Toronto-based designer, Sean Brown, has had the kind of year many upcoming designers only dream of. Since September 2013- Brown was voted by Toronto Life as one of Toronto’s Best Dressed in 2013 and has had his outerwear brand, NeedsandWants, featured in the most reputable menswear publications out there. GQ – Check, Esquire– yup, Complex– uh huh. Furthermore Canada’s own Sharp for Men mag highlighted NeedsandWants as one of the best Canadian Brands out there, topping a list that included heavy weights like Wings + Horns, Mackage and Reigning Champ.
An unwavering commitment to producing timeless high quality garments, a strong initial vision of the product, and an understanding of the current fashion landscape have all helped Sean Brown and Sid Singh rise to the top of the Canadian fashion design scene.
It’s 11:00 am in the morning. Boris and I wait for the brains behind NeedsandWants – Sean Brown and Sid Singh at a local Toronto Coffee Shop. On cue, the duo make their entrance. Sean is wearing his newly released Blueberry varsity jacket and Sid kills it in the varsity peacoat. After a few pleasantries, we got down to business.
My Initial goal,
of the interview was to try to understand how Brown and Singh managed to create this much hype around their product in such a short time. That question was answered for me as soon as I got an up-close look at the jackets. The jackets are hyped up, because the quality deserves it.
So far every jacket released has been in a Varsity style “[The Varsity Jacket] has always been my favourite piece, there’s just something about a varsity jacket,” Sean tells us. “I was always on the hunt for one in vintage shops and I’ve always been fascinated by the collegiate Ivy/Harvard lifestyle.” The search for the perfect varsity jacket proved to be fruitless for Brown, who decided to make his own and take the varsity jacket to new heights.
The first thing that separates a Needs/ W A N T S jacket apart from other varsity’s is the one leather sleeve- a concept that was devised by Brown right from the start of the design process. “When I took [the initial designs] to the seamstress, [she used to make varsity jackets for Roots] she was so used to doing that format two leather sleeves, roomy body and that traditional fit. I [told her] this is where fashion is going, with slimmer silhouettes, this is where we need to be. She didn’t really understand it at the beginning. When I told her one leather sleeve she was like ‘one leather sleeve? Is is a money thing?’ “ All kidding aside, part of the reason why the Needs/W A N T S jacket has been so well received is due to Brown’s strong commitment to how he wanted a varsity jacket to be designed. “I don’t like when things are time stamped. There needs to be a way we can modernize it, how would someone wear a Varsity Jacket in the year 3000 or in the year 4000? What would that look like? So I thought strip it of logos, make it completely plain and let it speak for itself.”
The jacket does speaks for itself, instantly recognizable and impossibly cool, Needs/ W A N T S now has a range eight jackets in multiple colours and three styles. Ranging in price from $325 to $345 it’s almost ridiculous how inexpensive these jackets are. Especially when you take into consideration that the jackets are hand made and designed in Toronto using only premium leathers and fabrics.
Currently the only place you can score these must have jackets is through Needs/ W A N T S online shop http://