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PIQUE 2.0 Toronto

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Last year we told you about PIQUE, a project by Imad El-Sheikh, profiling 100 Torontonians. This year we’re excited to know he and his team have put together a second instalment — PIQUE 2.0.

One of the best parts of the project is not only highlighting some of Toronto’s unsung creatives, but also providing exposure and encouragement to these emerging and even established artists in a genuine, yet strategic way. “We consider their artistic merit, age and geographical location (to make sure each area of the city is well-represented) …ultimately it comes down to whether selecting the artist or creative in question will serve our goals” says Imad.

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Along with help from popular Toronto photography blog, Streets of Toronto, they’ve also curated a few photographers as part of the newly featured 100 participants. With the focus still exploring the sphere of social media and the context of immediate info, this year’s edition also features interview sessions and a six-part music video. “The new interview series is called GREY NOISE. We selected 10 creatives and asked them a series of questions. The catch was they needed to answer in the form of a teaser…short and sweet and fit within social media time frames.” The music video, features “six talented Toronto dancers of difference disciplines, each with their own teaser…”

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The progression of the PIQUE series serves as indisputable proof of the immeasurable amount of untapped creative resources the city holds. Follow @piquetoronto for all the upcoming event details and info and we’ll see you there!

Previously: PIQUE TORONTO

Posted by Samira

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It’s official!!

We will be on the road TOGETHER at this year’s Toronto Caribbean Carnival as Guinness Extra Stout partners with Team Saldenah & 1LOVETO alongside International Soca Artist Machel Montano, who will be playing in Che Kothari’s “LIKE AH BOSS” section, designed by Project Runway Winner Anya Ayoung-Chee, co-hosted by Toronto native, International Supermodel Winnie Harlow and 1LOVETO ambassador Tyrone “T-rexxx” Edwards in Saldenah Mas-k Club’s presentation of “The Chronicles of Machel Montano” on Lakeshore Blvd, Saturday August 1st, from 8am-6pm.

Be part of this monumental collaboration as we all jump down lakeshore bringing together Soca, Mas & Culture.

REGISTER NOW at the MAS CAMP (2220 Midland Ave #84AP) between 1-10pm daily or visti saldenahcarnival.com

Spots are limited and are selling fast, we urge you not to miss your opportunity to be a part of this iconic experience as our cut-off date will be SUNDAY JULY 5TH!

For more information email: LikeAhBossToronto@gmail.com or call 647-870-4662

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ABOUT SALDENAH + MACHEL MONTANO + ANYA AYOUNG-CHEE
There is only one word to describe this year’s ScotiaBank Toronto Caribbean Carnival presentation… Iconic.

In an unprecedented collaboration, three creative giants will unite in Toronto’s annual one-of-a-kind Carnival parade to give the world a remarkable show.

It begins with Louis Saldenah, who is regarded as a formidable pillar of North American Carnival, after being a driving cultural force in Toronto for over 35 years. This 17-time winner of the Band Of The Year title has stunned all with his ingenuous ability to bring Mas to life in the city’s streets.

Also adding her internationally recognized talent this year is trailblazer and entrepreneur Anya Ayoung-Chee. The philanthropist holds the distinct honour of being the 2011 winner of the Lifetime Network’s highly competitive Project Runway, where her unique designs astounded judges and marked her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago as a fashion capital to be closely watched.

Accompanying them in this venture is Machel Montano, whose 33 years in Soca Music serves as the inspiration behind this alliance. His well-earned legendary status as an entertainer, as well as the numerous accolades bestowed upon the Soul Train Music Award winner makes the 17-section Mas presentation based on his music, must see viewing come festival day.

It has been almost 50 years that the city of Toronto has put on this transcending event. An explosion of revelry and arts through which the wondrous beauty of its Caribbean community has been displayed, and which over time has grown to be the largest North American showcase of Caribbean culture.

Louis Saldenah initiated this extraordinary partnership, when he revealed to Machel his desire to pay tribute in Mas to his 33 years of work. Humbled and excited by such a generous gesture, Machel immediately thought to include Anya, to ensure Toronto had a direct infusion of authentic Caribbean culture in this year’s presentation. For many years the city has made Montano a part of its celebration and finally through this group effort, he is able to reciprocate that love in a show of true unity and positive creativity.

The main focus here is to inspire others and to establish a continuous fellowship built upon the strength gained from working together.

Helping to make this happen is Machel’s new manager, Toronto native and well-known cultural ambassador and youth advocate within the city, Che Kothari. He once again takes up the familiar mantle of encouraging artistic development across borders as the section leader for “Like Ah Boss”, which is based on the Road March and Power Soca Monarch winning song. This section will be hosted personally by Montano and has been designed by Anya.

With absolute certainty the time has come for peers around the world to blend together much like the multiracial and multicultural metropolis of Toronto.

Not surprisingly, the Montano brand leads the way as this combination ideally demonstrates the power to be found when everyone forges forward in unity.

Written By: Mystie Thongs

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VCTO

Calling all vintage shoppers!

Vintage Crawl Toronto happens twice a year (Spring/Fall) and the Spring edition is happening tomorrow night, Thursday, April 30th from 7pm – midnight. The event is all about helping shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle by connecting them to the unique vintage shops and small business owners in their downtown neighbourhoods. Stores stay open late tomorrow night, hosting special sales, parties, in-store activations and more. The event is FREE and with 50 vendors taking part, we guarantee you’ll find something you like along the crawl.

To see a glimpse of what you might find tomorrow night, check out @vintagecrawlto on instagram.

Here’s a short list of some of the participating vendors:

69 Vintage – 921 QUEEN ST W
Bridge + Bardot – 1138 DUNDAS ST W
Common Sort (Riverside) – 804 QUEEN ST E
Daisies Vintage – 223 JAMESON AVE
Kingpin’s Hideaway – 71 DUNCAN ST, 3RD FLOOR

For more info visit: vintagecrawltoronto.com

Follow @1LOVETO #VCTO

If you aren’t already aware, Thursday’s are the new Friday’s, and if you weren’t at The Fitting Room Toronto’s event alongside the Handsome Brut, you most certainly missed out. It was an outstanding, intimate, networking evening filled with sparkling wine, savoury food pairings courtesy of Luther’s Chicken, and great conversations. Owned by Bryan Brock and Brian Cafua, this cut and culture shop knows how to get the conversations going. With the power of social media, a contest rollout was the initiative to a successful night:

“Enter for your chance to win an exclusive VIP experience at The Fitting Room with Handsome Brut on Thursday, March 19th from 8-10PM. Post a photo of your latest haircut on Instagram tagging @fittingroomtoronto and include the hash tag ‪#‎AreYouHandsome‬.”‬

Dim lights and mellow groovy tunes accompanied the relaxed ambiance of the lounge-like gentlemen’s grooming shop. The atmosphere was undeniably attractive. As the crowd mixed, mingled, sipped on some bubbly, and enjoyed h’orderves, Levi of the Handsome Brut, gave the crowd an informative insight on the creation process of the sparkling wine.

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“The Niagara region is really bang on for Sparkling wine,” he said. “The climate, the soil type, the seasons — It’s perfect for it.”

The Handsome Brut is said to do things old school by believing in quality, tradition, and doing things right.

“The problem with bubbles is any little mistake you make with it, it’s going to show up in the wine; it’s a science.”

It takes longer and requires more work but the end results are worth it.

“I love making sparkling wine because it’s the hardest one to make. Reds and whites are a walk in the park,” Levi said as he threw his hands up.

The key to a successful sparkling wine is in patience and moderation with alcohol content and fermentations.

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“With sparkling, you don’t want too much alcohol to begin with. You want to start off nice and low with under 10 per cent of alcohol because it’s going to go through two fermentation processes,” he said. “If you rush the process and go too high with the alcohol percentage, it’s going to kill the yeast and you’ll be left with too much residual sugar, which can lead to bacterial infections later on.”

The Handsome Brut is a true traditionalist. Their wines are handmade in the traditional method from 100 per cent Ontario Chardonnay and undergoes two fermentations in the bottle, where it also spends two years aging on average.

“The traditional method is putting the wine back into the bottle, putting the yeast with the sugar, and that’s what produces the bubbles in the bottle,” Levi explained. “We add to it what we call a dosage, a secret herb and spices — it’s the wine making secret. It take about 18 months to eight years.”

Much like The Fitting Room, the Handsome Brut loves great company. Bryan Brock had mentioned the importance of the evening’s event was to gather not only their loyal clients and supporters, but also some of Toronto’s creative influencers for a night of networking, building, and sharing. We all have hectic work and personal schedules and Brock found it fitting (pun intended) to host an intimate event where memories, experiences, relationships and conversations are guaranteed to be created.

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Featuring the Handsome Brut tasting in Toronto’s newly opened lounge-like men’s barbershop was a no-brainer. Combining the culture and style of the city that’s conveniently located in the heart of Dundas West, it was only appropriate to also include local Luther’s Chicken in the mix for food pairings.

According to the beliefs of the Handsome Brut, “Bubbles are key to enjoying many foods, so, if it’s something you’d serve beer or soda pop with, you can serve Handsome Brut with.”

“I’d give it a go with all types of foods… You’d be surprised with that you’ll stumble across,” Levi said. “I think it would compliment a variation of dishes and spices and make the simplest dish fancy in flavour.”

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Naturally, the Handsome Brut is said to be a great solo act that can go from posh parties to game-day hangouts. Either way, Handsome Brut classes up pretty much any occasion and it certainly outdid itself at The Fitting Room’s event!

As an added bonus, mucking around with sparkling wine and having fun with different flavours is highly encouraged, according to Levi.

“Maybe some Brandy, maybe some Cognac, maybe a little but of Port; just something to give it some complexity, and that’s the secret. It’s incredible how something so small can change the wine.”

In regard to the men of The Fitting Room, mixing more alcohol with alcohol shouldn’t be a problem. They aren’t groomed to be handsome brut’s for nothing!

For more info visit: fittingroomtoronto.com

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #AreYouHandsome #TheFittingRoom

The guys over at Community 54 teamed up with Toronto Raptors very own Patrick Patterson in a collaborative effort to create an exclusive capsule collection entitled “Team 54″. The collection, made entirely with classic Champion cotton and fleece is now available, just in time for playoffs!

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Legendary Toronto designer Adrian Aitcheson (of Too Black Guys) is speaking with Artscape & Manifesto for an exclusive “In Conversation with” on Saturday, April 18th from 3-4:30pm inside Ada Slaight Hall at Daniels Spectrum. This talk, hosted by Juno Award winning rapper Kardianl Offishall, will highlight and celebrate the last 25 years of Adrian’s work with Too Black Guys. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this!

FREE RSVP HERE

Check out tooblackguys.co

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Follow @1LOVETO & @FreshestGoods #TooBlackGuys

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Without any exaggeration, Bryan Espiritu and his brand The Legends League is hands down one of the most important movements in Toronto. We know this is a wild statement and you may be skeptical, but hear us out.

Upon first exposure (which for many now-a-days is via instagram) you’d conclude that Legends League is a Toronto-based clothing brand. You’d be right, but you’d also be missing the point. It’s not until you do a little more digging that you’ll learn exactly what makes the brand so unique. What sets The Legends League apart from the rest? Well, it’s a bunch of obvious stuff (quality design, consistency, a strong team) but more importantly, it’s honesty that you won’t find anywhere else. Seriously, we challenge you to find a brand, let alone a person that bares their soul in a more stripped down honest and humble way. The Legends League/Bryan’s honesty is as brave as it is necessary.

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The line between Legend League and Bryan Espiritu does not exist. They are the same entity. In a world oversaturated with faceless brands that write words that mean nothing, Legends League is the antithesis. This brings us to Saturday March 28th, when the LL Sweatshop officially opened its door to the public. The plan had been in the works for at least a year. We know this because as in everything that the brand does we were given a very open and candid behind the scenes look into exactly how a brick and mortar shop materialized. At 5PM on opening day we arrived at the shop. There was still a line! The first person had lined up the night before at 7:30pm. It was bitterly cold but this factor didn’t dampen the spirits and the overall electric atmosphere. Bryan was outside, kicking it, greeting everyone and thanking each person individually for their continued support.

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After probably the most jovial waiting experience of our lives we were ushered up the stairs and into the LL Sweatshop. Hands down the most aesthetically pleasing ‘sweatshop’ we’ve had the pleasure of visiting! Every detail in the spot is meticulously strategized (again, check out @legendsleague on instagram for all the behind-the-scenes rationalization of all the architectural details), the merchandizing is on point and the overall experience is world class. The team is an extension of the brand. It’s a family. It’s a group of dudes who genuinely understand their responsibility in positively effecting Toronto’s culture. They are the leaders of a movement that, “is growing up quick”.

The opening of the LL Sweatshop is monumental, it is a testament to hard work and acts as proof that our inner fundamental core should be embraced and celebrated not repressed to appease others. If Bryan and the Legends League has taught us anything it’s to always be true to ones self. Write your own Legend and create your own League.

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Make sure you check out the LL Sweatshop for yourself. The store is located at 9 Camden Street and is open Monday – Saturday 11am to 7pm and Sunday Noon to 5pm.

For more info: thelegendsleague.com

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Follow @1LOVETO #1LLOVETO #LLSEASON

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Located in Toronto’s bourgeoning Riverside neighbourhood, East Room is reinventing the modern workspace where creative professionals can flourish. This co-working membership outlet is separated into two: club and resident, and both cater to forward-thinking freelancers, creative professionals and small businesses.

“It’s a co-op space but we’re not entirely co-op,” said Derreck Martin, co-founder of East Room. “There’s a lot of co-op spaces in the city but ours is more geared toward creative minds, as opposed to many other tech-oriented co-op spaces… This gives you a mix of freelancers with full-on companies.”

East Room aims to offer a community, location, and the tools necessary to grow their unique member’s careers. Their dynamic community of members includes some of the city’s most creative minds working in the fields of: media, art, technology, and design.

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“The idea is a cohabited environment with creatives that range from freelancers, videographers, and even a few venture capitalist!” Derreck said.

Each potential member’s application is reviewed to ensure that they will fit into the ecosystem of East Room, as they strive to create a co-operative space of professionals that share complimentary skills to benefit the whole.

East Room provides the ideal environment for like-minded individuals to collaborate, share ideas, and merge their talents.

“We’re open 24/7 which allows members to come at any point of the day. This is perfect for web developers and freelancers because a lot of them are night owls.”

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According to Melissa Serrano of Membership and Marketing at the East Room, she had mentioned that members for both the Club Membership and Resident Membership have access to meeting and lounge spaces, state-of-the-art technologies, and exclusive member events.

In addition, as a member, you will be part of a curated community of technologists, artists, designers and futurists whom you may grow your business with professionally as you share ideas or even merge talents as various projects come and go.

The Club Members ($250 per month + HST) have unlimited access to the fully-serviced open work lounge, while the Resident Members (500 per month + HST) have a semi-private personal workspace with a desk, chairs, and lamp plus more.

“This is phase one of the space,” Derreck said. “In March, we’re going into phase two and this is what’s called, Resident Two Memberships. They’re going to be larger, enclosed offices for business of two to three, which we’re pretty excited about! And you’ll have another board room in there as well.”

Resident 2 Members ($1,500-$2,000 per month + HST) have the option of choosing a 2-5 person or 5-8 person enclosed office, fully equipped with desks, chairs, and lamps plus more.

All founding members will be part of the growing business of the East Room as it plans on expanding by building photo labs, sound studios, test kitchens, and fashion ateliers.

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“In the future, we’re looking to build in studios such as: photography studios, recording studios, things in that nature,” Derreck said. “It’s going to be like a crowd-source idea so we pay for it through the membership that’s in the space… It’s good for the members because it’s cheaper for them… What they’re paying for a month in studio spaces is what they’d be paying for a day anywhere else.”

The East Room’s workspace has been designed with refinement and comfort in mind; providing the perfect environment for work and play.

“We have a lot of events … We have partnerships with TIFF, Design Exchange, Power Plants, and Arts and Crafts,” he said. “Every month we’re having music events and for TIFF, we’re putting together a Speaker’s Note where we present a film along with a lecture series. For Design Exchange, we haven’t nailed down exactly how we’re going to work with them but we see it as more of a Speaker’s Note as well.”

Book your complimentary tour at: info@eastroom.ca

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #EastRoom

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Hayley Elsaesser is an eclectic Aussie gem and Canadian-based contemporary fashion designer for the luxury streetwear market. She debuted her second Fashion Week show in Toronto, where she revealed her Midnight Cowboy-inspired collection on the runway. Elsaesser’s vibrant fall/winter 2015 collection showcased neon camouflage and animal prints, vibrant orange and lime-green furs and her signature snake graphics.

“It’s Western meets disco meets a little bit of Japanese Samari,” she said. “I had a bunch of ideas and I chose two or three and just mixed them together!”

Elsaesser is known for her bold and luxurious fabrics and prints. Her animated eight ball graphic wearing a blue cowboy hat, contrasted well with the red, purple and green cheetah print bomber jacket. It was definitely a crowd favourite and personally, a must have!

“My mind is crazy enough as it is so believe it or not, my ideas come completely sober!” she said jokingly.

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For this collection, Elsaesser experimented with intarsia knit for the first time, which resulted in an ultra-cool, multi-coloured camo print set. In addition, this was also her first collection incorporating menswear.

“In my world, this is the darkest I’ve ever gone,” she said. Normally, I like to have pink and have my collection a little bit more girly but this time, I went more masculine… Playing with oranges and greens is a departure from what I do.”

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Being a left-wing realist (so to speak) as the creative director of her brand, Elsaesser put on a beautiful and fun show, showcasing models in various shapes, sizes, and ages. Being that her aesthetic speaks to the luxurious streetwear market, she casted talent from local street kids to modern hipsters, and from friends to legitimate models.

“For all the designing and casting, I do that myself,” she said, but for added street cred, she called upon Toronto-based stylist to help pull her runway looks together by mismatching pieces from her entire collection.

“I have a stylist who helped style the runway and the look book and that’s Romany Williams. She helped me pull it all together!” she said.

Elsaesser’s attention to detail certainly doesn’t go unnoticed — the neon hair extensions and pop nail art contrasted well with the entire collection.

“The hair came to me when I was flying back from London… I really had to start thinking about what I was going to do with the hair on the runway… All of a sudden it came to when the plane landed. They’re hair extensions that look like coloured feathers!”

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When asked about the future of her brand, her response was much needed rest.

“I haven’t thought of my next collection as yet. My next plan is to just have a nap for a week and then I’ll regroup!”

Hayley Elsaesser’s collections will be available online and in a select few Toronto shops and boutiques.

“My spring/summer line will be available for another month online,” she said, “But it will be in TNT in Toronto soon. Typically, online is always my biggest thing.”

Photography by Che Rosales

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Join Artscape & Manifesto for an ‘In Conversation with… Adrian Aitcheson’ on Saturday, April 18th from 3-4:30pm, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of ‘TOO BLACK GUYS’ at Ada Slaight Hall inside Daniels Spectrum! Adrian has ventured on an incredible journey in building his notable brand ‘TOO BLACK GUYS’ and made exemplary strides over the course of his personal career. Hosted by Juno Award winning rapper Kardinal Offishall, we aim to give you greater insight into what has made Adrian so successful, touching on the highlights and hardships of being an entrepreneur.

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To give you a bit of background for those who are not very familiar. In the year 1990, starting out as a clothing line and a store founded in downtown Toronto, TBG was known for their thought-provoking t-shirts surrounding the ideologies and history of black culture. TBG apparel has been seen on the backs of some of the most prominent figures in hip hop culture, including Mos Def, Spike Lee, Redman, and Mary J Blige, to name a few. In 25 years Adrian and TBG have become icons, paving the way for Canadian streetwear fashion along the way.

FREE RSVP HERE

Check out tooblackguys.co

Previously: The Return of “Too Black Guys”

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FreshestGoodsMarket

Manifesto’s “Freshest Goods Market” is back for another Spring Pop-Up Market at Daniels Spectrum on Saturday April 18th, 2015. The market includes some of Toronto’s most notable brands including of course, 1 LOVE T.O., 40oz Heroes, 5ives On Top, 100 Miles, and more!

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This Freshest Goods Market is also featuring a special “In Conversation With…” Adrian Atchison – Creator of Toronto-based brand TOO BLACK GUYS, celebrating 25 years in the game! Stay tuned for more info…

Follow @1LOVETO & @freshestgoods

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Roots Canada and Huck Magazine have collaborated on a radical Spring/Summer collection that’s scheduled to drop in May 2015. Staying true to Huck’s vision of celebrating people and movements that ‘paddle against the flow,’ Roots aimed to focus on that mantra with quality apparel and leather goods to represent the quality of living life unconditionally.

Made locally in Canada for a world of possibilities, this collaborated collection is honoured in celebration of Huck’s Paddle Against the Flow book release with insight on cultural influencers, living creative lives. Catering and relating to its lifestyle beliefs, Roots has built an inspiring premium collection from local quality materials meant to withstand any adventure one’s creative mind may paddle them to.

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Originated in 1973, Roots has always been a supporter of the independent, organic spirit, which ties well with Huck’s Paddle Against the Flow philosophy as its principles are rooted (pun intended) in celebrating people and roaming the globe to document and unfold grassroots counterculture.

Seeking out freethinkers who are wellspring of new thoughts and ideas, such as the rebellious heritage of surfers and skaters, Roots Canada and Huck have creative an ideal lifestyle collection, which caters to both male and female within the community.

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Huck has always been inspired by DIY principles and Roots chimed in with their classic design aesthetics. The “Paddle Against the Flow Exclusive Awards Jacket” mimics Roots’ classic varsity bomber with leather and wool detailing. In addition, it’s tees, long sleeves, and three-quarter shirts are made with Roost’s choice of 100% organic cotton; and its “Vagabond” long sleeve and “Maker” full-zip hoody are made with French Terry cloth. A timeless “Paddle Against the Flow Exclusive Student Pack” stays true to Roots’ classic leather backpack aesthetic. The entire collaborated collection has all the ideal pieces needed to withstand any adventure forthcoming this spring and summer seasons, including the “Paddle Against the Flow Hardcover Huck Magazine”. This will certainly come in handy for stimulating creative reading material when road tripping.

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Be on a lookout for the entire collection come May 2015.

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #PaddleAgainstTheFlow