2016 was a great year for Canadian brands as this was the year that many of these brands received the recognition that they rightfully deserve. With quality products and amazing aesthetics, these Canadian brands proved that they belong and they are forcing you to pay attention.
Started in 2004, wings+horns has been one of the staples of the Canadian fashion industry with their amazing products and creative designs. With inspirations from the Canadian landscapes & Japanese innovations, wings+horns provides the best of both worlds. In addition to their own collections, they were able to work on numerous collaborations throughout the year, from their work with New Balance to their collaboration with adidas Originals. Their adidas collaboration is one of the most underrated collections of the year featuring two clean shoe models, full range of clothing, as well as accessories such as a utilitarian bag and woven beanies. They were also able to collaborate with the Japanese outerwear company Descente ALLTERRAIN on the Mizusawa Down Parka.
What a year for this Vancouver-based brand with two of the most hyped Canadian collaborations of 2016. Since 2007, Reigning Champ has been the go-to premium athletic wear brand for those in the know with their CYC production, and 2016 was the year that the rest of the world, not just Canada, began to take notice. They kicked off the year with their Mitchell & Ness collaboration, the 2016 NBA All-Star collection, featuring a full range of clothing and accessories to commemorate the NBA All-Star game in Toronto, the first held outside of the USA. Reigning Champ then finished off the year with one of the best & most sought-after collaborations of the year in their collection with adidas Athletics. Their adidas collaboration included clothing pieces incorporating unique fabrics such as french terry & spacer mesh, and the footwear pieces speak for themselves. They also collaborated with New Balance and ASICS Tiger on two separate collections which both featured Reigning Champ’s signature monochromatic look.
Canada Goose is arguably one of the most popular outerwear brands in the world, let alone Canada. There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of international attention that the brand has been receiving throughout the year, with stamps of approval ranging from the USA to the increasing popularity of the brand throughout Asia. Canada Goose has been able to grow with their high quality products and the opening of their two new flagship stores in Toronto and New York City. In addition to their own collections, their versatility with their collaborative projects have opened the eyes of a new audience. Their collaborations range from individuals such as Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, to a major fashion house such as Vetements.
Arc’teryx is an outdoor brand, based out of Vancouver, found in 1989 by local climbers. Their outerwear products are some of the best in the market, especially for those dealing with weather conditions of all types. Their combination of engineering and production allow for amazing products that have become world renowned, evident by their flagship stores in Vancouver, New York City, Washington D.C., Tokyo, as well as Shanghai. Arc’teryx was another brand that took advantage of the wave of collaborations in 2016 with their involvement in the Japanese retailer BEAMS’ 40th anniversary collection as well as their collaborative work with American retailer Concepts.
Atelier New Regime is not new to the Canadian streetwear scene and they can be seen as one of the staples of the ever-growing Canadian streetwear scene. The guys over at Atelier New Regime have been putting in work since day one and the grand opening of their first flagship store in Montreal in early 2016 can be seen as the product of all of their hard work. With the help of Shopify, Atelier New Regime was able to secure a booth at the inaugural ComplexCon which was one of the most popular events of 2016. Their year also included a capsule collection with Off the Hook, a boutique in Montreal, featuring a full range of clothing, as well as a collaborative project with Lugz featuring the Empire Hi boots in Atelier New Regime’s signature “Shock Orange” colourway. They have been getting co-signs from the likes of Fabolous & Jazz Cartier, with their sleeveless quilted tactical vest being one of the most unique pieces of 2016.
The Legends League, or ideaLL as some will remember it as, is one of the most iconic Canadian streetwear brands of all-time along with its founder, Bryan Espiritu. The year was kicked off with the grand opening of their first retail store in downtown Toronto, named the Legends League Sweatshop, and the continuous success of the brand can be seen through their steady stream of highly sought after items. Along with Atelier New Regime, The Legends League was another brand that was able to secure a booth at the inaugural ComplexCon with the help of Shopify. There is a reason that this brand has such a strong following and it’s not simply because many of the products are made in Canada, it’s because Bryan has been able to connect with his followers in a truly unique fashion that most brands simply cannot replicate.
Give it up to Drake & everyone over at OVO one time. They have been able to turn what seemed to be a merchandise line into a full fledged clothing brand with a wide array of clothing pieces, as well as accessories. It began as a collection of sweatshirts and t-shirts, but through the years, they have incorporated flannels, outerwear, cargo pants, hats, and more. Along with the growth of the collection, they have also been opening up flagships beginning with the Toronto location in 2014, and most recently, the grand opening of their location in New York City in December 2016. They also continued their relationship with Canada Goose with two collaborative projects in 2016 starting with the Timber Shell Jacket release in spring followed by the special edition Chilliwack Bomber in winter. Along with the Canada Goose collaboration, they also continued their relationship with Roots Canada with the launch of the October’s Very Own collection.
Raised by Wolves continued to prove that they are one of the premier Canadian streetwear brands throughout 2016. They kicked off the year with one of the strongest & hardest to get Vans collaboration of the year with the February release of the Vans x Raised by Wolves x Off the Hook pack featuring the Sk8-Hi LX & the Old Skool Zip LX. The collaborative project with Vans reflected their commitment to creating products suitable for the Canadian weather and their own collections also share the same commitment.