Thursday, 24 July 2014

Matt Smith-Johnson

I met this gentlemen a few months back and immediately I was hooked. Matt Smith-Johnson is a dear. He's the type of guy who doesn't sit down for any reason and loves projects and solving issues that most people would ignore.

We finally sat down for a beer and conversation revolving around everything from his watch straps ( that he salvages himself ) to silk pocket squares, his t-shirt company and even weddings ( don't ask how we got on that topic!)

Matt is extremely enthusiastic about what he does and what he creates!

First we talked about his watch strap collection:
Taking old leathers and refurbishing them to become one of a kind items for people to enjoy is something that MSJ loves to do. If you don't know he's a huge collector of leathers and loves to try new things, especially when it comes to hammers, paint and scouring for new materials.

When MSJ was a kid his grandparents used to take him around their house to show him the wonderment and joy that comes from a ticking clock and from there his love for craftsmanship and the sound of the hourly chimes caused watches to forever be in his life.

Each strap is found, loved and created by Matt during his down time. He's even a contributing editor to one of the most famous and creative watch forums in the world; A Blog to Watch.

Blind Five:
Back in 2008, Matt decided to try his hand at fashion and with that came Blind Five.  His ethos was to give that plain tee a knew outlook and with that came heart ache, stress and a whole knew outlook on men's fashion. Although there was only one run of the shirts, Matt came to the conclusion that creating an outerwear company of all Canadian goods and materials was more of a dream than a reality and finished happy and a few dollars short!

Teenage Grandpa:
The minute I heard about Teenage Grandpa I started laughing, the title alone makes you giggle and without knowledge of the actual products themselves you would think it's a joke. No joke amigo's it's the real thing. If you didn't know MSJ has a love for rock and roll, heavy metal, dapperness and skateboarding and decided to tie all those things together by creating a pocket square collection that was cheeky, dainty and vulgar. Bloody shanks, police pigs and even pizza's were the main motif for Teenage Grandpa!

He gave me one. And I'm so thankful he did, I feel super rebellious wearing it and I'm excited to share it with you! I mean look at these drawing!

Teenage Grandpa
Street Justice 
 Matt Smith-Johnson is probably the most theatrically and lovely humans I've encountered since moving to Toronto! He's kind hearted, crazy and better dressed than most of the men I meet on a daily basis! He's an art fart with a heart of gold and has no issue showing his muscles when it comes to leathers, silks and printed tee's! Nothing on earth makes him happier than solving issues, bringing life to white paper and laughing whole heartily at his own jokes!

Matt Smith Johnson, you are great man, a friend and someone whom I look up to! Congratulations on your successes and downfalls, you've learned to create and not hold back; with that I can whole heartedly say cheers my friend, you have earned the key to the world of creativity, imagination and down-right weirdness!

x - the Collector.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

How Taft are you ?

Nothing worse than sock lines, am I right? [ chuckles ]

A few weeks ago a lovely employee of Taft Clothing contacted me to see if I'd be interested in a pair of socks. At first I was hesitant, then they came in the mail and post opening the package, I understood what all the fuss was about.

I slipped on the ankle sock, shlepped around the house in them for a few minutes, put my booties on and went to work. When I got home my feet were dry, happy and at the perfect temperature. By the time bath time came around I had to debate whether I wanted to be clean or stay in the socks, so I compromised, quick bath then back into my sockies!

They are so comfortable and warm, affordable and super sexy! Taft Clothing has the upper hand on style, creativity, chic and at a great price, how can men and women NOT want a pair- or 50?!

Taft at 30000 feet! 

Hello Rocky Mountains! 

Taft socks overlooking Granville Island Vancouver, BC

X- the *sock* Collector

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Keep Your Boys Dry !

I know I'm not a man and that speaking from a woman's perspective on boxer's is weird but whatever! I was given a pair of 2UNDR Joey Pouch boxer-briefs from MenEssentials and I can't seem to get out of them!

They have a great fitting waist band, the shape is made comfy and they don't give me panty lines! I'm nearly on the brink of chucking my thongs and boy shorts but I'm pretty sure men wouldn't get so hot and heavy seeing me in dudes briefs during those hanky panky times! ;)

Things I like about them.
- Thick waist band that doesn't stick into my sides!
- Not heavily branded. By that I mean it doesn't say 2UNDR all over them like it's a kids brand. It says it once and that's all that's needed.
-The material is ultra soft and keeps me cool.
- I went running in them ( with shorts over ) and they didn't move! I came home completely wedgy free and even though I was hot, there was no sweat anywhere!

Things I don't like.

- um …
- uh …

So there you have it! The 2UNDR Joey Pouch boxer-briefs are sold at MenEssentials in several different colors! Super comfortable, easy to do yoga in and great for athletic people or men who just want to lounge around the house in great, stretchy underwear !

Purchase yours here!

x - the *Joey Pouch* Collector

Friday, 4 July 2014

Agnes B

Agnes B began her " fashion life " in a way that most model are found; on the street. First editing for Elle Magazine she quickly began realizing her talents were needed elsewhere and interned  as well as apprenticed under fashions's biggest names. Waiting patiently until 1975 Agnes B finally opened her first boutique in Le Halles.

By 1981 Agnes B was ready to begin her expansion and guess what came next; yup, menswear. She left Paris and found NYC, Soho as a lovely place to set up shop.
Now in 2014 Agnes B has a partnered up with amazing young designers and hasn't stopped creating functional, easy collections.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Yorkville Strut

Exclusivity; a world commonly used among the boutique owners of Yorkville. Understanding your market and customer is what builds a clientele. Creating an overall aesthetic in ones shop is how people recognize your desire for independence and return knowing that they will be receiving the best pieces and collections.

Yorkville is a place of wealth and demand. Where shops and designers come to sink their teeth into the expensive and high-end retail world. Many sink and others swim and within those companies there are the few and far between who have surpassed age and economy.

Here is a list of my personal favourite boutiques where I've not only had the privilege of talking fashion, but been given a back-stage pass into the flamboyant and nail bitting world of Toronto retail.

- Serpentine 132 Cumberland St.
A beautiful shop located on 132 Cumberland Street and has been there for just under 5 years. Owned by the marvellous Paul and Stephen, fashion lovers and sartorial masters who have created a masculine, rugged space that'll instantly have you hooked and admired from the moment you walk in the door. This boutique is NOT for the faint of heart! This shop is made to make you think; each piece is hand selected to agree with the complete ecstatic of the place. Don't expect roses and pink tartan, this shop carries a " Mad Max " - Mel Gibson or " The Book of Eli " sort of vibe.
Some of the designers they carry:
- Balmain
- Robert Geller
- Rick Owens

- George C 21 Hazleton Ave.
When you walk by you first think that it's a female boutique, but enter, walk downstairs and soon you'll be submerged in a masculine man-cave where George Corbo has chosen manly and fantastic designers to complete this boutique. Carrying a beautiful and exclusive collection from Rocko-P, the Italian shoe company, to Neil Barrett, Costume National, Tombolini and Barena to name a few. George is such a humble and lovely gentlemen who took the time to walk me through the designers and creators of each piece in his shop, I dare you to go down and take a look.

-Tarintino Bespoke  17 Hazleton Ave.
This shop is created for the business gentlemen. Bespoke suit making but also made to measure pieces, each are unique and well tailored to fit each client. Marcello Tarantino is a handsome fellow with an eye for aesthetics, he understands just what each businessman needs and gives his humblest opinion in hopes that you understand and see the complete picture. He carries a wide selection in ties, belts, shirts, jackets, as well as Ferrari bags all made in Italy for the Toronto lad to enjoy.

Personally I am not a leather goods girl, but the moment I stepped into this boutique I was. A Montreal based company that creates leather jackets, bags, wallets, iPad cases and other fine goods is a great place to find one-of-a-kind goodies that the whole family will enjoy. If leather isn't your thing, shop the menswear and womenswear collections, but best believe you'll be pulled in by the scent of the hides and soon you'll be foaming at the mouth and cross eyed in wonderment!

-Domo  90 Yorkville
Italian is the underlining theme to this post, but one thing to remember is that the Italian's do it best. Domo is a great shop for grabbing shirts and awesome socks. They also carry a small selection in belts and ties, but mainly focused on shirts, jackets and trousers. The pieces are colourful, silky and luxurious and that's what keeps me coming back for more. The small boutique makes it easy and stress-free; no need to deal with long line ups, and uncomfortable settings!

I hope you are more familiarized with the boutiques in Yorkville and maybe you've found a new place to shop! Especially for men, clothing can be a daunting tasks, but it doesn't need to be! Shopping with your wife or girlfriend can add stress, so please if you must hire a stylist ( me ) or go shopping and listen to the salesmen. In these shops the men behind the counter are more than willing to give a second, honest, opinion because their reputation is based on how you look on the street and not in the shop!

Think wisely before purchases and do the utmost best to make yourself happy!

Happy Shopping!

x- the Collector

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Luxury is word I grew up hearing, it never applied to my life, but nevertheless, my mother and father were always telling me that if I work hard enough luxurious things could be mine!

I still find it ironic that I think that way because when I see the price of some items I lust after I think " I could just go to the thrift shop and get it for so much cheaper " and that mentality has saved me many a-time! 

However, luxury is great; cars, bags, houses, shoes, clothing, luxurious men! You name it that word sounds great in front of, almost, anything! Here's a grouping to luxe products that I would LOVE to own! ( maybe in 30 years ;) ) 

x - the Collector


Follow me on Facebook  & Instagram and answer the question via twitter!
Canadians only please ( shipping is crazy expensive over seas … ) 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

My Mother Told Me not to Write on the Wall.

… so I didn't I let others and I took photo's of the outcome. 
Mother still smiles. 

x - the Collector