1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I started my career two years ago. Fashion is some thing I have always been interested in, but it wasn’t until after college that i tried to really bring it to life. It was something to do, because when you graduate you’re lost, you don’t know what you want to do. So I thought, I might as well put my energy and time into something I care about, it didn’t start off good, it was a lot of work and research and my original work wasn’t great. There were three stages in which I went through to get to a place where I feel like what I’m. doing is really for the culture. That’s where I am now. Its hard realizing where you are and where you want to go and actually taking it there.
2. Where did you go to school?
I attended George Brown college
3. How did you get the name Povrich and what does it mean?
Originally I created a long list of names, i feel like thats one of the most important stages when you are building a brand, when you are first starting out. The name of the brand is everything. The original name I had was “OATS” which was an acronym for original at all times. But then I sat down and thought about life and where i wanted to go, my goals and I thought “Poverty to riches”, that’s what i wanted to accomplish, so Povrich came about.
4. How would you describe your individual style and does that play a role in how you
I think that when I first started out, i was making stuff for other people, i was going off of other people’s opinions. Its how it is as a starting point because you want to sell, you want to be able to make stuff that people are willing to buy. But now I’m more making clothing that i would wear, I’m making things for myself and if it doesn’t sell then I’m going to wear it anyways. Going from making clothing for other people, to making it for myself is where the authenticity comes in, it’s urban but also can be high fashion, it fills that void in between.
5. How would you describe the evolution of street fashion in Toronto?
Toronto has a dope fashion scene now, before there wasn’t a lot of opportunity in fashion unless it was a mainstream company with a lot of investors backing it. But now theres more of a platform to create, small boutique shops are becoming more mainstream. Before that’s where celebrities would shop, to get things that no one else had, but for average people it was too expensive. Toronto is a good place to start because its hard here, so if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.
The Toronto mindset is every man for themselves, which makes it hard when you are trying to build a brand. If someone likes your style here, they wont tell you straight up because they low-key don’t want to see you win whereas in the states if they like you, they like you. Its hard to make someone want to support you and wear your stuff when they don’t want to see you win.
6. You just partnered with another Toronto based brand, Untitled&CO, tell us about that.
Yeah, my stuff is being sold there now, the way they appreciate me is something like no other. They are just a really dope group of people and a really dope brand. The whole culture of downtown Toronto is crazy, the way they love and respect you when you’re from there, when you represent the city. They really appreciate the culture. The way they put it to me is “who else can sell a 200$ cropped sweater in the winter?”, that really put things into perspective.
7. How does the manufacturing process work?
I do most of the manufacturing on my own, when I first started, I was completely on my own. But now, I work with kiki creations in Brampton, its a sick company run by a woman and her husband, its all love. They do seamstress work and outsourcing where they can get me products or other things that i cant necessarily make myself. So now, half the work that I cant don’t have the time to do or the work i physically am unable to do some from them, but it all starts here. The ideas, drawings, everything starts here. I learned everything myself, YouTube is the greatest teacher, I taught myself everything using it. When you really want to learn something, you will learn it.
8. Where do you see this line going? expanding?
This new project coming up will be branching out of streetwear and into creating new and
different styles, where it can be sold at more high end stores. But i don’t want my clothing to be held under one label. I want to expand and start formulating my clothing in the states, take some time off next year and go down to Brooklyn and start there because thats really where the culture is. I want to get my name out there and get the culture to appreciate me and then eventually continue to branch out, maybe to Paris. I have no limitations for myself. But I want to keep my foundations here because this is home, this is where there is the most appreciation.
9. How does your upbringing reflect in your style?
I was born in Jamaica and I came here when I was 8 so because of that I have influence from both Jamaican and Toronto culture. I didn’t necessarily have a hard upbringing, at least not in the sense of being loved and having friends. I always had an easy time making friends and connections. These days kids these days have ideas, but they lack the drive to actually achieve it. I was always very driven, but kids aren’t like that anymore. That’s why I want to use my platform to give back in that sense. That’s why I always go back and try to show the culture that they can achieve anything because i did this all on my own. Growing up in the struggle gave me the push i needed to get out and achieve success and I want to show my community that they can do anything without anyone’s help.
10. Who/what are your inspirations?
Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston, creators of nike off white. Those two i would say are my
inspirations. The way they think, it correlates with the way I think. They did a lot for the culture. I feel like everything I’m doing now is within my reach but its not even 10% of where my mind could go, there’s so much that I could and want to do and that’s how he thinks. I want to create something that no one has ever seen before, their mindset intrigues me, i just love the way they think. I would love to just sit down and have a convo with them. Aside from that, I’m honestly just inspired by life and what I see and what I go through, anything can spark an idea for me, even just sitting here talking to you.
11. What celebrity’s style to you love?
Right now I would say Jaden Smith. He’s such a strange guy but so am I, sometimes I feel like I’m on a different wave than everyone else, my mind just doesn’t work the same. Jaden is just one a different style, he’s a fashion Icon. I would love to see Future too, but Jaden is number one. He influences the culture like no one else right now, especially for the kids, he just thinks differently. He does whatever he wants and you cant even knock him because his mindset is crazy.
12. How would you describe your work ethic?
Well I’m very passionate about what I do, and I’m a hard worker for sure, you have to be to do everything yourself. But i also work on my own time line, i don’t necessarily follow the “fashion timeline” in terms of dropping new items, i just drop everything when i feel like it’s ready and it’s the best it can be. Like i said, my mind works a little different.
13. What are your goals and aspirations outside of fashion?
I want to buy my mom a house and take care of my family here and back home in Jamaica.
Then I just want to change lives in any way that I can. I want to help people off the streets in Toronto and help the youth, in general and in fashion. I want to run a program but not like the ones where they bring in a leader that doesn’t share the same experiences as the kids they are influencing. I want to help the kids because I have been there and I want to show them that they can achieve more.
In terms of fashion, I want to expand my brand to the states and into different styles and even into shoes eventually, but that’s for later in the future because that’s a lot of financial strain. I want to have a staple store in Toronto in 3-5 years and eventually branch out internationally. I want to get a new audience of the same people but different culture.
14. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give the younger generation?
Do everything yourself because people will screw you over. If you have the idea, do it yourself.