The Canadian fashion industry should be nurtured, supported and celebrated. It has never been more important to shop local from brands that are designing, manufacturing, and retailing close to home. Canada is home to some of the world’s most talented photographers, producers, filmmakers, stylists and designers, so we’re celebrating incredible talent born and bred right here that have put cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on the style map.
We’re pleased to introduce our new blog series My Canadian Closet, where we’re talking to some of our favourite creatives and discussing which Canadian designers have made an impact on their wardrobe.
First up is world-renowned filmmaker, director and photographer Justin Wu. Originally from Toronto, Justin has worked with some of the biggest brands, celebrities and publications. From Vogue, Elle and GQ to Dior, Victoria Beckham, Susan Sarandon and Joaquin Phoenix, Justin is producing incredible work. Recently, he shot an official awareness campaign for the United Nations of Human Rights.
Justin Wu’s work with Drew Ray Tanner, Mazarine, Dior Makeup
Which Canadian designers do you feel inspired by?
Greta Constantine by Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. Also, Mikhael Kale stands out to me immediately.
What is it that draws you to these designers?
I love how they reinvent themselves every season and take bold steps to never repeat themselves. They take a theme and run with it rather than follow any classic convention, somehow they always magically create very cohesive collections with unexpected elements. After having lived in Paris and New York for almost a decade, seeing their work internationally also gives me a sense of pride and joy to observe such talented Canadians break into larger markets and succeed.
If you could pick one Canadian item in your wardrobe to talk about, which would it be?
As a fan of athleisure and minimalism, one of my go-to items has to be a black Elroy quilted hooded jacket by Nobis.
Justin Wu wearing his Nobis jacket
How does this item make you feel when wearing it?
There’s a certain sense of Canadian pride as the brand is also from my hometown, Toronto. Not only is it stylish and immensely comfortable, but I feel great knowing that Nobis is a brand that cares about people. They act as allies and they take action to support various causes. Just recently, up until April when COVID was at its peak here, they donated 100% of all sales (not profits, but the full purchase price!) site-wide to the Red Cross COVID-19 Global Appeal as well as five local Canadian hospitals.
When do you like to wear this piece? Is it an everyday staple of yours or do you wear it on special occasions?
I find that it’s fitting for any occasion from going to work on set to formal events. It’s become an everyday staple and a transition piece that’s also suitable for all seasons.
When you think of this item, does a specific memory stick out?
I wouldn’t say that it evokes a certain memory, but the ethos of the brand has always been to take you places. As I live a dynamic life and I travel often for work, it gives me peace of mind knowing that wherever I go, this item will always be there to keep me warm and chic.
Stay tuned for more Canadian creatives discussing their favourite local designers and don’t forget to check out all of the talent featured in this blog and show them your support!