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.
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.
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.
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.