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Canadian sneaker boutique Livestock elevates with {illustrated example

46dad58a230b363543864a3918a62e89?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Vanessa Tam Aug 24, 2016 2:26 am

Established to break the conventional boundaries of streetwear through innovative design and craftsmanship, Illustrated Example is the in house label of Canadian sneaker boutique Livestock.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

With over 10 years of experience retailing, examining, and archiving the best in contemporary streetwear and menswear, it was a natural step for Livestock to start producing their own label that focused on function-driven design. Although the label sources their textiles from all over the world, the team made a commitment from the get go to manufacture their entire line within Canada to ensure an end product created with the highest possible quality.

Celebrating the release of the label’s latest Fall/Winter 2016 collection and lookbook, we had the opportunity to talk with the label’s head designer Kevin Reid about the history of the brand and the inspiration behind their newest season.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

How old is {ie and where did the name initially come from?

In 2008, {i.e. was introduced as a retail experience in Gastown, Vancouver. While other brands adopted more boastful names, Illustrated Example suggested that this was our interpretation of fashion and expressed our humble attitude in this journey. At the time, the goal was to introduce our community to a more sophisticated level of men’s products, one which encapsulated our experiences abroad along with our appreciation for new technology, craftsmanship, functional design, modern art, and a progressively minded culture.

In 2014, {ie was revived as a contemporary clothing label with the same perspective. We love the community we’ve built across Canada over the past 13 years with Livestock. With {ie, we strive to make effective clothing, from a design and cost perspective, giving our customers the best experience possible so they keep coming back. Our collective 30 years of industry experience has influenced us to take a more pragmatic approach that your typical fashion start-up.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

What were your inspirations behind this FW16 collection?

The FW16 collection takes on a tectonic concept, inspired by the layers and panels of the earth’s crust and how they protect the earth’s core. This concept pushed us to approach the season in a different way, maximizing the versatility of a relatively compact collection through styling.

Garments, like each layer of the earth, provide different functions and in combination these layers are optimized to protect the core from various climates and environments. Pairing our Bonded Military Jacket and Insulated Vest is a good representation of this concept. By developing a system using a minimal, insulated vest in combination with an engineered cotton military shell we were able to provide two purposeful garments with two distinct functions as opposed to offering a separate, less versatile, heavy, and insulated parka.

Aesthetically the collection draws inspiration from the Canadian Tundra, a stunning representation of the shifting surface of the earth. The season’s colour palette mostly uses textured greyscales, mossy tones, and heathered brights referencing the igneous rock plates from the Laurentian Plateau.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Why is it important for the label to have all of their products made in Canada?

All of our in-line product is made in Canada, in fact, many of our factories are within walking distance of the HQ. Right from the start, we committed to manufacturing locally, allowing us to work more collaboratively with factories and tightly monitor the manufacturing process. We’re all gear heads at heart so being able to pop over to a factory and work out an issue together is really satisfying and results in a better product.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Ideally, what do you want the label to become known for? Or what do you think the label is already known for?

We’re happy to be carving out an aesthetic and design philosophy that represents us. Our lifestyle is one of unpredictability, we’re active, constantly shifting from city to nature, work to play, active to chill, and it never slows down. We take an engineering approach to casual wear and surprise people with functionality while providing timeless and effortless looks. Our classic Canadian-knit and constructed garments are a prime example of this where we use waterproof pocket bags, marine-grade zippers, and a water-resistant coating on the fleece to give some added versatility to the wardrobe staple.

{illustrated example is unique in another sense, as we are one of few Canadian-made brands to run vertically; selling only through our partner retailer Livestock and online. This allows us to offer garments that are made at the best fleece factory in Canada and use one of the best cotton suppliers in the UK at a fraction of the cost. As more people use our product the awareness for this increases and we’ve been really humbled by the positive feedback. Needless to say, we are excited for the future as we continue to learn and grow.

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

Image: Illustrated Example

{illustrated example products are available to be purchased now both online and at Livestock brick and mortar locations in both Vancouver and Toronto.


46dad58a230b363543864a3918a62e89?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Vanessa Tam
is a writer and editor living and working in Vancouver, BC. Drake lyrics effectively communicate her pop culture relevancy as well as her excellent taste in music.

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