His name is Langton Willms. He’s young but has already spent a decade in the clothing business. And he’s on a mission.
He will advise those too young to remember that in a time before off-shoring and out-sourcing, Toronto had an enormous clothing scene. Designers, jobbers, cutters and importers all occupied several thriving fashion streets. One of those boulevards of brocade dreams was Dundas Street West. It is in the heart of what is still called The Junction, a name that harkens back to the area’s rail-driven industrial past. Dundas West features a mix of edgy restaurants and studios specializing in reclaimed design, and it is here that Langton has planted his flag in his personal battle to put the city back on the fashion map.
His shop, Gerhard Supply, features shirts, jackets, jeans, belts, ties, and even personal grooming supplies. All of it is made in Toronto.
Willms argues that the wave of fashion revival in Toronto has been building for some time. Colleges are busily turning out graduates, and small sewing and design houses are popping up everywhere. Still, it takes a keen, experienced surfer to spot the wave in time to be able to get on it, and ride it in.