10 iconic Canadian fashion labels

By Julie Bruns

Canada boasts plenty of fashion labels that have made a name for themselves internationally. From warm winter boots and coats to seriously stylin’ shades, these are some of the most iconic Canadian brands taking over the fashion world. [Image credit: iStock.com/svetikd]

10 iconic Canadian fashion labels

1. Fluevog

The quirky styling of Fluevog footwear make these Canadian-made shoes a statement piece in any wardrobe. John Fluevog started making shoes in the 1970s in Vancouver, and built the brand around not just quality, but bold character and a sense of humour that can’t be missed. After all, his famous Angel soles were engraved with “Resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue and Satan.” What other company promises that?

2. Poppy Barley

Started by Edmonton sisters Kendall and Justine Barber, Poppy Barley is more than your average design shoe brand. First of all, if it’s a Poppy Barley shoe, it’s designed to be as comfortable as possible. It’s also been crafted in a factory vetted by the sisters to make sure that the workers are being treated fairly. And to top it all off, they offer custom boots, building your footwear to your measurements, so a comfy fit is a ‘shoe-r’ thing. Put all this together and it’s no wonder this brand is making waves across the country, with shops now open in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

3. Canada Goose

In a country with winters that are renowned for being fierce, there’s plenty of room for a clothing brand to take on the challenge of keeping people warm in extreme conditions. And that’s exactly what Canada Goose has done. Its outerwear is designed to fend off Arctic-level temperatures with rock-star style, gaining it fans around the world.

4. Gravity Pope

Is it something in the water? Gravity Pope is yet another footwear designer calling Edmonton home. It has set itself apart by crafting bold footwear with a modern look and retro twists, as well as by curating collections of clothing discovered around the world. They’ve got retail outlets in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. While you might not be sure what you’ll find when you walk through the door, with the attention to detail that goes into their products, we’re sure you’ll love what you see.

5. Arc’Teryx

Based in North Vancouver, Arc’Teryx is the real deal when it comes to technical clothing, used by outdoor enthusiasts around the world. From climbing harnesses to coats and everything in between, they craft their gear with the quality you need to take on the extremes, and make it to the other side. With Canada’s adventurous terrain and climate, they’ve had plenty of inspiration to push their designs.

6. Herschel

You might not guess that this iconic backpack company has its roots in Canada, but it’s so Canadian, that it’s even named after a village in Saskatchewan where the founders’ ancestors settled. Based in Vancouver, Herschel crafts backpacks that mix casual functionality with a wide variety of colors and prints to express the wearer’s personality, all without losing that laid-back charm.

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7. Vintage Frames Company

The leading vintage sunglasses and frames company in the world, the Vintage Frames Company is based in Montreal but sells their products around the world. While you may not have heard of them, you’ve probably seen their work. Those awesome vintage shades you ogled on the cover of that magazine? It’s likely that they were provided by these guys. That pair worn by your fave celeb? Ditto. They boast an amazing collection of over 100,000 different original, never-been-worn vintage frames.

8. Lululemon

Embrace the yoga pants! That’s what Lululemon did in 1998 when they started up in Vancouver and promptly took off globally as a coveted athletic wear brand. The years have gone by, and while the brand may have grown, their foundation remains much the same, with a focus on providing clothing that stays comfy even as you stretch and contort on your yoga mat.

9. Roots

It’s no surprise that Roots is a Canadian brand – after all, they’ve got a beaver incorporated into their logo! Whether you venture in looking for something cozy to fend off that northern chill or for the high-quality leather goods that they’ve earned a reputation for, everything you find is bound to have just a hint of that rugged Canadiana feel.

10. Sorel

Originally founded in Kitchener, Ontario, Sorel has a well-earned reputation for keeping toes toasty. While they’re best known for their rugged winter boots – who hasn’t thrown on a pair to go out and shovel the driveway in the dead of winter? – they’ve broadened their product range in recent years to include more stylish footwear for all seasons and situations. But if you tell someone you were “wearing your Sorels,” everyone knows you’re talking about those iconic boots.

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