We’ve always loved a great wool sweater. Maybe it’s growing up in Canada and the extreme weather we’re prone to. Or maybe it’s the coziness they provide on cold winter days and nights when curling up by the fire, or the warmth when venturing out into the wild with some whiskey. Maybe it’s the style and history of these sweaters – remembering family members who wore them – and passing them along. Most likely, it’s a combination of all of these things.
The methods we use to create our sweaters take their cue from traditional Irish sweater knitting originated many generations ago, off the West coast of Ireland.
The many combinations of stitches seen on the garment are not incidental and can impart vast amounts of information to those who know how to interpret them. On the Aran islands, sweater patterns were zealously guarded and kept within the same clan throughout generations. These Aran sweaters were often used to help identify bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach following an accident at sea.
The Aran Sweater has many attributes which made it suitable for the island's community of fishermen and farmers. It is water repellent and can absorb 30% of its weight in water before feeling wet. The natural wool fibre used in the sweaters is breathable, thus helping the body maintain an ideal temperature. Most importantly - an Aran sweater kept the wearer warm on cold days and nights at sea or on the farm.
Our wool knits are all custom designed by us and crafted on antique Swiss looms in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The knitted panels are assembled through point-by-point linking, using the same yarn used to knit the sweater. Every sweater is then painstakingly hand finished to perfection. There is no cutting and, with the exception of soft leather elbow patches and labels, no sewing anywhere on these sweaters. They're built to last - to be handed from one generation to the next.
A former gallery space, the store is clean and uncluttered - with custom dark wood and black metal racks and shelves which allow our Canadian-crafted line of menswear and recently launched kids collection - Hopper Hunter - to speak for itself.
We've built a cult following over the years based on our attention to detail, high quality manufacturing and our beautiful fabric selections, mostly sourced from Japan, Portugal, the US and Canada.
Our first brick-and-mortar shop is home to our own wide and varied collection of clothing and lifestyle accessories, alongside a handful of independent brands carefully chosen for their quality and on-brand aesthetic.
Many of the brands, like Misc Goods Co., known for their handcrafted leather goods, aren't widely available in Toronto.
TSOVET are an independent Los Angeles based watch brand offering an array of beautiful styles inspired by the freedom of travel and exploration - both key attributes of the 18 Waits brand.
Lunettes Kollection glasses and sunnies are designed in Berlin with an accent on aesthetic detail, and painstakingly produced in Italy using traditional methods.
We place great emphasis on the importance of quality Canadian production, so it only makes sense that our flagship also stocks pieces from other Toronto designers, like Headmistress' hand knit alpaca toques with vintage fur pompoms.
Artist, Joe Frontel's hand-etched zippo lighters round out the Toronto artist offering in the shop.
The opening of the Flagship store also coincided with the launch of our highly anticipated kids collection, Hopper Hunter. “The highest quality clothing for the littlest people."
The collection features miniature versions of our popular adult pieces, made from the same high quality fabrics so that Dad and child can match.
Our Flagship store is open 7 days a week, and is located at 990 Queen Street West.
If you’re not yet familiar with Coveteur and what they do you should take a few minutes to have a look. Established only a few years ago by fellow Torontonians Jake Rosenberg and Stephanie Mark, they’re now one of the leading fashion blogs to follow and the daily entries they feature are always entertaining, well written and include beautiful photography - a real winning combo. Jake and I go back years, actually, to the very first 18 Waits season. He was helping us on a photo shoot for our first ever collection and we’ve been friends since. Also since, Jake has now become one of the best, most sought after fashion photographers in the industry! I couldn’t be more proud of him and when I was contacted to be featured in a spread for Coveteur it took me all of 3 seconds to respond and accept. In true Coveteur form, they killed it. It was also a ton of fun to shoot. Thanks guys - we love what you do and are so happy we were able to be a part of it! xo
Full Story here
Photographer: Renee Rodenkirchen
Anyways, this missive doesn't come out of the blue. This morning an old friend from high school sent me a Thrasher video of an New Zealand-born skater named Richie Jackson. As I've been out of the skateboarding loop for almost two decades, of course I've never heard of him (when I got the link I was just happy to see that one of my favorite old brands - Thrasher - was still around). This video blew my mind and I immediately realized that it had to be shared. If you're a skateboarder (or were one), then you'll love this. If you've never skated, you'll still appreciate how nuts this is. I haven't seen skill and innovation in skateboarding like this since Rodney Mullen and, quite frankly, Richie Jackson takes it up about 10 notches. The cherry on top is that his style and fashion choices are the best. He's a 70s rocknroll skateboarding pirate. With incredible creativity and the skill to match. At the least, this is highly entertaining. At best, I hope it sparks some creative juices in you or at least reinvigorates something in you as it did in me.
We just had a good time with it, went about our regular outdoor
It's all shot on film and unexpectedly, the photos came out with a bit of
Jess is also one half of the stop-motion
A key element to our approach to design and manufacturing is attention to detail. It has always played the most important role in how we approach everything we do - whether it’s designing a blazer, or as seemingly simple as our business cards or safety pins used to fasten our hang tags. Every little detail is considered - and that’s what helps make 18w a brand that stands out and makes every piece in every collection special, timeless and an instant classic.
What you might not know about our pieces - unless you already own and cherish them - is the attention to detail and thoughtfulness put in to the inside of our garments. Like the features and comfort in the interior of a luxury vehicle, the inside of our garments are oftentimes even nicer than what you see on the outside. The sewing is perfect, the finishing is clean and the details are always very special. Take the inside of our trousers, for instance. Our trousers are always clean and classic looking. They aren’t loud or faddish - they are meant to be paired with almost any garment that you may already own in your closet - making them an instant go-to for almost any outfit. Subtle, sharp, understated details make our trousers special. But if you look on the inside, you’ll notice that they are all expertly finished with bright white bound seams, playful Japanese pocket lining and a front fly over-flap to ensure your pants always look properly and securely fastened.
One of the many things we love about living in Canada - particularly in Ontario - are the four seasons we get to experience yearly. We always get four distinct seasons – albeit particularly long winters (which usually come a little too soon for our liking…). But, growing up with our seasons has not only made us used to them – we embrace what they each respectively have to offer.
Winter is a time for warmth and hibernation. Gathering around the fireplace, reading more, catching up on the year's best movies, sharing hearty foods with our families and friends, gathering with many for dinners, drinking big reds and whiskeys, and of course dressing warmly in wools, twills, tweeds and downs. We even listen to different music in the winter months - music we associate more with colder weather than the light, happy, sun-kissed months of summer (who could responsibly listen to the Beach Boys in the middle of a Canadian February??).
Winter Playlist: The Rolling Stones, the blues, Icelandic bands, Wilco, Ryan Adams, The Doors, Kurt Vile, Arcade Fire, Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Tom Waits ...Dylan
Spring is renewal. There's excitement in the air. The top of the season is still cool but people are pumped for what's coming and there's a palpable energy in the air. Everyone's keen on shedding their winter layers (and potentially winter weight...) and the city starts to come alive again. Summer plans get made here - sometimes over ambitiously so – but you can feel the buzz. Everyone’s ready to get outside and people are just happier. It’s pretty great.
Spring Playlist: Jazz, CCR, My Morning Jacket, Paul Simon, Bowie, the War on Drugs, Nick Drake ...Dylan
Summer is when we play. Sunny days certainly aren't taken for granted after a cold winter - they mean so much more. Road trips, full days in the park and evening under the stars, outdoor concerts & camping & nighttime beach parties – we don’t think there’s a Canadian out there who can legitimately say they don’t like summer. “It’s just not for me…” Liar.
Summer Playlist: Petty, Springsteen, Van Morrison, Steve Miller Band, Allman Brothers, Jackson Browne, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, reggae, the Beach Boys, Janis, Joni ...Dylan
Autumn – our favorite season. The epic rich warm colors, layering clothing, from back-to-school excitement to Canadian Thanksgiving to Halloween to American Thanksgiving to the holiday lead-up, Autumn is festive and fun with so much to look forward to. Warm drinks, scarves as fashion (as opposed to a necessity a few months later...), the colors, the warm breezes on cool days, cool breezes on warm days – they’re all good. Fall is the big party before the hibernation – so we really make it count.
Autumn Playlist: The Band, John Lennon, Sufjan Stevens, Broken Social Scene ...Dylan
Some of our favourite films are animated. So, for our Spring/Summer 2015 video, we decided to try our hand at a stop motion animation. With the help of some talented friends, we were able to turn our ideas into reality.
Here is a peak into the process behind the making of our SS15 video "Love is for Dreamers':
'The Set' Fun fact: several fabrics from our Spring/Summer 2015 collection were used in the creation of the set. Note the curtains, water, waves, and picnic blanket.
Details from the set.
Our leading man on set. We made miniature versions of some of our favourite pieces from the SS15 collection for the costumes. You can buy this entire outfit on our website 60% off right now (in real guy sizes)! www.18waits.com/collections/ss15
Our main character went through a few transformations before he got his final face. The characters in the animation are made from wool felt using the needle felting process.
A clip of what the stop-motion process was like:
The 'actors' taking a break on set.
We shot the live-action portion of the video in black and white. The idea is nostalgic of the Wizard of Oz where reality is in black and white, and the dream world appears in colour.
If you haven't had a chance to watch the video yet, click on the link below to check it out. Don't miss the hilarious blooper reel...