The buzz of anticipation for Vancouver’s favorite season is well underway. Festival tickets have long since been on sale, we’ve had a few beach worthy April days, and most retail stores will be stocking up for Spring and better yet, high Summer. In particular, the seasonal collection release of a certain local menswear brand has definitely contributed to this hype.
London Alexander, a locally made contemporary men’s brand that has been on Vancouver fashion radar (and as far as Montreal’s radar) only since 2012 has truly proven a staple collection that should be in every man’s closet. It also goes to show the power of a business vision and an idea. Once you just put yourself on the hook and take the plunge, amazing results will flourish. Just having released its Spring/Summer 2015 collection a hot minute ago, I took the time to catch up with the mind behind the artwork.
The brand was founded three years ago out of London Alexander’s aunt’s garment studio, a seamstress and designer by the name Donna Alexander who dedicated the majority of her career to the prêt-à-porter. One day she challenged London to design a sweater pattern that together, they brought to life. This is something that continues to amaze London, “I still love the magic that comes from watching a flat image mold into a three-dimensional garment that people can wear as their own”. A Squamish native, London used this family knowledge and respect for the garment industry as well as help from other mentors (and friends), like pattern maker Aaron Olson, as to eventually continue through a world full of textiles, art, and business himself. London discusses the influence of his hometown in the Fall and Winter collections, as he has “always been drawn to an outdoor, west coast aesthetic…with our colour palette, fabrication and attention to detail.” These colours definitely trend to a west coast feel, with neutral blues and olive greens that prominently pave our surroundings.
London’s legacy behind his collections is to “provide a collection of shirting and complimentary specialty pieces… essentially, staple garments that can be paired together and worn interchangeably, regardless if you’re building a single outfit, or curating a wardrobe”. A contribution to the minimal and interchangeable has proven a successful selling point for boutiques and stores to the city, London has been very appreciative about his opportunity to collaborate with apparels like Still Life, Eugene Choo and Nouvelle Nouvelle to name a few. It is no surprise to see a direct success from London, he does express that was he’s learned through starting a business that it is best “to have a direct viewpoint, to keep it simple, and to be on time”.
Here is some inspo info that London took the time to provide me regarding the SS15 collection:
What has been different about creating this collection?
This collection came really naturally. I had never focused my design on high-summer before, so it was a fresh approach when I started.
What are some things that your shoppers should look for in the garments?
Color blocking, shades of cool grey, tones of blue and olive green with pops of red and micro prints. There’s always nice, subtle interior contrasting and detailing on our garments.
Have you introduced any new textiles?
Our Spring Fling Pant is a viscose spandex blend which gives the customer a luxurious breathable, hybrid jogger look with the comfort of classic cotton sweats.
How does it feel when the collection is pretty well ready and about to be launched?
Relief! Its can be such a large and hectic process getting it all together, that it’s a bit of a blur until I get to look over our finalized lookbook. That’s always my favorite part of the season, seeing how all of the looks have come together!
What inspirations may we find behind this collection?
It’s tailored basics with a sport-luxe feel. We’ve combined cottons and bamboo with ultra wearable tech elements, all under our timeless contemporary look.
Check out the lookbook and stockists via his website.