There is nothing better than finding a new brand to be obsessed with and knowing that it’s completely manufactured in your own country. It’s easy to support fast-fashion stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 knowing where their price points lie, but it’s even easier to support local brands and shops knowing that their products come from your homeland. Since moving to Toronto in particular, I’ve begun to realize how many incredible artisans the city is home to, like Dan; the founder of Whisky & Spice. Another individual who is making waves in Toronto is Tro of Tro & Co.
Tro is super talented and at the helm of his own clothing line. Offering various streetwear-esque tees and sweatshirt options made from bamboo, Tro&Co catches your attention with the graphics and keeps it there with affordable price points. I had the opportunity to ask Tro a few questions about the line, being a designer in Toronto, and the future of Tro & Co.
1) For those who are unfamiliar with Tro & Co., how would you explain the brand?
Hmm. Always tough to answer that question without sounding too vague, or over-analyzing to a point of futility, OR unintentionally mirroring another brand. Truthfully, I am just buying time until the next question comes up….
Alright, you got me! Let’s just say it’s a personification of my own interests and excitements.
2) What made you decide to start a clothing company?
I picked up silk-screening back in high-school. That skill, combined with an unmerited sense of entitlement, and an urge to make a couple bucks, put me on the entrepreneurial path. I realized the ‘couple bucks’ became more literal than I had hoped. Regardless, I persisted on account of the attention it drew from the opposite sex. My art is my peacock feathers. Did you know the bowerbird actually builds a structure (a bower) of grass, sticks, flower, shells, and what-not, in order to attract a mate? How evolved.Today, however, the company has become a necessary creative outlet for me.
3) How does it feel being at the helm of a clothing company that’s based in Toronto?
Not bad. Not bad at all. I’m lucky to live in such a diverse city. A lot of great things are right at my finger tips. My garments are manufactured just 15 minutes away from me! Another reason I started the clothing company (I guess it fits into the above question as well), was the opportunities it would open up to work with local artists, whether it be clothiers, musicians, photographers, models, stylists, or even fashion bloggers ;).
4) Your products feature a lot of graphics. Do you design them yourself, or do you hire artist(s) for the different collections?
Last summer I was lucky enough to collaborate with UK illustrator Josh Neal. His designs fit with our quirky & naïve style. Aside from our Summer ’14 collection, all the graphics are designed by me. However, I am always looking to work with other artists that strike my fancy.
5) Where do you see Tro & Co. in five years from now?
Manufacturing the uniforms for the human race that the aliens who enslave us will make compulsory.
Unless they outsource it to Mars. Damn aliens.