TAIKAN is about to release its first clothing collection

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If anyone knows what streetwear needs, it’s Garrett “GMAN” Louie. In addition to hosting and marketing some of Vancouver’s best parties with his Fortune Sound Club concert venue, he co-founded the clothing and sneaker store Livestock. Today GMAN is working on TAIKAN, a brand that until now focused only on bags.

“This project is really the culmination of all the things I’ve been involved with over the years,” says GMAN. “From my experience in bringing streetwear to Canada, distributing brands like Stüssy, Freshjive, Pervert, OBEY and all skate brands to the creation of the Fortune Sound Club concert hall, it all contributes to what TAIKAN has become.

At the end of September, TAIKAN will launch its first clothing line, the 009 collection. GMAN tells us what we can expect to see, what inspired him and what he has planned for the future.

Image via Tatum MacLean

For those who are not familiar, describe what TAIKAN is.
TAIKAN is all about taking our creative friends on our journey with us, be they our favorite artists, photographers, musicians, skateboarders, and showing their talents across the world. From a product point of view, we want to be known for high quality, genderless and seasonless staples with a touch of clean aesthetics at affordable prices.

Why did you decide to switch to clothing now?
It’s a world we’ve been working in for over 20 years and we felt there were brands like Aimé, John Elliot, Reigning Champ, Fear Of God Essentials and others that had great products, but not accessible at everyone’s price. Most of my friends don’t pay that much for their clothes. We felt that there was no mid-level brand that could sit next to brands like Stüssy, Carhartt WIP and Pleasures, running a great core program with so much culture behind it. There is no ego, just solid styles with decent prices. We are confident in the values ​​and culture upon which the brand is based, and have seen an opening to bring this to a population looking for meaningful but minimal clothing. People want depth in the connections they make when buying a brand, and we’ve found ourselves at this intersection of valued meaning and desired products.

Taikan
Image via Tatum MacLean

What types of pieces will be in the 009 collection, and what is the story behind?
We really wanted to own certain categories by perfecting the ideal fleece, pants, t-shirts and bags. We don’t skimp on making a complete set of socks. We have also generated a tight graphic collection animated by our TAIKAN By series, where we work with our favorite artists and give them the freedom to create works inspired by their personal brand vision without constraints. This season we’ve worked with artists RHEK (Cold World Frozen Goods), Brock Mackay (aka Gene Pool from Stüssy), Booyah Patrol, Kyle Stewart and Made By We. Five different artists with five totally different points of view.

Then, of course, our origins. The bags. We started using a new premium nylon that looks and feels super expensive, but comes at a very affordable price.

Taikan
Image via Tatum MacLean

You are a native of Vancouver. To what extent did the venue and the streetwear scene inspire this?
There was a time when few brands came out of Vancouver. Now we have brands like Arc’teryx, Herschel, Lululemon, Purple Denim, Reigning Champ and Aritzia on a larger scale. There are also some really cool niche brands coming up like Tams, Theme, Alterior, Neon Denim, Fyoocher, and Frankie Collective to name a few. The creative team of Stüssy is also based here. We are such a melting pot of people, influenced by USA, Europe, with a huge Asian community from Japan, China and Korea. It’s the best of all worlds.

There has always been a strong connection between music and art with your work. Is the case the same here?
One hundred percent. You will be able to see the influences in everything we do. We’ve had bag collaborations with Soulection and an upcoming one with BADBADNOTGOOD to coincide with their new album. We mixed tapes that we made with our favorite DJs and producers, and we also developed our Spotify with the help of our creative friends and family. In the art world, you will see the influences through our next graphic capsule as well as in the exclusive editorials posted on our Instagram and our website. The background of our brand is focused on music, art, photography, design and skateboarding and it goes through all of our team members.

First collection of Taikan clothing
Image via Tatum MacLean

And finally, is there something we should look forward to in the future? Drops or collaborations on the horizon?
Absoutely. We always have a few seasons ahead so that we can look into the crystal ball. For now, our first clothing collection will be released in late September in North America. The next Collection 010 drop, launched in February, is even better. We have quite a few collaborations going on. One that I can mention is the one who is dating BADBADNOTGOOD, one of our favorite bands. It’s about taking illustrations that Virgil’s team made for their next album and incorporating them into a few bags.

Taikan
Image via Tatum MacLean

Photographer: @zeustate
Models: @ellixprincecain @treydenzyl @ gloom.66
Stylist: @ drop.bycoco
MUA: @asiabruggiero
Accessories / Assistant: @acid_underground_art



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