Is this Menswear?

Top 10 Fashion Influencers of 2014

10. Viberg

I got my first pair of Viberg Boots in 2013, I got my second pair of Vibergs in 2014. There are a few things I own that I want to wear everyday. They may also be the only things I own that could handle being worn everyday. There is an awe when looking down at your Viberg boots. You have a sense of history. Made in Victoria, since 1939. Unlike sneakers that capture just a fraction of our time, here you find a product that is constructed with such quality and intrinsic value, that it adds beauty to life. Ed Viberg would be very proud of his family and their commitment to a higher standard.

9. Zippers

Ok… Design fundamentals. If you are designing an item with a zipper, it is imperative that it is a two way zipper. Nothing makes me more angry than zip-up sweatshirts/ bomber jackets with one-way zips. In reality you could have spent 30 cents more and made a product better. But now you have left your consumer with an imperfect product just because you rushed through your design process.

8. Supreme

As a retailer, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to release a product and have it sell out within seconds. For myself, I look past the hype that surrounds Supreme and look more towards their core values. They offer an extremely well designed and made product at an extremely fair value. Their control of manufacturing production and promotion is unreal. Supreme represents a Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s more than just fashion its lifestyle, it’s a culture. And the red box logo moves from a logo to an icon.

7. A$AP Rocky

This last year (’14) has seen a lot of talk about Kanye West and his looming presence in the world of fashion. While he may be guiding a generation (Hypebeast's), his influence is very much surface level. Where as A$AP Rocky has been behind the rise and fall of the street wear market. The rise of Hood By Air, the rise and fall of #Been Trill# are both heavily in-debt to Mr. Rocky. There are few music artists whom music videos lead to conversations and lists of clothing worn. It is his ability to mix street wear with runway men’s fashion that really drives his ability to influence the greater menswear market. 

6. Nike

People have said that 2014 was the year of Adidas - between Stan Smith’s, Kanye West, Y3, Rick Owens, etc. In reality, they are still playing little brother to the true kings of sneakers: Nike. This year was no different. Nike is the provider for the best athletes in our world. From Air Jordan, to Air Max, and Flyknits, the future of technical footwear Nike is far in the lead. Yes, from a collaboration point of view they aren’t providing the same caliber of creativity in design, but as a leader of an industry they are holding true to their vision of providing the top-level product.

5. Four-Pins

I have always created more content than I consume. Honestly, I spend more time reading local news, than I ever do towards searching out fashion content. That said, I do check Four-Pins daily. The style is very satirical in nature and shows how strong their community reaches from coast to coast. Although very much centred in New York City, they do show a somewhat diverse range of content. I would really recommend posts by Jon Moy my favourite of the Four-Pins writing crew. 

4. wings+horns

2014 saw the ten year anniversary of wings+horns. I owe so much of my career to this Vancouver based brand. Just the idea that clothing could be made in British Columbia, to the idea that a brand could not only survive, but thrive in the world-wide marketplace. This year was celebrated by some of the most amazing collaborations over the company’s history. Viberg, New Balance, Canada Goose, Danner, Porter, George Cox, Ken Diamond, Nanamica / Ace Hotel, and Justian Rivard. It was another amazing year for our friends over in Vancouver. 

3. Engineered Garments

I started designing clothing out of a necessity. At the time I was working at a shop that had been carrying EG but was dropping the line. I had become addicted to well-made casual menswear. The idea that something should be designed and made to a higher level and standard, is always at the base of my design process. Thank you Engineered Garments. 

2. The Bureau Belfast

While Trés Bien is often talked about as the “best menswear shop” personally I feel that The Bureau Belfast is far too often overlooked. Established in 1989, they represent a true testament to what a menswear store could and should be. Their brand list is stunning and personally the style and aesthetic is near perfect. Their online shop is flawless. Their fashion direction really encapsulates where my head is around menswear and what kind of products customers should want to have. While we were setting up the shop, I really looked up to The Bureau as a leader in the industry above all others.

1. Mother Nature

If there is one thing influencing fashion more than any factor, it is Mother Nature who knows how to hand it out. The major factors I look at when getting dressed are what the weather is today, and what have I worn over the past few days. If it wasn't for weather changing we wouldn’t search out different items for different environments. And that’s what makes fashion, fashion and style, style. It’s about being in a place in time. Prepared for anything but looking as if it was just as simple as it is everyday.