I loved reading the Globe’s article (following) about “Performance / Athleisure / Urban Athletic” clothing / fashion. Imagine, an article about Canadian companies that are globally recognized (Lulu Lemon), involve billionaires (Chip Wilson), tread on high fashion’s edgiest websites such as “stylezeitgeist.com, (arc’teryx), and have won recognition from the W.G.S.N. the globally followed fashion forecasting agency from London, England, (RYU – Respect Your Universe). All they needed to add in was Canada Goose, and one might not have to imagine, but actually take hold of the thought, that, CANADIANS CAN. To really push that point, please realize that both Lulu Lemon and Kit and Ace sit well placed along Toronto’s “Mink Mile” along with Chanel and Louis Vuitton, recognize also that Canada Goose has it’s own year round residence in tony “Holt Renfrew” along the same strip, as well as a place in the new Saks Fifth Avenue destination spot in the Eaton’s Center and remember that Canada Goose also sits in Colette (Paris) and Kit and Ace are opening retail in New York. The “Performance / Athleisure / Urban Athletic” categories are of major importance and recieve recognition in the Twenty First Century world of fashion and stand right up there with the other categories. Fashion is not just made in Paris by the French any more. Perhaps these clothes don’t stalk the catwalk, but that world is quickly changing, and recognition today is moving toward real clothes worn by real people as well as those of the designer labelled, as being FASHION.
The world recognizes the work of CANADIANS, especially when it is attached to the great outdoors of which we have in more abundance than almost any other country on the planet and are recognized for, so why not embrace it. Roots has done it for decades, and yes I know both Roots and Canada Goose have major USA investment dollars, but they still carry our CANADIAN message (if there isn’t money enough here then why not find it elsewhere). And yes you might argue that functional clothes are not fashion, but isn’t that what North American fashion has built it’s name on, and been copied globally for, since WWII: can you say sportswear, denim, and t shirts? We have had more than one winner recognized even in Canada in the coat department: Shelley Wickabrod and Bernard McGee of Clotheslines for their famous “Trench”, Linda Lundstrom’s “La Parka” and Hilary Radley’s complete line of coats every season, but we don’t seem to want to realize this is fashion because we actually need to wear them. We constantly moan “Canada has no place in fashion” and that our classic icons such as the Maple Leaf and the Cold Weather and our blankets and our parkas are embarrassments, but that is not quite true, is it? The Hudson’s Bay has many times worked with “fashion designers’ to restyle their famous striped blanket into current best fashion sellers that have been worn and copied internationally and the Maple Leaf emblazoned, red and white coloured fashions for our Canadian Athletes, the work of Dean and Dan Caten for D Squared, have been recognized as among the most outstanding in the Brazilian Olympic Games Parade of Athletes attire.
We do have a place and our iconography is magnificent, it needs no change or shying away from. Others love us for it. So, as we stand up and cheer for Our CANADIAN Athletes, Olympic and otherwise, WE CAN also stand up and cheer for our CANADIAN FASHION players! I AM CANADIAN, and so are you, ice in our veins and all!
VANCOUVER’S PERFORMANCE UPGRADE
British Columbia’s active lifestyle has spawned two generations of West Coast athleisure labels. Marsha Lederman highlights the brand names to know the next time you’re getting dressed for the gym, brunch or a volleyball game on Copacabana beach