The other day my buddy Joel Reilly owner Community 54 sent me a tweet telling me about an awesome Community Series event they were having to celebrate the launch of LATrE brand clothing. I love community 54, and I love checking out new brands so I grabbed my gear and headed down to Parkdale to catch up with Joel and meet Brian Vu, founder and designer for LATrE.
When you meet Brian, two things jump out at you right away. He’s extremely passionate about what he does, and although he’s been getting some serious recognition for his designs, he’s very humble. Our conversation was engrossing as he told me his origin story.
Born in Taiwan, Brian came over to Canada with his parents with hopes of starting a new life. As he matured in Canada, a very common new Canadian theme arose. Brian was drawn to the arts, but his parents who had given up everything wanted Brian to pursue a career that would “make money”.
So that’s what he did, he put his dreams on hold in order to fulfill his parents wishes. This is where the name of his brand comes from, he’s “entering the game late”. After years of working in and owning a restaurant, Brian took on a better LATrE than never approach, took the plunge and decided to start his own brand against his parents advice.
What’s inspiring about Brian, is that he actually has done what he set out to do. Pushing forty, he really his entering the game late, but when it’s your dream, it doesn’t seem to matter. His brand LATrE is a collection of Rugged Reworked Military wear from the 50’s to the 80’s. He scours different cities for vintage military wear, and then through dies, patchwork and distressing makes each piece his own.
I thought it was pretty cool, because you get to own a piece of history, that been updated to fit a modern time. Every single piece of clothing that Brian works on is at least 10-20 years my senior.
Without sounding preachy, LATrE is a brand that you definitely need to check out, and definitely a local brand you should be supporting.
… Oh yeah, his parents showed up the event, and they were extremely proud, such a great story.
Go check out Brian’s designs at Community 54, and let us know what you think!