Kenneth Barlis is an California based brand that I had the pleasure of discovering down the Toronto Men’s Fashion Week runway. Although this was one of the few shows I missed due to my shooting schedule, I was instantly regretful when my friend Mr. Cavaliere shared a picture of the show on instagram. I had to personally drop by Mr. Barlis’ trunk show last night to have the chance to see the clothes up close in person and I was completely stunned. I sat down with the designer and did a speed round of questions to get to know him better.
I asked the 26 year old fashion entrepreneur about his decision to showcase in Toronto, and his inspiration behind the collection. He wanted to showcase in Toronto to expand into Canada and also to garner press from international media outlets. Although the Kenneth Barlis has a store in La Jolla, California, the former med-school student is currently focusing on retailing in key fashion retailers in Canada until the brand has a substantial enough following in the Canadian market to open his own Canadian Flagship.
The collection itself instantly resonated with me because it was different yet the styles were so traditional. Not only are the pieces constructed really well, they’re exciting and colourful. I loved how the designer offered several prints so that there was one that everyone could appreciate, with my favourite being the bright floral. Also for the gentlemen who are looking for conservative styles, have no fear, the designer also focuses on creating great business wear. I appreciated the fact that Kenneth had a good understanding for the business aspect of the industry, as well as the creativity. I definitely see longevity in Mr. Barlis’ career and hope to see more from his brand at future TOMFW shows.
TPG Rating 10/10
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Photography by Shayne Gray Photography for Toronto Men’s Fashion Week