This UK-based Designer is Making Moves in Toronto

His pop-up shop at the Junction

BY PRESCYLLA VERONIQUE

Spontaneity is the idea that things are done without premeditation or natural impulse. With his creative mindset and passion for fashion, Danny D’Trois, took a leap with spontaneous spirit to create his brand D’ Trois. The 22-year-old hails from Southeast London, England and has a base in Toronto for the brand. After taking the trek across the Atlantic, the London designer has been quickly making a name for himself in Toronto through his minimal streetwear designs, which are leaving a mark in the Canadian streetwear community. On Dec 17th, he set up shop in the Junction neighbourhood to showcase his designs to his Toronto audience. We sat down with Danny to talk about his brand and how this Londoner is trading the Queen for Queen St. 

P: How did you end up in Toronto?

D: The beginning of 2016. Or end of 2015. Me and two of my friends Giovanni and Corey came to Toronto just for the sake of coming to  Toronto. Straight away, the first time coming here, we booked for three weeks. And yeah we just fell in love with it.

P: How did the idea for your brand start?

D: You guys call it grade 12? I was in year twelve, I call it year twelve. I was 16. I was just sitting in class one day. I was like I want to start a brand. I’ve always done clothes.  I’ve always bought different clothes and worn nice clothes. It got a point where I was just like because I was so small yeah? I was used to be mad tiny. I couldn’t get really what I wanted in my size innit. So like I just used to wear my brothers hand me downs, because it was always designer. I used to wear Armani jumpers [hoodie/sweater] and like D&G jumpers that are like three times my size. Tucking it in and swagging it up. Then I was just like forget this man, let me do my own thing.  If I can’t find clothes that suit me, let me make clothes that suit me.

P: How did the process of developing your own brand begin?

D: Research. It took me a while. I used to have ideas in my head and I didn’t do anything with them. One day I just sat on the computer all day and starting googling stuff. Ideas on t-shirts.I was looking for local printers. I think I printed one design in three different colour waves and I just wore them. It’s all I wore. Those three t-shirts, I don’t think I washed them. I never did nothing with it. And obviously, friends were like “Let me get one!”[I’d respond] “Yeah yeah, say no more” But I’d never actually gave anyone one. Then I started taking a bit serious.  Well, I thought I was. I tried to jump straight into the deep end. I called China. “I want this!” “Give me 50 of this!” “100 of this!” I made some stupid order for bare jumpers. And then I realize, woah, “think about you’re doing”. And then I got serious again and by this stage, It’s like my third year in. I’ve been playing around with this for like three years. And my friend started a brand and I had someone to talk to about it.

I’m from the ends, I’m from the hood, no one talks about creating fashion. We’d share suppliers and stuff. “I’m taking it seriously”, and that was my last time I said “I’m taking it seriously”, and I’m here.

P: How did you decide what type of product you wanted to make?

D: Everything is based on what I would wear. If I wouldn’t wear it, I doubt you see it come out unless I’m dead. This is stuff I wear. This is the most simple bits of it. The stuff I really want to make I don’t feel like  I should make it yet. It’s going to be like “Wow what the fuck like I’m not ready”.

There’s clearly a scene out there who dress how I dress. But then the scene I’m around, the people I’m around and the areas I’m in. I have to kind of cater to them, even as a designer I should always think about myself and execute whatever idea,[but] at the same you have customers, you have a fan base. There’s a lot of brands that just switch up on their fan base. I can’t do that. Unless they switch with me. I’ll gradually throw bits in.

danny d trois merch

Vampire Denim Jacket, D’Trois hoodies & caps available at dtrois.com

P: What does D’Trois mean?

D: Me, my brother and my sister. All our names begin with “D”. So I’m Danny my brothers’, Dominic my sisters’ Denine. In our area, we are known as D3. Originally the brand was called D3. One day my brother called me and he was like was don’t you called it D’Trois? I was like “Huh?” [he replied] “D’Trois, it’s D3 in french essentially.” [I said] “That sounds sick. It’s got a ring to it, I like that.” So I was like cool D’Trois that’s the name of it. Got new labels, rebranded, got a new logo. Registered the company.  And that’s how the name came about.

P: Why a pop-up shop in Toronto now?

D: The real reason is. This wasn’t planned. I’ve been in Toronto since August. I haven’t been back. I designed stuff while I was here and I’m chilling. You have some sort of following in Toronto. Instagram tells me. You’ve got to give them something. Are you going to leave here and actually not leave some sort of mark or some sort of memory? I was like let’s do a pop, we’re here!

P: Why invest your time designing Toronto instead of London, a fashion capital?

D: There’s load of opportunity in London, a shit ton of opportunity.  But when you’re from London you’re chasing that opportunity. Imagine there’s a thousand other fashion designers, not just in London, in my area. Half of them are trash, half of them aren’t serious. You shouldn’t be my competition. 1. I really like Toronto. 2. Toronto is evolving. Give it three years, four years Toronto is going to be the next London. I genuinely feel that. Toronto is going to be poppin’, it’s poppin’ now but it’s going to be established. Toronto is the destination.

I’ve naturally gravitated to Toronto, it wasn’t because of Drake. I just naturally gravitated. I’m probably going to move here and live here when I’m older, so why not start now. I’m now established with Toronto along with Toronto. Along with the other brands coming up like Beyond Space.

To me, London is a bubble. When you get trapped in that bubble it can get very toxic. Toronto is exactly like London but it’s much more slow paced. London’s busy and I’m just trying to chill.

P: When you’re not designing what are you doing?

D: I’m probably like freestyling in my friend’s kitchen. Or like acting. Actually acting is a major thing. That was my past before fashion. That was the life. I plan to get back into it. I was signed I had an agent. When me and my agent decided to split ways, my fashion just started picking up. I did it both at the same time. As well as going uni. I was juggling a lot.

P: What’s next for you?

D: After this, my next move, will be my next collection. Which is what I’m currently designing now. Life works mysteriously. I would love for this to be the collection where this is D’Trois.

P: You don’t feel that with is one?

D: I feel it but, it’s always like you felt it but now I need to feel it again.

I’ve been noticed to a certain standard, to a certain level but that level needs to keep rising. I’m known locally and around London but now I need England now, I need Europe, The States.

I want this collection to really reach those places.

 

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One response to “This UK-based Designer is Making Moves in Toronto

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