On Our Radar: Needs&Wants Fashion Designer Sean Brown

Sean Brown
Photo found in The GQ Eye: The Style Blog

Toronto’s own fashion designer, Sean Brown, is making his mark in the men’s fashion industry. Brown’s NEEDS&WANTS clothing and brand story are the perfect remedy to overcome the geographical disadvantages (of not being from New York, London, and Paris), while letting the other larger  fashion destinations know that there is serious talent coming from the city of Toronto.

varsity jacket # 1
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

Sean Brown’s humble beginnings started when he worked at the menswear retail store front Nomad, which eventually led him to create The Art of Reuse, an online and pop up store, which focused on selling vintage and thrifted goods. By then, Brown was already known and respected in Toronto but what took his name & brand to an international level is when he took his first shot at fashion design by creating his brand NEEDS&WANTS. NEEDS&WANTS offers a unique take on luxury sportswear. The brand’s core ethos focuses on essentials designed with understated taste and international sensibility. By taking the philosophy of only releasing a select few items, and not an entire collection, NEEDS&WANTS  became a hit outside the Toronto market including cities such as New York, before his home city of Toronto finally took notice. By designing an asymmetrical varsity jacket that felt like it belonged in menswear rather than feeling like it just belonged in the six. The jacket was a fresh take on the varsity offering a jacket that either featured one leather or suede sleeve or a varsity that features two distinct colours on the sleeves. The jackets hit the sweet spot right in between sportswear and high end luxury and, soon enough, Sean Brown & NEEDS&WANTS were on the radar by the menswear community regardless of location.

Fishtail Flannel # 1
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

Today Brown is known for more than his unique take on varsity jackets. He continues to introduce innovative designs in menswear that garner international appeal. In the past two years, the brand began to introduce other cut & sew pieces to their arsenal by introducing their unique fish tail flannel shirts, as well as fleece wraps, that sold out as fast as a highly anticipated sneaker release. Most items on the NEEDS&WANTS online store continues to sell out quickly every time it’s restocked. Culturally, Sean and his NEEDS&WANTS team keeps relevant by releasing mixtapes and a bi-annual print magazine.

Fleece Wrap # 1
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

While Brown and his NEEDS&WANTS team were presented with opportunities to offer their line at Holt Renfrew or show their collections at Toronto Fashion Week, Brown simply declined wanting to prove his worth on the global scale before settling back home. Even with all the international recognition, Brown still maintains his Canadian roots by keeping the manufacturing and production in Canada and has plans on potentially setting up a NEEDS&WANTS retail storefront in the city that raised him.

varsity jacket # 3
Photo found on Needs&Wants website

Designer Profile: Joao Paulo Guedes

Photo By Bernardo Fernandez 2
Photo by Bernardo Fernandez

The talented Brazilian-born Canadian-based designer, Joao Paulo Guedes, was the winner of the very fist Emerging Menswear Designer Award (EMDA) during TOM* Toronto Men’s Fashion Week SS14. Since graduating at the top of his class from the top notch Fashion program at George Brown College, Joao Paulo has worked with Shantanu & Nikhil, an Indian clothing line, in New Delhi and Toronto.

Photo by Celia Fernandez

His love affair with fashion started many years ago. When he first moved to Canada, he had to adjust to a new country and new life. When he began working as a janitor, the hallways mimicked that of a runway where he would strut his stuff like it was just that. When he travelled and interned in India for three months, Joao Paulo’s passion and experience continued to grow for menswear fashion.

With all of Joao Paulo Guedes’ hard work and dedication, we’re excited to announce that he will return to TOM* FW15 for the opening night, February 25th at 10:00pm, to showcase his new collection. Grabbing inspiration from architecture and luxury, he brings in elements from gothic art, stain glasses, churches and darker colour palettes. This collection blends casual and custom designed high-end outerwear, describing his customers as anyone who is willing to be original, confident and wants to make a statement.

Photo by Celia Fernandez

Shop items from Joao Paulo Guedes  Fall/Winter ’15 collections HERE.