We moved our offices last December from Chabanel street (otherwise known as the fashion district in Montreal) to an area not too far from there that feels really different. The streets in our new neighborhood are bordered with grass so it’s easy to step out and get some fresh air, eat your lunch seating on a rock or take a moment to relax outside. After 8 years spent on paved streets, I must say this new address makes me appreciate these simple pleasures. Given the incredible summer weather we’ve been experiencing the past couple of days, I decided to step out and take some pictures of our Dean backpack around the block this afternoon. The Dean has been one of our favorites recently: it’s so simple and practical, and yet we love the sharp lines. It’s also great on a bike, so when we were experimenting with the recycled rubber from bicycle tires, it made sense to try the material on this style. What you see in the pictures is a development sample of the style for our Fall 13 collection, one of these prototypes we use to test our ideas. We changed it a little bit after that, maybe we’ll use this sample for one of our giveaways.
Today is May 1, celebrated in over 80 countries as May Day or International Workers’ Day, and it seems like the perfect excuse to tell you about someone’s work that I greatly admire. I recently acquired one of these great coffee table books (… if you know me, you know I collect them even though I don’t own a coffee table). This particular one is called a “Photographer’s life” and covers the work of photographer Annie Leibovitz from 1990 to 2005.
Although the book features portraits of well-known figures like Johnny Cash, Nelson Mandela or Michael Jordan, what’s most striking is that Leibovitz included personal pictures along with her assignment work—she chronicles celebrations and heartbreaks of her large family, making the book incredibly raw and emotional. She writes in the introduction to the book: “when young photographers ask me what they should do, I always tell them to stay close to home”.
Today, photography is everywhere, but looking at the immense talent of someone that does it professionally and so passionately, I couldn’t help but think about what it means to live/work beautifully.
We really enjoy pieces that can be worn by both genders. When we introduced our travel bag, the Raylan, in our men’s 2012 collection, it seemed like women could not get enough of it. The appeal might have been the same as a worn-in pair of jeans or that perfect shirt you want to steal from you-know-who, it just struck a cord. The following season, we were looking to add another piece to the collection that had the same vibe and functionality, but smaller in shape so that people would be able to carry it everyday (because you know, we want you to carry them all the time). We pictured an adventurous person wearing it, someone that carries a lot of life with them, literally and figuratively. The bag is just the right size for you to pack half of your belongings inside and take them with you everywhere. We named it Jack after Kerouac, not only because he’s originally from our beloved province of Quebec, but also because the spirit in his writings will never cease to inspire us.
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road.