- What is your brand and when did it launch?
Worth by David C Wigley was launched in the fall of 2009 in response to a growing demand for the collection. Up until that point I had always made custom clothing for my private clientele. It was launched as a unisex label with a focus on women’s wear. In 2011 it became an exclusive men’s wear collection. I began collaborating with other artists and we showed the “Worth presents: The Alfred Hitchcock Collection” it was a celebrated collection of both mens and women’s wear (What’s Hitchcock without a gorgeous heroine!) The response to a women’s collection was overwhelming and so we launched the Clan Gordon collection the following year. Clan Gordon is a sister brand to Worth featuring exclusive women’s wear, going into it’s second season next month. Clan Gordon is a high end collection built on smart tailoring, delicate draping and unique handwork. We also launched the “Ease” collection in unison with the Tom show last week. Ease is an essentials collection, 6 garments to create an entire wardrobe and the response has been overwhelming. Using only the best fabrics and produced locally in Toronto the collection has filled a void for ethical easy to wear wardrobe staples.
- How would you describe your brand?
The by David C Wigley brand has something for everyone, from the essentials of Ease, to the gowns of Clan Gordon, and the traditionally tailored blazers of Worth. We try and use the most eco-friendly fabrics when available without sacrificing style, and we work in an eco way in the shop. All off cuts of fabric are donated to H&M in connection with the i:Collect initiative in which they will be recycled and made into new fabrics and fibers. Our fabric printing house also works in a green manor, using organic cotton fabrics, low yield water dying process and organic and eco friendly inks. All garments from the by David C Wigley brand are produced locally so we can guarantee the best quality, and limit our carbon footprint be eliminating the transportation.
- When did you first realize your passion in the design field?
I’ve always been into art and illustration, but I was really into the sciences when I was younger. My dream was to be in palaeontology or forensics, design was never anything I saw myself doing. I’ve been drawing since before I could talk. My mom has both an arts and sciences background, and my dad is very much into science. So both worlds were always surrounding me as a kid. My mom trained with the group of seven where she developed her painting skills but she was also a nurse, and later a dental assistant. I was always taught that you can do anything you want. It wasn’t until I started modelling in my late teens did I develop and appreciated for clothing. Before I went to college I had never even really looked at a fashion magazine, I had a lot to learn beyond the basics of clothing construction!
- How would you describe your experiences in designing for men?
When I’m designing for men, I can never just make something basic, or run of the mill. I don’t want to create something that everyone else is doing because men are growing tired of that, they don’t want the boring black suit anymore. I’m currently designing a custom suit for a private client for an awards ceremony and the first thing he said to me in our initial meeting was “I don’t want a black suit, I don’t want to look like everyone else” And that’s exactly the way I think when I design. I have my commercial side with very wearable pieces, but I also like to have fun for the runway and create show pieces. I find it a little funny that Toronto media will critique those pieces, and comment on the wearability of them. But there needs to be more humour in fashion, it needs to be fun again. I feel like people take fashion far too seriously, and at the end of the day it’s a show, and people want a show. Fashion shows need to be entertaining and enjoyable. I don’t style my runway to be commercial or even necessarily wearable, I style my shows to tell my story that season. The wearability aspect will come in the trunk shows and the look book. I always get a sly grin when my clients come to view the collection and they say wow… all of this is so wearable! When it wasn’t something that they thought they could pull off when seen on the runway.
- Who would the David C Wigley guy be?
The ideal David C Wigley customer is someone who wants to be noticed, who appreciates craftsman ship and the art of clothing and dressing. He’s energetic, confident and charismatic. He wears his clothing, he doesn’t let his clothing wear him. He has a loud personality and is always the life of the party. It always makes my heart swell when I see someone wearing a piece of mine at an event. He is always surrounded by people and has the biggest smile. He’s the easiest to spot in a crowd and is always noticed when he enters a room.
- When you first showcased your designs at TOM*FW did you expect to receive the amazing response that is getting?
I had no idea how HUGE TOM*FW was going to be! I was absolutely floored at the press and the reception it has received. Participating in TOM has been a huge step for my brand and has really helped us to move up to the next level.
- You’re TOM*FW FALL/WINTER 2015 show was stunning! What were your inspirations for the newest collection?
Thank you, that’s so appreciated! The new colour way for Ease will be released in late April/ Early May, taking out the copper leather, and adding mint green, and mod pokadots as well and colour blocked black and white pieces. The standard black, white, grey will always be available. And because fashion never sleeps… we have started on the S/S 2016 collection, which will have a psychedelic rock/coachella vibe without giving too much away!!! But think lots of leather, shine and fringe! And quite a healthy splash of neon prints.
- How does your brand differentiate from other brands in the Canadian menswear market?
My brand has a lot to offer from the wide assortment of garments we produce, and that it’s made ethically and locally is something that consumers are really starting to take notice to when they are shopping. My garments are statement pieces, and timeless. I want my customer to appreciate my garments for years to come, something that they can always go back to. I don’t follow trends and the silhouette is always classic and timeless allowing my consumer to wear my garments for their entire life.
- Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
The launch of the website has been amazing and really helped with the rebranding of the by david c wigley umbrella. I’d like to see the Clan Gordon collection showing at WMCFW and building up it as a label. Worth has really taken off and is getting amazing exposure, as is the Ease label. I can see Ease becoming a major staple in the Canadian market and we are putting a lot of focus and love in that. Eventually I’d love to see a brick and mortar store caring all three of the labels!
- Where is your brand available?
Currently Ease is available through our e-commerce site,www.bydavidcwigley.com and Worth as well Clan Gordon are available through special order.
Runway Photo Credits: Shayne Gray Photography & Toronto Men’s Fashion Week