Countless shops, restaurants and influencers have helped to make Toronto one of the trendiest and most fashionable cities recently, and Vogue even dubbed Queen West as the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.
That’s right, we’ve moved past just patting ourselves on the back.
Homegrown labels are also popping up everywhere, their designs telling the world that it’s Toronto’s time. Designers are running with this new-found spotlight, and because people want to represent where they’re from, they are delivering Toronto-inspired product that people are proud to wear.
Here are 13 of our favourite fashionable ways to rep Toronto today.
1. October’s Very Own, 6ix Side Tee $40
OVO (October’s Very Own) is the name of Canadian rapper and songwriter Drake’s record label and brand.
Drake’s latest album is entitled Views From The Six and his newest apparel collection features items with the term “6ix,” which was taken from the famed Toronto area code 416. The term was originally coined by Toronto rapper Jimmy Johnson.
OVO unveiled their 2014 collection at a pop up shop in Toronto and at Drake’s fifth annual OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre. The 6ix collection is now available online at October’s Very Own and at the OVO shop opening soon on Dundas St. West.
2. NORTH, Alpha Jacket, price upon request; email@example.com
Hoto Black and David Boyce bring vibrancy and opulence to meet the underworld of the city. NORTH is nomadic while lending it’s loyalty to where it came from: Toronto. Their products are made in Canada and their designs aspire for global respect.
The Alpha varsity jacket has a slim-fit, black-boiled wool blend with supple calf leather details and slit pocket trim. Features include a YKK aluminum zipper closure, ribbed collar, tonal rib-banded cuffs and hem and is made of 70% wool, 20% polyamide, 10% cashmere. The leather sleeves and details are 100% calf leather and the jacket has a100% silk kasha lining.
As the first piece in the collection, this jacket is an ode to Canada and is to be worn by proud Canadians around the world to rep where we are from. The Alpha Jacket will be released in early 2015.
3. The Legends League, Toronto Made LLegends L/S Shirt $60
TheLegendsLeague is both a creative agency and clothing company based in Toronto. The Toronto Made Legends long sleeve jersey-style shirt pays tribute to our hometown and hockey team.
4. The Get Fresh Company, YYZ Hat $40
One of Toronto’s favorite men’s streetwear boutiques on Queen St. West released their YYZ snapback last April, which has grown to be a serious Toronto staple. The YYZ hat was designed for all those proud Torontonians who are cloud surfers and time travellers; those who see the world and bring back the best it has to offer and contribute to the culture of our city. As YYZ is Toronto Pearson’s airport code, The Get Fresh Company asks Torontonians to wear this hat as their flag.
(Snapbacks with the Billy Bishop Airport code, YTZ, for Porter Airlines flights are coming soon.)
5. 1 LOVE T.O., Original Red Heart Tee $25
In 2009, owners of 1LoveTO.com, Bryan Brock and Tyrone Edwards created a brand that has become synonymous with the city of Toronto. A blog and apparel company and a movement that bridges the gaps between cultures, neighbourhoods, interests and generations. 1 LOVE T.O. is the unifying voice of Toronto and 1LoveTO.com promotes some of the great things coming out of the city.
The 1 LOVE T.O. original t-shirt has quickly become an icon that represents the city of Toronto. It has become so popular that readers from around the world have ordered their own t-shirts to join the movement and support T.O.
6. MNFSTO, T-Dot Snap Back $35
Founded in 2007, the award-winning Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture is one of Canada’s biggest celebrations of hip-hop culture and beyond. Manifesto is a non-profit, youth-powered platform designed to put local artists on the map and unite, inspire and empower diverse communities of young people through arts and culture, year-round.
Last year, Manifesto launched the T-Dot hat with overwhelming sales. With today’s prominence on hometown pride, the T-Dot Snapback is a great way to display your pride in Toronto.
7. ONEMETH, Free Trade Collection Collection; Tanks $35, Tees $40
ONEMETH are creative goods for creative people created by OneMethod, a Toronto-based advertising non-agency, of sorts. And within the walls of OneMethod lives the MethLab, an incubator that nearly burns down their office every day of the week. Nearly. The Lab is known for creating La Carnita, mixtapes, and now ONEMETH Creative Goods.
The FREE TRADE Collection is a celebration of Canada and America – united. Each design aims to dissolve borders and restrictions to promote the free flow of culture and ideas. The collection is inspired by love for where we’re from and where we go.
8. YYZ Clothing, Standby Travel Backpack $550
YYZ Clothing is a Toronto-based brand with global influence, focusing on quality apparel and accessories.
They recently introduced their limited edition collection ‘REMIX’, which includes The Standby Knapsack. This knapsack has created a buzz around the world as it is perfect for jetsetters. The deluxe travel backpack contains ample room to securely check in all your electronic carry-on devices. It is made with 100% genuine Roots Canada leather with an iconic Gold Roots Canada stamp of authenticity.
9. The Four One Six, White Tee $24.99
The Four One Six Clothing Co. was created by Jermaine Finn and is a Toronto-based clothing company targeting the “Proud Torontonian,” offering t-shirts, tank tops and snapbacks.
The Four One Six is looking to differentiate itself as a Canadian brand by separating from a CN tower-centric design focus featured on many Toronto designs. By representing the city as a whole and not just focusing on one aspect, Jermaine has managed to create a brand that represents a whole community.
10. Tuck Shop Trading Co, City of Neighbourhoods Toque $38
In 2013, Lyndsay Borschke developed Tuck Shop Trading Co., a luxe yet cozy brand consisting of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories for both men and women. The line was inspired by her current lifestyle, one spent between the city and cottage. Made to last, the garments and accessories are designed in Canada and solely manufactured in North America.
11. Roots, Explore Canada Slim Sweatpant $78
In 1973, Michael Budman and Don Green created Roots. They were inspired by their passion for Ontario’s Algonquin Park and everything it represented for them. An iconic Canadian company, Roots evolved from producing footwear to include genuine leather bags, jackets, accessories, natural fiber clothing and home furnishings.
The nature, culture, sports and human diversity of Canada has always been a major source of inspiration at Roots. It’s an intrinsic part of the company, starting with the company’s official name (Roots Canada Ltd.), logo (a Canadian beaver) and birthplace (Toronto). Roots employs more than 1,500 people in Canada and contributes to the employment of thousands more through their work with suppliers and other activities.
The Explore Canada Slim Sweatpants are designed to commemorate our Canadian heritage. They are a slim fit and proudly made in Canada.
12. Since 95, The Playoff Tee $20
Two long-time Raptors, fans Andrew Kong and Jeff Cheng, created unofficial Toronto Raptors gear during the playoffs this year under the name Since 95. The simple t-shirts feature the names of the Raptors starting lineup. As they began selling, they came up with a few other designs, including a version of the lineup shirt that includes Drake, the team’s global ambassador.
Some big names have even picked up the threads: Amir Johnson, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas all have the lineup shirts.
13. Thank You Toronto, Toque $19.99
What was once just a simple Instagram account sharing the wonderful pictures of Toronto turned into a growing community with over 20,000 followers. Founders Neil Wong and Sean Wong had an idea to use the #ThankYouToronto community to make a positive change through their in-house campaign and line of fashion products; For Every Purchase, We Feed One Person.
Thank You Toronto also works with local businesses and large companies to pay it forward with the #ThankYouToronto movement by creating joint venture campaigns including KISS 92.5, BLOGTO, Breakfast Telvision, Bike Share Toronto, and Fran’s Restaurants, to name a few.
The Thank You Toronto Toque/Beanie is 10″ in length, allowing for that comfy relax, slouched style or the modest folded up look with a Thank You Toronto double-stitched embroidered tag that works both ways.