Oh, Canada! To celebrate our fair nation’s birthday, we decided to take a look at our Canadian brands that have been straight killing it in 2015 and look to have an even bigger 2016. Over the past few years, there has been a creative renaissance happening in our country and the sky is truly the limit as brands from Vancouver to Halifax have been making international waves putting Canada on the map.
Let’s take a minute to celebrate our Canadian heritage and to take a look at the brands that acknowledge Canadian roots while showing the rest of the world that the talent up north rivals anywhere in the world.
Please note: Brands appear in no particular order, and we acknowledge that there are a number of Canadian labels that are seeing huge success, however, we have chosen to focus on independent Canadian designers for this list.
George Sully and Henry Wong continue to make headways, making Sully Wong one of the most talked about Canadian sneaker brands in the world. With multiple features on Hypebeast this year, and notable collaborations including: Vitaly Design, One X One and Ciroc Vodka Sully Wong has taken that step from local brand to internationally recognized, and we can’t wait to see the brand’s continued development and growth.
After a successful indiegogo campaign, the boys at monte&co have reached their funding goal and will continue to make products locally in Canada. With a strong focus on quality, monte&co have what it takes to grow into a major brand. The look and feel of the products is superb, and with a little extra exposure we think these guys will have major success in the very near future.
Arguably the most impactful brand on this list Vitaly Design is a sheer beast! Moving from a jewelry brand into the world of full-fledged lifestyle brand, Vitaly Design has managed to stay instantly recognizable while branching out to encompass a wide range of appreciating customers. With over 175K followers on Instagram, the legions of Vitaly faithful continues to grow and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. With a foray into clothing, and a successful capsule collection with fellow Toronto designers Sully Wong, the dudes at Vitaly are kings of their domain and we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.
Unlike the other brands on this list, PKG didn’t really develop organically. It developed out of a solid plan for a specific market. For this reason, we think the brother duo of Mike and Andrew Priestman have what it takes to make this brand the next big thing. A beautiful functional aesthetic and a solid business plan will be the secret ingredient mix that will take PKG to the next level.
As one of the fastest growing brands on the list, Peace Collective has taken Canada by storm in the last 8 months. Creating a brand that focuses on local pride with a philanthropic angle, and Known for their Home is Toronto t-shirts, Peace Collective has been blowing up Instagram and currently hold the title as the hottest brand to come out of the six in 2015.
Raised by wolves is an example of a company that is doing streetwear right. Not overly gimmicky, RBW has been putting out staple streetwear pieces for a few years now and has built a loyal following by continually giving people what they want. Established in Ottawa, RBW is probably one of the most complete lifestyle brands on this list, stocking everything from hats to stuff for your home. Keep an eye out for this great brand as they continue to grow and develop.
The namesake lingerie line from Canadian designer and recent Ryerson grad, Mary Young, combines everything a woman looks for in a piece of lingerie. Something that is effortlessly sexy and comfortable at the same time. The line also features a collection of loungewear which alongside the lingerie is made entirely of jersey, knits, and soft elastics. Feminine and soft, this line not only emphasizes comfort but applauds the natural female body without all the bells and whistles.
We’ve ranted and raved about Armed before, but this Toronto-born designer continues to amaze us. Since the brand launched in 2011, Armed has driven Canadian media, like Flare and Elle Magazine, into a frenzy and Toronto women have become more fashionable because of it. With materials sourced from around the world, each piece is raw and bold, yet feminine and elegant. The line pushes women to embrace their courage and act fearlessly in their choices, whether it be in life or jewelry.
Hoi Bo is a Toronto-based line that is best known for their handbags, but also dabbles in women’s clothing and accessories. Through their aesthetic, it is easy to see that Hoi Bo’s creators are passionate about quality, structure, and minimal design. Each piece in their collection is built to last and with the prominent use of wet and dry wax, the pieces soften and shape with their wearer; growing and changing with time.
Native Shoes are the super-trendy and comfy footwear made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). This globally popular brand was launched in 2009, and is headquartered in Vancouver. While experiencing success since 2009, Native Shoes’ newest model the Apollo and Apollo Chukka have been making serious waves in 2015. Propelling the brand from a quirky shoe manufacturer into a more mature market, the Apollo shoe has been majorly marketed to and loved by sportswear and streetwear aficionados worldwide. With 2015 features on almost every major streetwear blog, the Apollo really is the shoe that will take Native Shoes to the moon and back.
Hands down Brian Espiritu, founder of Legends League is one of the most talented graphic artists Toronto has to offer. Legends League has slowly amassed a huge die-hard level devoted community that flock to the Legends League brand for its beautifully crafted graphic clothing. Considering LL has been making clothes that pay homage to Toronto from the start, it’s almost as if all of these other brands you see popping up are just playing catch up. What’s great about Legends League, is that it’s truly more than just a brand. Brian Espiritu’s transparency shown through his twitter and instagram account really allows fans of the brand to connect with Legends League on an intimate level. Hard work and a consistent commitment to well thought out designs have made Legends League a fan favourite, and the arrival of the Legends League Flagship store will only take this brand to the next level.
With the launch of their newest collection, NEEDS&WANTS continues to rake in the international acclaims with regular features on Four-Pins, Hypebeast and Selecticism, Creative director Sean Brown continues to bring his unique visual aesthetic to the plate as his brand Needs/Wants hits another home run. With the addition of fish tail flannel shirts, and fleece wrap jackets, The NEEDS&WANTS collection is slowly growing, however since each piece is limited quantities, each piece usually sells out making each NEEDS&WANTS piece that more covetable.
Master of the details, we’ve been watching founder David Kollar, grow his brand since 2013. With a great showing at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, Kollar is back at it for 2015 with a more mature and refined look. It’s so great being able to see a brand develop, and after checking out Kollar’s latest offerings we are positive this brand will have a strong showing in 2015 and 2016.
After going through a re-brand (changing name from Daedfyshe to Noble Sole) founder Patrick Cornish has morphed his luxury shoe brand into a potential player for 2015 and 2016. With a newly launched Kickstarter campaign, Noble Sole looks to take on the online direct to consumer model. With a strong capsule collection of shoes, we think Noble Sole is in the right spot and will garner international attention in the near future.