3 Lessons On The Evolution Of Canadiana From Steph Hoff, Creative Director Of Moose Knuckles

Over the last few years, Canada has grown as a brand. Once seen as the “polite little brother” to our neighbours down south, the culture of Canadiana has finally begun to generate worldwide appeal. No doubt that our PM Justin Trudeau has a lot to do with that. On the sidelines are the less publicized champions of Canada: the retailers.

Moose Knuckles is a Canadian outwear and apparel brand that makes contemporary parkas: They’re sexy, they fit well, and their jackets are mostly manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With the opening of their first store in Toronto at Yorkdale Mall on November 4th, Moose Knuckles’ Creative Director Steph Hoff shares her 3 lessons on the evolution of Canadiana.

Canada was a hub for garment manufacturing.

I’m from Toronto, and Toronto is like its own kind of country within Canada. Thankfully, I’ve had the chance to travel throughout Canada with Moose Knuckles, and it gave me like a real sense of pride in being Canadian. We do a ton of our manufacturing in Winnipeg, and what most people don’t know about the city is that in the 1940s, there were 129 factories that employed just over 40 thousand garment workers. They specialized in outerwear, sportswear, and work wear.

Support Canadian employment and emerging talent.

All of Moose Knuckles’ senior leadership, including all of our senior creative leadership, are from Canada. It’s our mandate to hire, promote, and support emerging Canadian talent. If you look at our social platforms and if you look at photographers that we work with, almost everybody has a Canadian connection. So when we’re looking for people to work with, people who we want to give a voice to internationally through our distribution channels, they’re always going to be Canadian.

Canada’s become sexy. So why not make clothes that are sexy too?

We feel lucky to be a part of this excitement and this momentum that’s happening in Canada. We want to hop on it, and it be a part of that wave, but we also want to contribute to it. Moose Knuckles is inspired by the spirit of Canada and traditional Canadian heritage garments. For the whole 150 years that Canada’s been around, a parka has been completely necessary. There has to be an evolution of that parka. We’ve just kind of taken it to the next step and we’ve made something sexy and contemporary.