We Canadians always seem to get the knock for starting outrageous fashion trends (see: the Canadian tuxedo). But what’s unbeknownst to many is that we proudly house some of the most influential, up-and-coming brands in the game — brands that are not only changing the perception of Canadian fashion, but making a huge impact on the global menswear scene. I mean, sure, a pair of jeans matched with a denim button-up and (should you choose to go the extra mile) a denim hat is always a killer combo, but there are other ways to pay homage to our country’s heritage on its 150th birthday.
Here’s a look at five Canadian brands that are continuously making their footprint on this beguiling country we live in while keeping things modern.
Founded in 2007, Vancouver-based brand Reigning Champ has continuously demonstrated an array of expertise through the rugged construction and unrivalled comfort of each Canadian-made piece. Staying true to their mantra —“Respect the Details, Master Simplicity”— the streetwear brand’s set the tone for fashionable athletic wear. Their classics line has set the foundation for expansion within the brand, which has led them to create other collections, like its core program, which is comprised of nine staple items that can be worn in a yearly rotation.
Wings + Horns
Born in 2004, Wings + Horns closes the gap between Canadian-made quality and Japanese-inspired detailing. This contemporary Vancouver-based label stays faithful to balancing rugged utility with considered simplicity in each piece that is produced. Inspired by the Canadian landscape, Wings + Horns utilizes monochromatic and earthy colour palettes, keeping the focus of each garment strictly on construction and detail. In a recent collaboration, Wings + Horns teamed up with Adidas Originals to release a rather versatile collection of apparel and sneakers— a gratifying representation of Canadian-made goods on the uprise.
WANT Les Essentiels
Moving away from Canada’s East Coast, Montreal-born brothers Byron & Dexter Peart had a vision that travelling and daily commuting did not have to be a burden in ones routine schedule. From this stemmed what is now known as WANT Les Essentiels, a collection of accessories and bags that function well, are made with quality materials, and are constructed with an intuitive knowledge that delivers value. Founded in 2006, these handcrafted products fill the gap in the modern travellers arsenal by offering timeless pieces that place equal value on fashion and function. Reaching into a select variety of garments and footwear, it’s safe to say that versatility is no issue for this proud Canadian brand.
With a longstanding history of 86 years in the industry, Viberg Boot has become a great contribution to our nation’s menswear scene. Founded in 1931, Viberg utilizes traditional manufacturing methods along with only the best internationally-sourced materials to produce a multitude of designs, from their service boot to a piercing black horsehide derby boot. Viberg places great emphasis on the heritage of their production process, with over 200 steps for each pair of boots. Each step is carried out by a designated craftsman ensuring their footwear is the best Canada has to offer.
Kit and Ace
2014 brought about one of Canada’s newest reputable brands with a mission to progressively bridge the gap between our active lifestyles and our desire to remain fashionable while doing so. Shannon & JJ Wilson founded Kit and Ace with a previous disposition in athletic wear, applied in technical design to clothing that best suits how we actively live. Thinking about your typical spandex cycling suit? Kit and Ace use high performance fabrics with functional detailing to bring you a collection that is not only versatile, but can be worn almost anywhere, ranging from stretch blazers to lightweight active joggers. Shannon & JJ understand how we like to be as comfortable as possible throughout our busy schedules; for them, that we shouldn’t have to sacrifice style in order to do so.