A Letter from the Editor
To the average American, Canada represents a handful of things. Stereotypically, you’ve got hockey and maple syrup and apologies. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover the glories of a seven-month ski season, beautifully clean cities, and the home of Swedish Fish (yep, your favorite Swedish sweets hail from a factory in Ontario). The Great North has also blessed us with famous Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds) and famous Williams (Shatner and Arnett). And beyond hollywood stars, they’ve produced a disproportionate number of comedic heavyweights like Jim Carrey, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Aykroyd, Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, and Leslie Nielsen (to name just a few).
As for things Canada has not been known for, we’re pretty sure that fashion has, historically, landed near the top of the list. Sure, the Canucks have a knack for developing high-performance technical outerwear (see: Canada Goose and Arcteryx). But those are probably the only two brands we would have been able to name just a decade ago.
We’re happy to say that in 2016, it’s a different story. Maybe it was the internet (globalization!). Or the cultural shift to toward domestic craftsmanship (The True North strong and free!). Or maybe people just got bored during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Regardless, a sea change took place in the mid-aughts. wings+horns, Naked & Famous, WANT Les Essentiels, Reigning Champ, and Herschel Supply Co all launched within five years of each other (2004-2009, respectively). And since their inception, brands like these (and many others), have been producing highly relevant, functional, and modern menswear items that have made waves down in the States and far into the international market alike.
So, this month’s issue was, initially, an attempt to highlight a handful of brands and storied individuals from the world of style and design from the Great North. And to experience some of the majestic beauty that is Canada’s landscape along the way (a great excuse for a road trip, if we’ve ever had one).
But our search ended up taking us much farther. From Montreal (totally French to a fault) to Toronto (a clean version of New York) to the Scandinavia-like city of Vancouver, we discovered a modern meets western European melting pot of culture spread across a landscape of rugged survival. A place where people and beauty and life is (from a western perspective) at once familiar and foreign. And majestic.
We know we’ve barely scratched the surface, but if you’ve taken a look at a map recently, there’s a good amount of surface to scratch. And as small of a cross-section of life and style as we were able to capture, we loved what we saw. We’re certain you will too.
Ian Deming, Editor-in-Chief