WHAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR LABEL:
esntl. Apparel (pronounced essential)
ARE YOU A CURRENT STUDENT OR RECENT GRADUATE?
WHAT UNIVERSITY DID YOU ATTEND?
McGill University (graduated in 2013)
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELVES
Bobby and I met while studying at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec Canada. We are both huge fans of hockey, snowboarding, and playing chess.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR TIME STUDYING…
While in Montreal we had an awesome time taking in the nightlife, culture, and of course the hockey. Although we definitely learned some valuable things from our time in school, I believe the greatest lessons we learned were more of a by-product of the people we met and experiences we had.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO FASHION?
Both Bobby and I have always been interested in fashion and manufacturing, however, never really saw ourselves as fashion designers. After Bobby came back to school after a semester abroad studying in China and I returned from a semester hiatus, we decided that we never wanted to be stuck in some boring, unfulfilling desk job. Bobby had this pair of harem pants he had bought in China that we decided we would re-create and sell. That decision marked the beginning of our descent down the rabbit hole and although we never made those pants (yet), roughly a year after those early talks we officially launched esntl. Apparel.
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS AS A DESIGNER?
Our aspirations as designers are directly related to our philosophy to continue making the highest quality, exclusive menswear that allows for the customer to have creative liberty through customization. Currently, we are introducing customization through our signature pocket tees, however, we would eventually like to have customization as a feature for many more garments. Ultimately, we aspire to consistently create menswear from the highest quality materials, superb craftsmanship, and an unyielding attention to detail. These are the garments we create. Often more but never less.
WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS
Our greatest influences/inspirations as designers definitely come from just observing and engaging with the world around us.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A STATEMENT?
The esntl. brand is built around our desire to champion uniqueness and individuality. That’s why all esntl. Apparel garments are limited edition or customizable. Restricting each unique design to a small production batch guarantees our customers that they own a garment few others ever will. Limited edition, unlimited potential.
DESCRIBE THE STAGES OF YOUR DESIGN PROCESS FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION
Our ‘Original Six’ Collection was esntl. Apparel’s first product release. We initially came up with the idea to do a run of limited edition pocket tees while in our winter semester at McGill. After we came up with the concept we had a pattern maker in Montreal mock up our first version, next we sourced bamboo/organic cotton from British Columbia. After we had our base material we took to the streets of Toronto (notably Queen St. West) and curated a variety of different materials we thought would make awesome patches. With all of our materials ready we had our seamstress Tina make up some early samples, did some wash tests and minor tweaking, and then assesmbled the tees. Once we had the shirts ready we went back to Montreal and had three gorgeous McGill girls model for our look book which was shot in the theme of girls stealing their boyfriends’ shirts.
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