fashion brands

10 startup fashion brands in Toronto you need to know

Toronto-based fashion brands aren't hard to come by - it feels like there's a new one turning up every single day. More local labels aren't just based in the city; they're also designed, manufactured, and distributed right in our backyard. Plus, many of them are partnered with non-profits for a particular cause. The future of Toronto fashion is mindful - not maliciously marked up or mass-marketed.

Here are some startup fashion brands based in Toronto you need to know.

Heir
Heir launched a couple of months ago as the kids' line of your streetwear dreams. The brand offers luxury, made-in-Canada basics in an array of neutral colours. Available online and in-store at affiliate boutique Get Fresh Company, the practical pieces are must-haves for any hip-and-with-it parent.

NTHNG
Founded in 2012, NTHNG is a menswear label of everyday basics with an avant-garde twist. Brushed cotton tees, hand-dyed baseball caps and draped trousers are among their made-in-Canada offerings; find regular drops of new limited edition pieces online, or select items in-store at Community 54.

Uncuffed
Uncuffed is an accessories brand I first fell in love with after seeing pieces on Helder Diego's fall/winter 2016 runway. Crafted from mindfully sourced leathers, the chokers, harnesses, and flower crowns are handmade in Toronto by one-woman machine Olga Barsky. Leather straps and gold hardware have a typically aggressive look, but Uncuffed's are somehow wonderfully delicate.

Quill & Tine
Born in 2012 in the depths of a Canadian winter, Quill & Tine combines fashion and technology in their luxury leather touchscreen gloves. With a wide array of styles for both men and women, the gloves are designed and made in a Toronto studio with artisanal care. At $95-$240 a pop, they're not a bad investment for a tenacious texter or Instagram junkie.

Coup de Tête
Coup de Tête is a bespoke hat label. Hat maker Jay Mitchell and leather smith Ryan Tavares came together to offer one-of-a-kind handmade pieces for the truly unique wearer. Available via private appointment, Coup de Tête hats are dyed, shaped, burnt, and embellished to the customer's delight starting at $300.

Tenfed
Tenfed is a local label that gives back. In fact, it gives back by a tenfold. For every item sold - including a cheeky t-shirt reading "iGIVAFCK" - ten meals are provided to hungry children across the globe via Kids Against Hunger Canada. Since launching last year, they've given over 25,000 meals and aren't slowing down any time soon.

Potrol
Potrol launched last year to offer "badass statement pieces" for the girl (or guy) on the go. Their holster-inspired purses handmade from leather and faux leather are currently available online only, but vary in price point ($50 - $150) and colour.

Saltwater Collective
Saltwater Collective is on a mission to save the oceans. Climate change, over-fishing, and pollution have affected about 96% of the earth's waters. Through lounge and swimwear (made in Toronto using materials and processes mindful of the environment), the brand makes donations to Oceana in support of their ocean conservation efforts around the globe.

Devlyn Van Loon
Devlyn Van Loon is a minimalistic womenswear brand lovingly handmade in Toronto. With waste reduction and sustainability in mind, the products are designed and fabricated to remain long-lasting keepsakes in the wardrobe. Find Devlyn Van Loon in various stockists across Toronto, including Coal Miner's Daughter and Distill.

Futu
One of the quirkier brands on this list, Futu is a clothing label inspired by the art of Kung Fu. Pieces like sports jackets and simple t-shirts are emblazed with text and images of the beauty, power, energy, and enlightenment associated with Kung Fu.

Photo via Devlyn Van Loon.


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