Canada's own Reigning Champ continues to churn out garments that are both stylish and comfortable. Designer Kenta Goto recently sat down with We Are the Market to discuss the brand's production process, as well as the importance of fit. As you read, you'll understand exactly why the label's known as the "Kings of Fleece". Check out the rest of the interview here to see what Goto had to say about collaborations, the newly launched website, and more.
You are known as the “Kings of Fleece” – as the years have passed and trends have come and gone, how have you managed to stay so true to your history as a brand?
Reigning Champ is not a collections based brand in the fashion sense. We are a commodity/product based brand and we know what we’re good at. We are good at making quality fleece and knits. We focus on offering the best we can in unique knit fabrics in classic timeless styles.
Lets talk about your production. Everything is made in Vancouver. Why is local production so important to you? Is it important to your customers? Do you think that, following your model, local production can become more prevalent in the fashion world?
Reigning Champ the brand exists under a company called CYC Design Corp. CYC has been in business in Vancouver, BC Canada as a garment manufacturer for over 15 years. The company started out and became well known for producing quality knits for private labels. The infrastructure for local production was already established. For us we can control the manufacturing in house and take part in building our community with our family of staff and workers. There are many limits to what we can produce ourselves, locally but we can take pride in our work and be a multi-dimensional brand. Owning and operating our own manufacturing is not easy by any means but we think our customers appreciate what we offer and how it’s made. For all of the above reasons, i think can become more prevalent in the fashion world and it already has begun to do so.
Fit and Function are both becoming so important in today’s market – Reigning Champ really embody both of these qualities. Why do you think function is becoming more and more of a staple in menswear right now and what functional elements are you incorporating into the AW13 collection?
For us we put emphasis on fit, and fit is function. Good fit equates to not only looking good but better movement and wearability. Quality is another big factor in our brand and also plays a role in function. Garments made of better quality fabrics and better craftsmanship adds sustainability and longevity. I think today’s consumers are more informed and in-tuned with what they purchase and expect more with their garments. For AW13 we are excited to offer a few styles in tiger fleece for the first time. Tiger fleece is a fabric our sister brand Wings + Horns became known for. As of AW13, Tiger fleece will be a category represented by Reigning Champ.