll and a book.
WOMEN – Soap and Paper Factory hand cream and a necklace.
MEN – A flask and a couple of Brooklyn Rehab shot glasses.
AT: Name something in that you’re constantly re-stocking.
CM + SF: Gnome Enterprises t-shirts for men ($34) and toddlers ($28).
AT: Name an item you carry that’s a personal favourite.
CM + SF: Berkley Illustration prints ($25).
AT: I love weird stories. Have any you can tell me?
CM + SF: We had a fledgling crow fly into the shop not long ago – that was interesting. A nice (and brave) customer very kindly carried it outside for us.
AT: I always ask – what music is playing on your store’s play list?
CM + SF: Wild Nothing has been playing a lot lately. Right now Fleetwood Mac is on….so a little of this and a little of that.
Meadow Gifts + Apparel
104 Water St
Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2
Follow Meadow Gifts + Apparel:
Tuesday, July 16
(photo credit: Scott McFadyen)
I love Vancouver for many reasons. A few being that it’s gorgeous (even when it rains), you can easily find a JAPADOG, and it’s full of talent. Elisa Kosonen’s forte can’t easily be defined. It’s just that she does so many things and excels in all of them.
Adele Tetangco: You do many things – can you tell me about them?
Elisa Kosonen: One of the things I love about being a free agent is that I get to work on such a cool variety of projects at the same time. I’m really lucky that I get to do pretty much everything that I love to do. My work consists of public relations, brand strategy, copywriting, plus freelance writing and editing. I specialize in all the things that women love, whether it’s beauty, fashion or lifestyle related.
AT: Is there one area that you prefer more?
EK: That’s a tough one! I decided to go freelance so I could do it all… But, I would have to say my current top two are helping brands find their voice with copywriting and working with some lovely celebrities. Getting flowers from Jessica Biel and handwritten notes from Dita Von Teese because they’re so happy with how their skin looks makes me so ridiculously proud to represent a brand like Éminence Organic Skin Care.
AT: And how long have you been doing this?
EK: Eight years. I started out as an editor in 2005 and began working with brands in 2009.
AT: Tell me the number one thing you love about your job.
EK: The ability to write and edit while working with brands I truly believe in.
AT: You left Toronto to come to Vancouver. Trick question: Which city do you like better?
EK: Ha! Vancouver of course. It’s my hometown! I worked for Flare in Toronto and loved the hustle and bustle of that city though. I’m lucky that I get to go back a lot for work and play. I often feel like I had to leave Vancouver to appreciate it. It took me years of living in London, New York and Toronto to realize I’m a west coast girl at heart.
AT: What’s the hardest thing about your job?
EK: Managing a schedule. I have to be ready to jump from one project to the next at the ping of an email, so every day is different.
AT: What’s the easiest?
EK: Hmm, I suppose my commute is the easiest thing. I can be downstairs at my desk in less than 10 seconds flat.
AT: Favourite place to shop:
EK: I’m currently obsessed with Oak + Fort.
AT: What was your last dream about?
EK: I prefer to daydream. My dreams at night are so mundane! Seriously. I’ve been to the grocery store in my sleep. My latest dream has been to work from the beach for an entire month. I’m aiming to make that happen sometime during the winter.
AT: If you could eat one thing for a month, what would it be?
EK: Anything by my friend Christina Culver of Culver City Salads. I never, ever tire of her quinoa.
AT: What are you listening to on your iPod?
EK: I couldn’t survive without a soundtrack. It always depends on the mood or situation. Lately I’ve had guitar bands like The Strokes, The Horrors and The Kills on repeat, but I’m also a sucker for a slow jam.
Work with Elisa: www.edkpr.com
Wednesday, July 03
Dace Moore’s eponymous fashion label, Dace, has been around Vancouver for so long that looking at it makes it feel like home. I had the chance to catch up with her for a little one-on-one.
1. Full Name: Dace Margaret Moore.
2. Occupation: Designer and Business Owner of Dace / Fashion Instructor at JCI Institute.
3. How long have you been doing what you’re doing? I’ve been designing for over 15 years and recently started teaching this year.
4. Complete this sentence: I love Vancouver because_______: I love Vancouver because of the mountains, ocean, and my family and friends.
5. Name your favourite place to eat: Bao Bei.
6. Where do you love to shop? One of a Few in Gastown and Gravity Pope on West 4th.
7. Name a place you enjoy going to have drinks: Alibi Room.
8. Where do you like to go to relax? At home.
9. What is your biggest inspiration? The people that surround me.
10. What’s your favourite colour? Blue
11. If you can describe Vancouver fashion in one word, what would it be? I can’t really describe it in one word. There are so many different types of styles walking the streets of Vancouver right now.
12. Name something you think that’s a fashion faux pas. Uggs.
13. There’s a fire and you can only save one thing in your closet – what is it? Maybe my Won Hundred jeans that I live in
14. What music are you listening to in your studio? Reverberation Radio (online).
15. Any new developments? We recently moved to a new studio that has a storefront, so it is an open studio concept. In addition to clothing, I’ve added a little bit of house ware items and a new kids collection.
725 East Hastings
Wednesday, July 03
The definition of “mutton”, when googled, turns up this meaning: “the flesh of a matured sheep used as food” (yuck). Paige Cowan, of clothing brand Muttonhead, has a different definition – and I like hers much better.
Adele Tetangco: Why the name Muttonhead? Where is it derived from?
Paige Cowan: Truth be told, the name doesn’t mean anything. Aside from the fact that the twins (my business partners) used to hang at the skate park, drink beers and act like “mutts”. Hence a “mutt” was someone who didn’t really care, it referenced a “Laid Back Luke” kinda attitude.
AT: How long have you guys been around for?
PC: We have been in the rag trade for four years. We started from the ground up with a lot of aspirations and no previous experience in the industry.
AT: Are your clothing styles unisex?
PC: You bet! Although we technically design menswear, there are three of us girls behind the label. So in everything we do, we keep our female customers in mind.
AT: What are some of your favourite pieces?
PC: Anything out of our signature recycled hemp fabric. It is the perfect fabric and we use it in everything from trousers to shorts, button ups to caps. It is a great substitute to a pair of jeans or chinos. Like these Gym Shorts ($70).
AT: What do you like the best about working on Muttonhead?
PC: Building a reputation in an industry where you meet a lot of cool people and having them psyched on your brand.
AT: You’re based out of Vancouver? Is the clothing manufactured here as well?
PC: I spend almost half the year on the road, or back in Toronto where the rest of the Mutts are based. Everything is designed at our Toronto Studio and manufactured across the Greater Toronto Area.
AT: What is the meaning behind your Spring/Summer 2013 collection?
PC: We were influenced by the 1970′s sporting culture especially Venice Beach’s Z-Boys. They were just a couple of adventurous kids looking for kits to suit their counterculture lifestyles. The “Good Sport” name references the athletic theme and the easygoing, unpretentious attitude that embodies Muttonhead.
AT: Name some pieces that you keep selling out of.
PC: We literally can’t keep our Baseball Pants ($132) in stock, around the globe this is hands down our hottest style. Also our Reversible Crewnecks ($119) are always a home run!
AT: I want to know more about you, what’s your role within the company?
PC: I’m the Masta Hustler. I take care of our wholesaling, marketing, media, and I organize our events.
AT: Who designs the collection?
PC: Two mutts named Meg and Mel, they are twin sisters and they have a great dynamic creatively. You know what they say about twins, they can communicate without speaking. Meg and Mel are in sync aesthetically like that. They are always on the same wavelength when it comes to translating each other’s vision.
AT: If Muttonhead was a hip hop album, what would it’s name be?
PC: MuttStyle and we would get the artist formally known as Snoop Doggy Dogg to rap on the album.
AT: Claim to fame?
PC: Speaking of the rap game, Pusha-T was photographed in our reversible crewneck sweatshirt and in Toronto our pop-up shop parties are renowned and always a good time.
AT: Since it’s unisex – for the popular pieces, do you find that the women + men both flock to the same styles? Or is it always different?
PC: It’s a bit of both, but women love our stuff and they also love dressing their boyfriends in it.
AT: I love a funny story. Tell me something funny.
PC: At the last tradeshow in New York I was staying in a six-story walk-up. On the last day of the show I started freaking because I realized I wouldn’t be able to get my large suitcase (full of samples) up the stairs alone. Combined with the fact that I was super rinsed from the night before, I literally had to go around the show begging some guy to come and help me out. Shout out to Shawn at Lightening Bolt!
Board of Trade
227 Union Street
Vancouver BC V6A 2B2
206 Carrall Street
Vancouver BC V6B 2J1
Thursday, June 20
I love finding out about new designers – especially when they’re young and driven. Zach Dabrowski is just that. Read below to find out more.
Adele Tetangco: Are you the sole designer?
Zach Dabrowski: I am the founder and CEO of Nocturnal Workshop, and I am heavily involved in the creative process of what we do, however, I am not the designer. Tyler Froese is the man behind the Nocturnal Workshop design mask. I partnered with him about 8 months ago and since then our design relationship has really flourished. Tyler is traditionally a textile fashion designer, and believe it or not the first time he ever designed and sewed a backpack was about 5 months ago. I am excited to see how much he grows in the next 12 months with the launch of our company.
AT: Do you design full-time?
ZD: I would love to say that this is my full-time job, but currently I am still in school in my third year of Marketing Management. Tyler also goes to school and is entering his third year.
AT: Tell us about Nocturnal Workshop? When did you start it? What kinds of items do you make?
ZD: Nocturnal Workshop is a premium bag and accessories company that focuses on maximizing fashion, visibility and durability for the mobile, urban trendsetter. Our bags have both a simple and bold element to them, combining a simplistic and fashionable skeleton with bold fabrics – for example, retro-reflective leather. In broad daylight the bags are understated, but when light is reflected off of them, their graphic becomes quite vivid. Essentially, our bags are subtle when you want them to be and bold when you need them to be. As far as I know, we are one of the first companies creating bags like this. For Vancouver, as well as other cycling cities, these bags are perfect because they are fashionable; yet have value added in maximizing your visibility.
We started the company about 6 months ago, and are planning for a January 2014 launch into retailers. This summer we will be attending Project in New York and Capsule in Vegas. Currently our first collection is focused on backpacks as well as several laptop sleeves, but we have plans to expand our line in the future.
AT: Is it made locally?
ZD: Everything is designed and tested in Vancouver, and we have partnered with a facility in Seattle to produce our goods.
AT: How many pieces are you launching with?
ZD: We will be launching with 3 styles of backpacks available in 3 different colour ways. We also will be creating several laptop sleeves and smaller accessories to go along with the Capsule Collection.
AT: Where do you gather your inspirations?
ZD: To be honest, I really get inspired by other people. I read as many articles as I can and try to connect with as many people as I can. Intimate interaction is definitely what helps get my creative process going, and it’s often how I come up with a lot of my ideas. Traveling is another big part of my inspiration in that I love seeing how other cultures live and work.
AT: Tell me about your most favorite piece out of the whole collection and why?
ZD: I have been testing a lot of our initial designs and I was surprised that my favourite piece was the Barred Light Daypack – our smallest backpack. I can fit all of my essentials (Macbook, notebook, Bamboo Touch Tablet, books and several chargers) without having to jam it in, but also so that everything is snug and you don’t have things slipping and sliding everywhere when you are on the move.
AT: If you could pick one person to wear one of your bags (dead or living) who would it be?
ZD: I just had a conversation with someone about this! Pharrell Williams has always been a big inspiration of mine. His undeniable sense of creativity is what draws me to him. Being able to create successful companies across several sectors is no easy task, but it is his focus on quality and experimentation is what I feel keeps him two steps ahead of the curve. Not to mention, he has the kind of style you envy because you know you would never be able to pull it off.
AT: Anything trending for backpacks right now that you’re really into? Is there anything that you don’t like?
ZD: Pig snouts are still trending (most people think it’s Herschel’s logo). They are kind of a love / hate for me. I hate that they are being overused, but I like the original story behind them in that they were used as a fastening mechanism to attach more things to your pack (they need a bit of a revamp now though). I’m pretty sure backpacks themselves are trending for women this spring, so that’s kind of cool.
We really try to design beyond trend as much as we can. Our bags are not cheap, so we want our consumers to be able to get a lot of use out of them before wanting to move onwards and upwards!
AT: Where’s your favourite place to eat in Van?
ZD: I love a good meal, and being from Van I’m susceptible to being sushi-crazed. I’m also Celiac, so it’s always interesting finding gluten-free options. The Eatery in Kits is great because of its unconventional, yet oh so tasty rolls. Plus, their menu is like 8 pages long! I also love The Naam because it’s pretty cheap, has massive portions and is open 24 hours, which makes it a healthier alternative for “drunk food”.
AT: What song do you sing in the shower?
ZD: I’m a big advocate of shower singing. Just ask my neighbours… Right now I’m rocking Female Robbery by The Neighbourhood and Pull Me Down by Mikky Ekko.
Nocturnal Workshop launches in January 2014.
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Friday, June 14
You heard right! Should be a doozy of a sale. Union Wood Co. has joined forces with their good friends, the Found & the Freed and Victory Gardens , If you’re in the neighbourhood, pop on down and say hey… Oh, and maybe shop a little bit.
Saturday, June 15 11am-5pm and Sunday June 16 12pm-4pm.
Union Wood Company
503 Railway Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1A7
Friday, June 14
This is one of my most favourites stores in Vancouver. If you want to know why – just read my interview with owner Michelle Rizzardo below. Nuff said.
Adele Tetangco: I LOVE One of a Few with a passion. Why should other ladies love it too?
Michelle Rizzardo: Ah thanks Adele. Hopefully other ladies will like us too. There are a few things we hope ladies feel when coming to our store. First, we want them to feel comfortable and spend time trying on different pieces from different collections. That way they can have fun discovering new designers. Second, we want them to find coveted brands they are familiar with sitting next to new emerging designers they may not have heard of. And last but not least, we want them to feel that they are part of a community. That might sound weird, but honestly we love our clients and the designers we sell and it’s really exciting to have people feel just as passionate about what’s happening as we are.
AT: Can you tell me about some brands that you carry that are international? MR: We have stocked HOPE of Sweden for a number of years now. They have classic pieces that are wearable, edgy and timeless.
To Be Adored is a British brand that we “adore”. It’s quirky, fun and made with beautiful fabrics. Their pieces are “show stoppers” and we should all have a few of those in our closets.
Dieppa Restrepo footwear from New York is a coveted brand in the shop. The two New York designers went to Mexico and found a town’s economy suffering with the clothing of a local shoe factory. They launched their production there and have been helping sustain that economy ever since. They keep classic styles and we bring in different colours and leathers each season.
Creatures of Comfort, who has flagship stores in Los Angeles and New York, has started selling their own line for the past three seasons. The collection is unbelievable. Jade Lau creates beautiful prints that stand out on the racks. She recently worked on a collabo with LDTuttle and created the perfect summer sandal.
Wood Wood from Denmark is a really fun brand. Their price point is great and we are exclusive carriers of the brand in Vancouver.
AT: What’s the best selling line you carry?
MR: Footwear: Rachel Comey, Dieppa Restrepo, and Dolce Vita.
Bags: Clare Vivier, Jas.M.B, and Collina Strada.
Clothing: HOPE of Sweden, Edith A Miller, and Demy Lee.
AT: What should ladies be wearing this summer?
MR: For starters, they should be wearing what they feel the best in. If you feel good in your clothing you will always look better no matter what.
Every woman should have a white crisp collared cotton shirt and a new white t-shirt (Fluxus $55-$65) every season. A metallic accent is perfect for this summer; the Creatures of Comfort collaboration sandals ($331) are perfect. A Clare Vivier clutch ($156) is mandatory for night and hand held bags make any outfit look a little sharper. Dresses are a must; especially a silk printed one that makes you feel dressed up, beautiful, and comfortable. A pair of boyfriend jeans, cotton trousers, or a skirt that graces just below the knee and a really strong piece of jewelry. And underneath it all everyone should be wearing Baserange ($24-$110) an amazing bamboo basics collection.
AT: Tell me about something you sold that you wished you got to keep for yourself.
MR: Just one thing? Lol. Every season there are a few items. This season, so far, I have missed out on a pair of HOPE stay jeans, a Clare Vivier simple tote in caramel suede, and a cobalt jumper from Rachel Comey. I can’t keep it all though, so it’s okay.
AT: You have an upstairs room in your store. Can you tell us what pleasures we can expect next in the room?
MR: Ah… Upstairs, well upstairs has been changing over for the last few years but currently we use it to hold our sale items. The pieces up there are 50-80 percent off! The deals are amazing.
We are constantly adding to the items so its good to check it out regularly.
AT: SHOES!! Tell everyone about your shoes. What are some of this-season’s must-haves that you-have?
MR: This is the best question because the shoes are amazing right now. Some particulars are the Rachel Comey metallics, Creatures of Comfort black sandal, Sexy heels by DV and Dolve Vita. Awesome sandals by Fiel that comes in cream, black, and blue…and of course metallic! Dieppa Restrepo’s $300 and Leone Lupe $440.
AT: If I have $200, and $200 alone. Tell me what to buy.
MR: You can buy a ton of things for $200, but you could us the money three ways.
1. You could buy a pop colour in one of the Clare Vivier clutches ($156) and a pair of Strathcona Stocking ($36). Both items will add punch to any outfit and they easily update previous season pieces.
2. You could buy a Baserange bra ($55) and panties ($24) set, a Reassembly scent ($40) and an Edith A Miller top ($75) for a purchase that just simply makes you feel good.
3. A pair of Dolce Vita heels ($125) and some silver stacked rings done by either Catherine Hartley or Kara You (both desgners-$20).
Too many options… too many goodies.
AT: Tell me about the most popular item in your store right now.
MR: Any Baserange item – seriously any of them. It doesn’t matter what people buy they always seem to add one of these pieces to their purchase ($24-$110).
AT: Is there one look that will look good on anyone? Does this exist?
MR: Well, I truly believe the best look on anyone is the outfit they feel most confident in.
AT: what songs are playing on the store’s play list?
MR: Toro y Moi, Bart Davenport, Beach House, Foxygen, Metronomy, Mo, Chvrches.
The mixes always change. Recently, we have been playing play lists from Reverberation Radio.
One of a Few
354 Water Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1B6
Follow One of a Few:
Facebook: /one of a few
Friday, June 07
I love it when sisters run businesses together. I don’t know why, I just do. So you can imagine my excitement when I discover that Cara Stryer and Lauren Kurc own Vincent Park – and they’re sisters!
Adele Tetangco: How long has Vincent Park been open for?
Cara Stryer + Lauren Kurc: Vincent Park opened in December 2008.
AT: How did you come up with the name of the store?
CS + LK: A lot of scrabble, word games, doodling, and wine.
AT: Tell me what your customers think that Vincent Park specializes in.
CS + LK: I think we are definitely known as the place to go for your favourite pair of Cheap Monday jeans or Super Sunnies. But I also think our customers know that they can always find the fashionable, well-priced, and high quality goods that they’ve known to expect from us. Aside from the product, we take pride in our customer service and the relationships that we’ve built with our customers over the years. We strive to make Vincent Park a comfortable and social environment to shop in or just pop in for a visit and a chat.
AT: Any hot selling items right now? What’s flying off of the racks?
CS + LK: We can never keep our best selling Super Sunnies in stock. We try to have the largest style/colour selection in town, and as soon as the sunshine hits they fly! Customers don’t believe us until they come back the next day to get the pair they were eyeing and they’re already gone.
AT: Any item that isn’t getting any love that you think should
CS + LK: High wasted short shorts! They are so cute we thought they would fly!
AT: Name something that you took for your self as soon as it came in?
CS + LK: We Both took a pair of the Jeffrey Campbell Neat tassel loafers the day they arrived and they have been glued to our feet ever since.
AT: What are some of your favourite brands that you carry?
CS + LK: We like to think that our store is only filled with our favourites, but if I had to name a few that stand out they would probably be Cheap Monday, Jeffery Campbell, Retro Super Future, Myne, Army of Rokosz, and Life after Denim (for him).
AT: Summer is just around the corner – tell me a go-to outfit that I can get at your store.
CS + LK: Cheap Monday Second Skins in various colours ($75) with an easy FluXus lightweight cotton tee ($44-$68) Add a pair of Supers ($146-$226) and you are good to go!
AT: What songs are playing on your store’s play list?
CS + LK: Songza is a new best friend around here! ‘Handclapping & Footstomping’ has been a go-to shop playlist filled with indie/folky/Americana. type tunes. We’ve also been listening to a lot of The Tallest Man on Earth, A.A. Bondy, Justin Townes Earle, and Daniel Romano.
AT: Do you carry any lines exclusive to VP?
CS + LK: Keep your eye out for a VP house label in the works.
AT: Tell me a trend that you hate.
CS + LK Flatform shoes, too clunkly and unfeminine.
AT: Tell me a trend that you love.
CS + LK: Easy effortless dressing! Casual denim, slouchy cotton tops topped off with great shoes and great shades.
4278 Main Street
Vancouver B.C V5V 3P9
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Friday, June 07
Thirteen years and counting, that’s how long Eugene Choo has been on Main Street. I was able to catch up with owner Kildare Curtis where he reminded me why I love his store as much as I do.
Adele Tetangco: How did you come up with the name Eugene Choo? It’s pretty unique. Kildare Curtis: The name comes from a childhood friend of mine (he is to my knowledge, still not aware of this). When my sister and I merged our 2 stores, it was a compromise on names.
AT: Wow, your childhood friend is going to be in for a surprise if he ever finds out. How long have you been in business for?
KC: 13 years for Eugene Choo and 1 year for the Eugene Choo Annex.
AT: Lucky number 13! Tell me about the Annex. Why did you decide to open it?
KC: The Annex was a natural extension of our love of shoes and bags (we were always limited on space for both) it was also fortuitous, as we had looked at opening a shoe store in the same storefront 10 years ago.
AT: I guess everything falls into place eventually. What do you sell in there? What brands?
KC: Shoes, bags, and accessories by APC, A detacher, Aigle, Apartment Five, Armando Cabral, Archival, Converse, Dace, JW Hulme, La Botte Gardiane, H by Hudson, Clae, Strathcona Stockings, Hansel from Basel, New Balance, Rokin, and Erin Templeton to name a few.
AT: What about the clothes? What kind of style do you look for when you’re buying clothes for the stores?
KC: I try to keep things within a classic style, but I would not say boring. I like colour, patterns, and texture. The quality has to be there as well. We also like to support local and Canadian made.
AT: What are some of the best selling brands you carry for the clothes?
KC: It would have to be APC and Steven Alan and then Lifetime Collective and Dace for locals.
AT: Can you tell me something that you’ve been re-stocking forever because it always sells out?
KC: it’s actually a candle called Red Currant that we burn in the store it’s a real crowd pleaser.
AT: Ah! I know that smell. It’s synonymous with the Eugene Choo store. I love that my packaging smells like it when I leave the store. Can you name something you don’t carry – but want to?
KC: Super Sunglasses.
AT: Ummm… what’s hold you back?? Those glasses are amazing!
AT: Tell me about something that women always go to Eugene Choo to look for?
KC: The perfect dress, something that can be worn casually and / or dressed up.
AT: What about for men?
KC: A good-looking suit.
AT: I always ask, what music is paying in the store right now?
KC: I’m a big music fan, but I will often let the staff choose what they listen to. At the moment I’m stuck on Jake Bugg and the staff tend to be leaning heavily on a Trojan records box set of early rock steady, ska, and reggae.
3683 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5V 3N6
Eugene Choo Annex
3697 Main Street
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Friday, May 24
Vancouver just got a new menswear designer and his name is Will Shung. Read all about it below.
Adele Tetangco: So you just launched a new mini collection, Guillermo, for men. Can you tell me about that?
Will Shung: Guillermo is a very simple collection of dress furnishings that comprises of essential wardrobe staples for the classic man.
AT: How many pieces did you launch with?
WS: There are two shirts and four ties in this inaugural collection, and each shirt and tie can essentially be worn with each other and paired with everything from suits, to jeans, or even outerwear.
AT: Ah, ok. I like what I’m hearing so far. What types of fabrics do you use? WS: I only use the best fabrics I can get my hands on. In this case, the shirts are made from the finest 2-ply Italian cottons, and the ties from the finest of Italian silks.
AT: There are a lot of fashion students in Vancouver that are dying to launch their own collections like you. How long has it taken you to launch?
WS: The process of launching this clothing line has been a journey of trial and error, hits and misses, and many setbacks. I came up with the original idea for the clothing line back in 2006, but didn’t really put anything into action until 2008. That year I invested a good chunk of my money earned from my day job into samples and other promotional material for the label. Unfortunately (and long story short) things didn’t pan out and I was forced to put the project on hold for the next couple of years. Then, after a long, hard struggle to recoup from my losses from 2008, I began to rethink the concept and decided I was going to do a couple of things really well first, rather then jump into doing everything “just okay”. Hence, the simplified dress furnishings collection.
At the beginning of 2011 I began to reinvest heavily, both time and money, into Guillermo. Many, many hours were spent sourcing out the best manufacturers, fabric mills, and everything else that has to do with starting up a clothing line. And, in 2012, I began to reach out to select organizations and companies about doing business. Luckily, the ones I wanted to do business with all along were on-board. From there, we worked on getting the aesthetic, fits, and details right. And finally, in early 2013, I began taking delivery of the first pieces.
AT: Sounds like you’ve been through quite a journey to get here. What’s been your inspiration behind the collection?
WS: My inspiration for the collection spawns from my infatuation with classic menswear. Brands like Brioni, Kiton, and Brunello Cucinelli have been great benchmarks of quality to aspire to, while some of my most inspirational subjects from a design perspective have been Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, Frida Giannini, and many, many more.
AT: Is everything produced in Vancouver?
WS: No, actually. Most of my early samples were produced right here in Vancouver, but the entire Guillermo collection is made in Italy.
AT: What’s your design background?
WS: I have little to none design background; a fashion merchandising certificate is as close as I’ve come to graduating from design school. I have the utmost of respect for the real fashion designers out there – the ones who sketch, make patterns, drape, sew, tailor, etc. I have nothing on them. All I have is a vision and a drive.
AT: What can we expect from you in the future?
WS: The Guillermo Holiday 2013 collection will be coming out in September as well as the introduction to the made-to-measure service, and the Spring/Summer 2014 collection will hopefully be ready by January 2014.
AT: Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Tell me the easiest way to tie a bow tie. WS: Wow. Skip.
AT: Ok… guess there’s no easy way.
AT: Predict the future for me. What are the new emerging trends for men’s suits? Ties?
WS: I think the three-button suit has been knocking on the door of a comeback for a couple of seasons now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a lot of it in the next season or two. As for ties, I don’t think they’re necessarily skinny or wide anymore; they’re just a perfect width right now. Knit ties seem to be a classic style and have been very popular as of late. There are a couple of knit ties in my Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection.
AT: Do you practice what you preach? Do you wear a suit and tie everyday? WS: Almost everyday. Sometimes I wear a suit on a day off, even. I just feel more comfortable in one. With the weather turning nice and the temperatures rising, it’s tough to put on a tie this time of year. But, for the most part, if I’m in a suit, I’m wearing a tie. AT: Preach on.
You can purchase Guillermo at:
R222 – 757 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1A1
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