I won't lie, Im occasionally guilty of complaining that there's not enough going on in the city, but things like FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) really remind me of how dope this city is how much it's growing. Or maybe this sort of stuff's always been going on but I was just never aware.
Either way, David Kollar, the 24 year old owner of Kollar Clothing is a friend of my younger brother, Mike. He came to Fresh and I just a little over a year ago telling us about his brand and showed us a couple of the cut and sew garments that he had. We liked what he showed us but he was just starting out and there wasn't enough inventory for us to stock the sales floor with it. So we asked him to come back next season or whenever he could have a full run for us.
When the next season came around, he never called. I figured he was just busy. But when the next season after that came around and he still didn't call I figured he either made it and got in some big stores or he gave up. The clothing game ain't an easy one. Beyond creating dope shit, its about the team that stands behind you. It's about the business man who makes and takes care of the money, the designer who has the eye, and the PR that gets it in front of everyone. Team work makes the dream work. I ain't knocking Dave by any means, I barely knew the guy but I just thought that he gave up the clothing game, because I know a lot of people who did, especially in this city. It's hard to survive without the support from friends, colleagues or the community. It's not unusual in this city for people to pursue their dreams, give up and get a desk job. Toronto hasn't seen enough success to believe in their own.
But David messaged last month saying he had a fashion show at FAT and wanted Fresh, the wife and I to attend. Needless to say, I was glad he was still in the game. I tell everyone all the time. When you choose a career path, you got to love it. Because love leads the way. When she gets hard, love gives you the strength. When you really love something, it will show you the light and take you where you need to get to next. It gives you inspiration and direction.
I told him we'd be honored to attend and support him.
Fresh, Julie and I showed up without any expectations. The venue was located in some back industrial streets just off the Lansdowne and Bloor area. It didnt look like much from the outside except a giant vacant factory, but when we got inside it was pretty cool. It was dim, some cool ambient lighting, some chill house and electro music was playing in the background, a few little art installations and a full bar.
The lady at the door asks for my name and I say William Nguyen. So she goes "Oh, you're William. Well we have special seats for you and your guests. I will walk you to your seats, but do not get up. Guard them with your life!"
It was pretty cool to sit front row. Although it wasn't fashion week in Paris or New York, I still felt pretty special sitting up in front. We sipped on some liquor and patiently waited for the show to start. As we were waiting, I noticed the photo/ media pit and was so glad I no longer had to attend fashion shows while sitting with the crazy media, newspaper and magazine photographers (I hated the pit).
The show soon started and was lead by Kollars Spring/ Summer 2013 collection. The collection is rather simple yet complex. Simple in its colors (blues, blacks, greys, green and tans) and cuts, but complex in the details, the pockets, the seams, the texture fabric trims, the inside linings, the folds, the buttons and labeling giving the collection a well balanced feel. There's a nice urban yet sophisticated twist to the line that I could really appreciate.
So shout outs to Dave and his team on a job well done. Good for you for not giving up on your dream. I wish you great success. Although I don't know you like that, you should be proud of what you've done so far especially at your age. I'm glad to see the line evolve and I hope to see it continuously do so brother. Goodluck.
And make sure y'all visit the site. Check out the video from the fashion show. And just so you know, everything you saw in the pictures will be available late May on www.kollarclothing.com and they do ship internationally. The full stocklist will also be available on the site as well.
And for more info on FAT, check out their website here. www.fashionarttoronto.ca