Friday, October 15, 2010

JOE Fresh lands in Vancouver

This week marks the opening of the first free-standing JOE store in Western Canada. For those of you who are not familiar with the brand,  JOE Fresh is a Canadian high style - low price clothing label started by Joseph Mimran who is also the Creative Director of the brand.  In one of my interviews with Mimran, I've asked him what is JOE about. He said "JOE is about new product, fresh price. That's what I want people to remember." And after this weekend, I think many people will get to see and understand what he meant. 

Paulo Vallejo of ISTYLEU and Joseph Mimran, Creative Director for JOE Fresh
Shot at LG Fashion Week, Toronto Canada 2009
Photo by
Darryl Humprhey

I went on opening day to check out what menswear they had available. This place is spacious at 14,000 sq ft and 2 floors. The experience from the time you walk in to the time you left was amazing. I wasn't disappointed.

They had trend pieces like slim denim jeans to great classic pieces like wool double breasted peacoats and cotton v-necks. The mens area was exceptionally well merchandised. The staff was friendly. And the fact that they had tills on both floors made it easy to shop. 

Some key finds:

  • Cotton Cardigan - $29
  • Wool Pea Coat - $89
  • Cotton V-Neck Sweater - $29
  • Dress Trouser - $39
  • Slim Dark Wash Denim Jean - $39
  • Basic Tee - $5

The store's grand opening is tomorrow October 16. Make sure to check out the street party from 2-6pm with performances from Divine Brown, Marianas Trench and many more. This free concert will be happening on the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir, which will only be open to pedestrian traffic.

Have fun. Happy shopping. And I look forward to hearing your stories.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Time Travel with Prophetik Menswear at Vancouver Eco Fashion Week

"Why present genuine ideas & true character if artificial ones are more effective in the marketplace of power? There is a war at hand between the balance of the needs of the individual and the needs of the community between freedom and order between passions and principles between selfish desires and stewardship short term verses long term. Community needs leadership either steer the changes shaping the vision or be steered by the changes thus leading to dysfunction. We can either wait for change to be imposed upon us and so increase the risk of catastrophe or we can make some difficult changes on our own terms and so reclaim control of our destiny. The glittering blinding promise of easy fulfillment is so seductive that we become willing to forget our true feelings and abandon the search for authentic purpose and meaning in our lives but the promise is always false because the hunger for authenticity remains."

If you asked fashion industry experts where they would find the next big thing or the next big designer, you'd probably hear  the usual cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Milan or Paris. Who knew that a American civil war town whose population is about 55,000 could produce a designer whose impeccable attention to detail and forward thinking will be admired for years to come. American designer Jeff Garner’s Prophetik, a men’s and women's line has that theatrical, romantic and renaissance feel that you only see in film, plays or musicals. 

Out of Franklin, Tennessee this line blows my mind away with a number of pieces that can either be worn as separates or as a whole ensemble. In talking to Jeff Garner, he casually mentions that "the goal is not necessarily to have guys wear and look like everything on the runway but rather for them to take pieces from the collection and individualizing it by combining it with what one already has." The clothes are all made out of organic natural fabrics which are dip-dyed with botanically derived pigments. 

Seeing brands Prophetik take a bold step in eco-menswear gives me hope for future. "The trigger for change is education" according to Garner. "We all have dress behaviors which come from what we see in the media and our own social environments. We pick it up and make it our own. If we are educated on eco-conscious options, we can make the right choices." 

Jeff and I also got talking about the marketability of the line. People who saw the show are probably wondering whether guys would actually buy it. Its eccentric, unique and non-conventional. And Garner's response to that is "Men buy visually. They want to see it merchandised on mannequins or worn by other men. I don't expect men to dress like me or like the models on the runway. I want them to see the pieces, inspire them, and make it their own." 

There's also a health benefit to wearing eco-menswear. In his powerful video, Jeff talks about a sample maker who gets sick from inhaling fibers from non-organic and chemically dyed fabrics. This just proves there's more to the article of clothing we wear that as individuals we don't know about. 

I loved everything about this line from the looks to the actual pieces. To Jeff and Prophetik, I look forward to your success. 

Here are my favorites:

Photos by Peter Holst


Last week, Vancouver played host to its first Eco Fashion Week.Its very rare to see menswear in the area of organic fashion. When you do see it, its usually done either really well or it just becomes a poor attempt at being eco-friendly.This season we saw a brand from Sao Paolo, Brazil make some of my favorite trend and classic pieces fashion-forward not only in terms of design, but also in quality. 

Welcome EDEN! Born in Brazil's largest city, EDEN is a100% organic fashion label for menswear. All garments are made with organic cotton and dyed with natural pigments free from harmful chemical products. A joint venture between YD Confections and Coexis, the company promotes the use of organic cotton through partnerships with farmers organizations, coops and the fashion industry. Why wear a t-shirt or a pair of denim jeans made of organic cotton as oppose to your non-organic one from your favorite label? Here's why according to 

"Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of insecticides on 3 percent of our arable land. That adds up to 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to produce enough cotton for a t-shirt, and 3/4 of a pound for a pair of jeans. And that's just not bad for the planet; 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)."

Regina Landim Noppe of Green Sapphire Imports, the exclusive North America distributor for EDEN enlightened me on the brand, the line and purpose behind EDEN. "This season for Eden is called Organic Ocean. Inspired by colors from the ocean like sandy whites, sea foam green and sea blues, the line ebbs and flows with a mix of classic and trendy elements. All products are 100% organic and made using sustainable practices. Most importantly, we are NOW (Natural Organic World) certified which guarantees that all the raw materials used in the production of organic cotton comply with international organic standards." 

And with the ocean inspiration Landim-Noppe mentioned, the show couldn't have been more calming and inspiring. The colors and the fact that there were cool clothes on the runway made with eco-friendly materials and sustainable production practices, brought a sense of excitement in this new area of menswear. 

Look out for EDEN in your North American city soon. For more information, visit EDEN here.

Here were my favorites

Striped Deep V-Neck, Distressed Denim Jeans

SeaFoam Green Denim Jean

Double Button Slouched Polo, Chili Red Trousers
Stone Gray Tie-Dyed V-Neck

Sandy White Harem Pant 
All photos by Kris Krug