Interview by Jenkin Au and Alan Ng
Words by Jenkin Au
Photography by Jenkin Au
Please tell our readers a bit about yourselves individually.
Anthony: I’m Anthony. I’m still in college right now, doing graphic design.
Huy: I’m going to the same college as him. I’m finishing business school and then hopefully going to management.
Nonny: My name is Nonny and I’m working right now, trying to go back to school and focus on this.
Nathan. Same thing – I’m working at the moment.
Can you tell us more about Northern Society?
Huy – There are all these brands in the States and we just wanted something from Canada. Make it big and show off how Canadians are; more about our society and trying to keep it to the north.
And that’s how the name came about too, right?
Everyone: Yeah, that’s right.
Who came up with the name?
Huy: We all kind of just brainstormed –
Nonny: I did!
Nonny: It just came to me. Northern Society. That’s what we are, a real society, right?
Growing up, what inspired you to pursue a street wear company?
Huy: I didn’t really know a lot about it. I went to college and met Nonny who showed me some more. We had the same interests and wanted to do our own thing and do something for others.
Nonny: We’re all very fashionable people so we just put all our ideas into one society.
You guys started in ‘09, and you’ve launched your line in the past fall. Why has it taken this long and what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Anthony: We had a different supplier for it then and we were trying to brain storm some things. We were the True North before but we had some mix up with names and we decided to change it. That delayed us a lot. And then with our supplier and printing place, we had a lot of problems. That delayed us for over a month and a half. You just got to learn.
Huy: On top of that we’re all working and going to school to its hard to find time to get together and talk about things. When we do, it’s always about the company.
Tell us about each person’s role within the company
Anthony: I’m the creative director. We’re all kind of equal in our designs though.
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hailing from London and not the big city of Toronto?
Huy: It’s harder for sure. There are only a couple boutiques that carry street wear and one just closed down not too long ago. There’s so many more people and culture in Toronto.
Nate: London people aren’t as fashionable as Toronto. They’re not really big on that one culture. The big thing there is hockey. A lot of NHL players come out of London and not really Toronto. So it’s a really big difference.
Anthony: We’re trying to bring it there. We’re trying to get more people to know about it.
Your first line will likely consist of a lot of tees. What are something other things that lay down the road for you guys?
Huy: Almost anything we can think of, really. Bags, hats, jerseys, sweaters.
Nathan: Anything that inspires us, we’ll do it. Cut and sew for sure.
What are some clothing brands that gave you inspiration?
Huy: Lifetime right now is a big inspiration. Ransom from Toronto. We’re trying to keep it local with what we like but obviously the big names like Freshjive, even though it’s so different now.
Where would you ultimately like to see the brand end up?
Nathan: Canadian brands can do things too. It’s not just about New York or L.A. We’re out there too. Toronto people and Canadians are very fashionable too. It’s not just Crooks and Castle or LRG.
Nonny: Yeah you’ve got LA and you’ve got the Hundreds. You’ve got New York and you’ve got 10 Deep. We want Canada to been known as Northern Society.
Nathan: It’s kind of like the hip-hop game. Nobody had heard of Toronto rappers until Drake came. After Drake, everyone is about Blake Carrington, but Blake Carrington has always been around. Nobody realized until Drake came out that Toronto has artists. We want to start it, but we want to bring up other Canadian companies at the same time.
Bringing up a brand is very difficult. Where do you guys look for your funding?
Nathan: We all work right now, so it’s coming out of all our pockets. It’s not something we’re getting funded from the bank. We take it really serious because it’s coming out of our pockets.
What is HYPE?
Nonny: HYPE is something someone carries. When someone is HYPE you feed off it.
Nathan: I agree. When I listen to Kid CuDi or Kanye, it makes me want to throw on a jean jacket. HYPE is something that inspires me.
Anthony: I totally agree – it is everything that inspires us.
Huy: Anything that inspires us and anything that makes us who we are – that is HYPE.