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  • Writing History With Sam Le Roy of Hartcopy

    Holding on to the past isn't always a good thing, but in the case of Sam Le Roy and Hartcopy, it couldn't be cooler! As one of Instagram's best new(ish) sneaker pages, storytelling around the coolest pairs of new and old sneakers from around the world, Hartcopy has taken the world by storm with its ethos of embracing traditional print for the digital consumer. We got the chance to speak with Hartcopy's Creative Lead, Sam Le Roy, about what got him involved in "The New Print", where he thinks sneaker culture is going, what it's like diving head first into new creative projects and the importance of confidence to get yourself into your dream position. Read and listen below for the convesation! Getting Started. Hey Sam! Thanks so much for chatting with us. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got involved with Tim and Hartcopy? So before I got started with Hartcopy I was writing for another publication call Sabukaru - great read by the way. I found Hartcopy pretty early on when it launched and then I saw Tim post on Facebook that he had started the page. I sent him a message like "Hey I'm a writer. Can we work on this together?" I wasn't expecting money or anything. Luckily Tim saw my message and I think because of my experiences at Sabukaru, he gave me a shot. This was around March or April of 2020. Damn, just like that? All about shooting your shot! My entire creative journey is all from sending that DM. All opportunities that I've had have been because if sent that message to the right person. I just found a lot of people online and now I can call them friends. Definitely don't be afraid to shoot your shot! (Listen to more below) The Execution. Hartcopy has published nearly 1,400 posts now in not that much time. Firstly, how do you choose what to write about? The biggest thing for Hartcopy is looking into the past and telling the stories of older pairs and silhouettes. A lot of people really fell in love with Hartcopy from our coverage of older grail pairs, older dunks and Jordan sneakers but we really just cover whatever we think is cool. It's really an extension of our own tastes so as long as we think it's cool then we'll post about it. Second question. How do you find the time to do all of this AND pursue a full time career? Luckily, we have a pretty good formula now for creating the content so it doesn't take that long. What is starting to take a lot of time is all of the other partnerships and projects that we are starting to do. I actually just gave my notice this week and will be doing Hartcopy full time now, which is really exciting! Oh wow! What was the thought process like behind that decision? I think it was inevitable at some point for this to happen. I have so many plans for Hartcopy in the future but they would never become a reality if I didn't take the jump now and try it. I had a moment at the Foot Patrol event where I knew that not capitalizing on this would be a massive waste. (Listen to more below) The First Book Signing. Just recently Hartcopy launched its first ever physical print sneaker book with a killer launch event at Foot Patrol in London. What was that like getting to connect with people over Hartcopy in person after being a digital first platform since the beginning? Seeing that many people come together for a product that we made was incredible. It was an amazing feeling and I definitely want to see that again. There's something really charming about bringing people together for a physical product. We've gone through so many followers and likes on Instagram but I can't visualize that. Meeting people in person creates a feeling that I really can't describe. (Photos: Foot Patrol) What's Next? I'm planning books two, three, four and five. Book two is going to be more focused around people than product, but obviously still connected to products. Book three I can't speak about it yet because it's going to be completely out of nowhere [laughs] and I wan't it to be a surprise. Looking forward, now that I'm full time, I want to also be doing things like merchandise like clothing releases in addition to the book releases. I really want to have people getting Hartcopy in hand and a big focus for me is to keep it affordable. We have a lot of things in the works as well that I can't speak about yet but just know we're going to be very busy! And lastly... a reminder from Sam to wear your shoes! Make sure to keep up with Sam and Hartcopy on Instagram for all the best sneaker content and news on their upcoming projects and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with the coolest entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists and more out there.

  • Alpha/Beta: The Next Chapter With Raised by Wolves

    Our friends at Raised by Wolves sent us some pieces from their upcoming collection to check out. The 200 piece collection is made entirely of upcycled, reworked and repurposed garments from overstock, samples, returns and leftover fabric from a decade of past seasons, with the purpose of giving old pieces a new life. We connected with Raised by Wolves owner and mastermind behind the collection, Cal Green, to learn more about the inspiration behind Alpha/Beta, the all-natural design process and what he thinks a collection like this can mean for the future of the brand and fashion industry as a whole. Lookbook Photos: William Smith Model: Marisa Gallemit 2 Years of Planning. 10 years In The Making. One day I was in my office and saw this wall of boxes behind me. Over the last ten years we had overproduced certain collections, had accumulated a ton of samples, held onto returned items or defects, etc. When COVID hit, most of our factories shut down so we knew we needed to find a way to make do with what we had and find a way to sell all of these older clothes by repurposing them. The first project was making face masks in Ottawa and that's what sparked the idea to create a full collection which would become Alpha/Beta. Where does the name Alpha/Beta come from? The name is in reference to the hierarchy of a wolf pack. The Alpha line gets access to the most interesting materials and older samples. It's more experimental and is a lot of outerwear and pants. The Beta line is made up of derivatives from the Alpha line and are more simplified. This will be things like tees and sweatshirts. We've also built out a Delta line which is some homewares and other accessories made from scraps, like keychains, coasters, wooden and incense holders. With this new thought process behind production and design, how is Raised by Wolves thinking about its ecological footprint? I'm hypersensitive to overproduction now. It definitely won't be an afterthought anymore. I think with this, Alpha/Beta will evolve over time. With this collection, we've produced maybe 200 pieces but that's just scratching the surface of the inventory we had. I ended up donating about forty-thousand dollars worth of clothing to local youth organizations in Ottawa. I figured it was better to give the product to someone that will value it than get rid of it another way or destroy it, which was never an option. Created by hand around North America The majority of the pieces in the collection were all reworked by hand and treated with natural techniques to give unique looks to each garment. Black bean dye Beach dye Rust dye Flame finishing on demin Hand-stitched sashiko Apparel by: @atelier_dnhn (Montreal, Quebec) Quilts by: @e_patton (Dayton, Ohio) How will this collection play into the future of Raised by Wolves? I've thought about doing something like Patagonia's Worn Wear program that encourages people to send their gear back when they're done with it and then we repurpose it for Alpha/Beta. It doesn't even have to be Raised by Wolves product. It could be vintage denim or band tees. Ever since I've started working on this project, I've seen a lot of brands that I really respect doing similar programs. So, I definitely think we're headed in the right direction, for sure. Big shoutout to Raised by Wolves for giving us an early look at the new collection! Check out the Pier Five Instagram for more content on some of the incredible pieces. Make sure to keep up with Raised by Wolves on Instagram for more information on the Alpha/Beta collection dropping this month and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with the coolest entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists and more out there.

  • On The Map With Free Agent Wearhouse

    Pier Five got the chance to meetup with local legends Rob Echevarria & Kim Barrera of Free Agent Wearhouse, Toronto's premier apparel design and decoration company, in their downtown Toronto showroom for an awesome chat about business through the pandemic, empowering local designers, the value of Canadian-made products and staying dedicated to your craft. Having worked with dozens of Canada's top brands and designers as well as a special project for one of Toronto's most loved Raptors, there's a good chance that you've walked past someone wearing something made by Free Agent Wearhouse and the stories they had were endless. Read through the conversation below and check out the sound bites to hear from Rob & Kim first-hand. Hey Rob & Kim! Thanks for having us in your showroom today. For those who aren't familiar with you and Free Agent Wearhouse, can you tell us a little bit about this all? Rob: I'm Rob, the owner of Free Agent Wearhouse. We specialize in premium quality clothing production and decoration, probably best known for our intricate embroidery. Kim: I'm Kim. If I had to give myself a title it would probably be lead designer or maybe assistant project manager. I kind of do a little of everything since it's just the two of us here. I connected with Rob during the pandemic through a mutual friend and have been helping him with the business as it's been scaling. What do you think sets Free Agent Wearhouse apart from the other design and decoration companies in Toronto, or maybe even all of Canada? Rob: Our biggest focus right now is on helping smaller fashion brands get the look and feel of the bigger brands. While what we do is not necessarily innovative, when it comes to design, decoration and production quality, there aren't a lot of companies out there that will put in the time and attention like we will and I think that has gone a long way with our clients and the brands that choose to work with us. Kim: We're always thinking about the future and how one project can lead to the next. We're more than just an embroidery company. We can advise on design work, help the brands out with their concepts, make connections to other brands or suppliers and so much more. In that sense we're almost like an agency and are always making sure that we are putting our best foot forward with every single client. How did the pandemic affect the business? Rob: Things were crazy in the beginning. We transitioned to face masks for a while and that was very busy. That's when Kim came in to help out. The pandemic really just created more of a desire to work within the community and do things locally. There's a lot of buzz around "Made In Canada" in fashion. Why is this important and how does Free Agent Wearhouse fit into it all? We're all about this (of course)! As consumers, we've all bought bigger brands for the logo or design but you know "that sweater" is just ok when it comes to the quality. There's a reason why people are proud to wear Canadian-made. It's because you know the quality is there and it's really made to last. The idea for us is to bring that type of high-value production back into Canada as much as possible. FAW x Adidas For Kyle Lowry Recently you got to work on a very special project with Adidas for Kyle Lowry. What was that like? Rob: This one was different because we really had full creative control over the entire project. For a big company like Adidas to give control to a smaller design company really exercised every aspect of our capabilities. Kim: It was amazing. Witnessing Kyle win a championship, leave and then be a part of something that was presented to him when he returned; that was really special! We were able to add those little personal touches that paid homage to him, not only as a Raptor but as a world champion. (Listen to more below) What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this business? Learn every skill that you might need. If you can do it yourself, you'll always go further than if you have to lean on somebody else. Just keep creating. Make something wack? Who cares! Stay dedicated and learn from your mistakes. The thing that you think might be the worst thing you've ever made might be the best thing in someone else's eyes. Now that the world is opening back up, we imagine you must have some big plans in store? Definitely! We're setting up a much bigger space which will be great for clients to be able to come by, see the work and hang out. We'll hopefully have some other big projects come up soon and we really want to get more and more into cut and sew. Lots to come. Rob: At the end of the day though, even if we shut down again, the grind doesn't stop. I need to always be doing something. Even if the money's not flowing, you can catch me in the factory. There's always going to be something to learned and to do. Kim: We're looking forward to all of it! Make sure to keep up with Free Agent Wearhouse on Instagram and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with the coolest entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists and more out there.

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  • Creators Grant | Pier Five

    Creators Grant About the project Since day one, Pier Five has striven to inspire and educate its community by sharing insightful conversations with, and the works of, its favourite designers, creators, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts. This year, we are excited to take this a step further with the launch of the Pier Five Creators Grant , a financial grant and mentorship opportunity that will be presented to an emerging creative, selected by both Pier Five and its community. To raise funds for this grant, we have collaborated with eight incredible creatives on a capsule collection of limited edition products, from reworked and handmade apparel to home goods and original art works. Before launching the collection, we will spend some time telling the stories of the eight masterminds behind the works and you can read more about them below. The collection will launch for a limited time in early July and all proceeds from the sales will go towards the financial grant which creatives (worldwide) can apply for in August (more on the applications coming soon). ​ ​ ​ Timeline We are excited to have you along for the journey as we continue to grow this incredible community of designers, artists, entrepreneurs, creators and many others around the world and hope that you can learn something new and maybe even cop something cool along the way! ​ - Jeff + Julian Meet The Designers Click on a designer to learn more. View the Lookbook Shop the Collection Apply For The Grant (Coming Soon)

  • Home | Pier Five

    The Pier Five Creators Grant Latest Guests Catch up with our latest conversations. May 10 Writing History With Sam Le Roy of Hartcopy May 2 Alpha/Beta: The Next Chapter With Raised by Wolves Apr 20 On The Map With Free Agent Wearhouse Apr 4 Showing Up With Liz Beecroft Mar 21 Earning Your Place With Titi Finlay Mar 7 Outworking The Competition With Eric Chong of R&D Feb 25 Staying Curious With Patrick Stangbye Feb 11 Putting In The Hours With Dan Climan Jan 26 Getting To Know Hotpot Variety Dec 17, 2021 Dancing Through The Yarn With Trish Andersen Dec 10, 2021 From The Streets To The Big Stage With Kizmet Dec 6, 2021 Behind The Curtain With Nicko Bruno Explore All Guests

  • Creators Grant | Pier Five

    Creators Grant About the project Since day one, Pier Five has striven to inspire and educate its community by sharing insightful conversations with, and the works of, its favourite designers, creators, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts. This year, we are excited to take this a step further with the launch of the Pier Five Creators Grant , a financial grant and mentorship opportunity that will be presented to an emerging creative, selected by both Pier Five and its community. To raise funds for this grant, we have collaborated with eight incredible creatives on a capsule collection of limited edition products, from reworked and handmade apparel to home goods and original art works. Before launching the collection, we will spend some time telling the stories of the eight masterminds behind the works and you can read more about them below. The collection will launch for a limited time in early July and all proceeds from the sales will go towards the financial grant which creatives (worldwide) can apply for in August (more on the applications coming soon). ​ ​ ​ Timeline We are excited to have you along for the journey as we continue to grow this incredible community of designers, artists, entrepreneurs, creators and many others around the world and hope that you can learn something new and maybe even cop something cool along the way! ​ - Jeff + Julian Meet The Designers Click on a designer to learn more. View the Lookbook Shop the Collection (Coming Soon) Apply For The Grant (Coming Soon)

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