Posted on March 4
Vonhguard: Quebec-Style Urban Fashion
In a fashion sector dominated by logos, they mainly want to establish themselves through their style. Recently winner of an excellence award by Black Designers of Canada, Vonhguard is making his mark, particularly in Quebec, where the makers are based.
It was in 2018 that Vonhguard – a name inspired by the old French ‘vanguard’ for avant-garde – saw the light of day with the launch of simple pieces such as t-shirts and hoodies. Now in their fourth collection, the trio behind Vonhguard offer slightly more complex and diverse pieces that are still part of street fashion. “Initially we thought we would innovate our designs. Today we focus more on the visual. †
Nelson Nzohabonimana, Elvis M. Berwa and Stephen Igiraneza have known each other since childhood. Originally from Burundi, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo, they met at the age of 4, shortly after their family arrived in Quebec. Always driven by art, they have turned to fashion to express their creativity.
“We dressed at the base in the streetwearThen came the idea of expressing yourself through clothing, says Nelson Nzohabonimana, co-founder of Vonhguard. We didn’t notice that we were in the garment, in the garment we wanted to wear. †
With Vonhguard, they wanted to break with the “logomania” that characterizes urban fashion brands to offer clothes that are mainly distinguished by their style and aesthetics.
More present at the beginning to promote the brand, the logo is therefore more discreet in the spring collection, which was launched in mid-February. There is a fleece hoodie, sweatpants, a balaclava and a transitional jacket. “We are super proud to present a jacket, underlines Nelson Nzohabonimana. It’s a technical challenge. It is not easy and it is quite expensive to do it locally. †
Patronage, cutting, printing and part of the assembly: Vonhguard products are manufactured in their workshop on rue Saint-Vallier, under the supervision of production manager Faustin Pipo. “Producing locally is a real plus,” Nelson notes. We’ve done it last year. It is good to always have an overview of what is being done, which is not possible when you outsource abroad. The more local the production, the more accurate. For this reason, the number of pieces offered in each collection is limited.
To highlight them, they surrounded themselves with seven models of different origins. “They are friends, who come from Quebec City and come from different ethnic groups. There are Quebecers, people from the Maghreb, others from Eastern Europe, others from sub-Saharan Africa. It is a representation of the world around us. We are trying to expand the diversity of our models even more, but it is a very good start. †
For the time being, collections are at two per year. But a capsule collection, the profits of which could be used to encourage artistic practice among young people, is in the cards.
Fashion Week: Marie-Ève Lecavalier back in Paris
Designer Marie-Ève Lecavalier is back at Paris Fashion Week this week to present her new fall/winter 2022-2023 ready-to-wear collection. Last September, she became the first Canadian woman to participate in this prestigious event that brings together the world’s biggest fashion brands. His presentation, called “Madeleine”, took place on Thursday at the Palais de Tokyo. The pieces unveiled reflect the handcrafting and upcycling dear to Lecavalier, highlighting the original leather weaving technique she developed. Wool knits and denim are also featured in this collection, which aims to be a “reinterpretation of French Canadian codes, American clichés and fundamental elements of workwear aesthetics”. The designer is joined in Paris by Romane Poulin, intern and student in management and fashion design at ESG UQAM.
Collaboration: Julia GR’s Naive Art at Eve Gravel
Montreal designer Eve Gravel is entering the summer with the unveiling of her latest collaboration. For her spring-summer collection, she collaborated with illustrator Julia GR to create floral designs that embellish several of the pieces presented: jumpsuits, skirts, dresses, shirts, shorts and tops with puff sleeves. The naive and colorful style of the artist, who regularly approaches nature and femininity in her works, merges with the sober and elegant cuts of Eve Gravel’s creations. Currently available for pre-order, this collection also includes tartan-patterned pieces and several pieces in soft solid colors.
Sustainable fashion: second-hand clothes in the shopping center
Second-hand clothing is making its way into shopping centers with the Street Market Boutique, a traveling second-hand clothing market in Toronto. Through events, often organized in the buildings of shopping centers, the store offers clothes called ” vintage ”, more than 20 years old and with a certain “historical” value, and others called “durable”, more recent and also more affordable and intended for a second life. After visiting Alexis Nihon and the Rockland Center in recent weeks, the Street Market Boutique will be at Mail Champlain in Brossard on March 12-13. “Cominar’s shopping centers are evolving and the events of the past two years have acted as a catalyst to accelerate change,” said Sébastien Dubois, Vice President, Leasing — Retail, at Cominar, owner, in a press release. these three malls. We are always looking for new ideas and sustainable business models, because we want to offer our visitors an experience that matches their consumption behavior and their changing needs. †
Awards and fairs: after workwear, the Pilote & Filles fairs
After creating colorful workwear and accessories for women, Pilote & Filles has established a scholarship program for those learning a traditional men’s trade. For the third year, this program, conducted in collaboration with women’s organizations, is back in five regions of Quebec. The top prize consists of a $4,000 purse with full clothing items from Pilote & Filles, a brand co-founded by comedian Marie-Lise Pilote. Five regional grants will also be offered by entrepreneurs and institutions from the participating regions. If you want to apply, you can do so until 20 March. The prizes will be awarded on 19 May during a virtual event.