Seeing that this week is Vancouver Fashion Week we thought the best way to kick it off is too feature a few local cats doing big things. I’m talking about the brains behind Hardihood Clothing. Founded by Eric Lam and Howard Yang the company was officially incorporated in 2007. The designers are Angus Wong and Queen Yan.
They started out just wanting to create something that was more than just clothing. They wanted to create a lifestyle; a brand where people did more than just throw clothes on their backs. “We want people to embody Hardihood when they wear our clothing.”
Their first big break came in the winter of 2007, when their Fall/Winter test collection was picked up by The Men’s Club and Mystic in Calgary and from their it started to grow. In the spring/summer of 2008 Hardihood Clothing launched it’s inaugural collection.
Here is the interview I conducted with the boys at Hardihood Clothing:
VcB: All your clothes are made in Canada, which I must give you props for. Ultimately what made you come to that decision and not go to somewhere overseas?
HH: We want to create a line where we can control and oversee all aspects of manufacturing, from the stitching on the collar, prints, down to the sleeves. We would not be able to watch over every detail if we manufactured overseas. Also, by manufacturing locally, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint.
VcB: The brand Hardihood seems to reflect strength and individuality. How does your clothing achieve that and what do you guys do differently to stand out in the crowded fashion market?
HH: It all started with our name Hardihood, which stands for ‘strength’ and ‘the willingness do to what others will not.’ From there, we create bold designs try to create a unique look unparalleled to other brands. Our slogan “I am what you are not,” emphasizes those ideals. In our interviews, press, and shows, we promote our uniqueness and try to do things other brands don’t think of.
VcB: Right now your target seems to be men, could we one day see Hardihood for women?
HH: Hardihood’s first Women’s collection will be debuting Spring/Summer 2010!
VcB: Any plans to take Hardihood to the states or overseas?
HH: In the near future we hope to expand internationally. Being as young as we are, we are still in the process of making Hardihood a household name. We are striving to build our identity and create a persona. As soon as our reputation can speak for itself, we are sure Hardihood will be available wherever you are.
VcB: What do you think about the Vancouver Fashion Scene and how do you see yourself fit in it.
HH: Vancouver is a city that is growing tremendously in terms of fashion, art and design. There is definitely pride when it comes to being a Vancouverite. There is so much going on in this city and so much room to grow; we feel that promoting our brand is like promoting Vancouver. We at Hardihood are striving to be at the forefront of promoting Vancouver’s fashion, art, and design community, giving our west coast and identity and recognition!
VcB: I noticed that Taylor Lautner from Twilight was seen wearing your one of your Tee’s and the photo was plastered all over the gossip network. What was going through your heads when you first saw that?
HH: I was out with friends for a birthday dinner and one of my friends, Dianna, told me she saw a picture of Taylor Lautner wearing a shirt of ours in a magazine. I was in total shock to hear that and didn’t believe it at first. When I got home that night the company searched the internet on every website we could think of to find the images. I felt that the stars aligned! It’s awesome that Taylor Lautner wore the shirt in the first place, but it was such a fluke that the day he went out, the paparazzi followed him and took pictures of him while shopping in LA.
VcB: Going forward where do you see Hardihood clothing?
HH: We are striving to become a global company. We have big dreams at Hardihood. We are trying to build an Empire and hope to expand our clothing line, getting into accessories, jewelry and overall, creating a lifestyle.
VcB: The concept of “Hardihood Familia” is interesting, why that concept and is VcB now part of that familia?
HH: Most brands create a product, sell it, and create more products and hope the cycle continues. However, we at Hardihood look at our consumer base differently, we consider everyone involved as a part of our family, as a part of a community, everyone from the people who don our clothing, to the store owners that sell our goods, to the websites that have enough confidence to talk about us. So, with that being said, VCB is very well a part of our Familia!
VcB: If you could put your clothes on anybody who would it be?
HH: Ideally, we believe anyone can wear our clothing. We promote individuality, and uniqueness. Those who are conscious about how they represent themselves and how they promote themselves, those are the people we want to target. There is no one better suited for Hardihood than another.
VcB: Your logo is so unique and easy to work with have you guys explored getting into the belt and custom fitted hat market?
HH: Our logo is derived from the eternal knot, a Tibetan symbol of longevity, love, harmony, and the essence of Karma. We at Hardihood have yet to get into accessories; however it is a possibility in the near future.
Thanks to Howard, Eric, Angus and Thomas at Hardihood for their time in doing this interview. Also big thanks to the guys for the nine, yes nine tee’s they gave to us to give to you our loyal readers. Check back later today on The Buzz for contest details.