Jack Bryan walks into Centro on Erie St and flashes a confident smile. He’s sporting a Cardigan Kid t-shirt featuring a picture of his father in 1994 and I immediately want one. Well acquainted with the staff, Bryan orders a pizza which turned out to be as good as he says. The conversation flows to Cardigan Kid and Bryan’s eyes light up as he speaks passionately about his clothing line.
Cardigan Kid was created one year ago after Bryan had tried his hand in Architecture at Algonquin College in Ottawa. After deciding school wasn’t for him and working as a tile setter in Calgary, Bryan figured it was time to do what he wanted to do. Sick of working under people, he moved back to Windsor to start something he’d always had an interest in – t-shirts. Then what started as a teenage irritation turned into a creative business.
“I used to hate it when someone was wearing the same shirt as me,” said Bryan. “You know, you walk in on the first day of high school and some kid has the same American Apparel shirt.”
This sprung the motivation to make shirts of his own which he labelled Cardigan Kid; a name rooted from Bryan’s constant cardigan apparel.
He started out small, ordering t-shirts and handing them out to influential friends with the promise that they’d say where they got them. He also dropped business cards everywhere – literally – and used Facebook to his advantage. In these beginning days Bryan almost always broke even, but as he says, that was okay because he was making a name for himself. After a year of hard work, Bryan is now selling over 100 shirts and hoodies a month.
After recently celebrating its one year anniversary at a local art gallery, fans should expect to see some new things from Cardigan Kid. Bryan says he’s full of ideas for hats, jackets, shoes and not surprisingly, cardigans.
“I want to start creating cardigans, but they have to be good,” said Bryan. “Obviously Cardigan Kid can’t have bad cardigans.
A new website is also in the making and Cardigan Kid is currently in the midst of preparing for a trunk show in New York City in February. As told by Bryan, the history of a trunk show is when designers would bring trunks filled with their clothes and set up a space to sell them. In the case of Cardigan Kid, the line will be appearing in Bloomingdale’s for a whole weekend. Bryan hopes to be fully prepared with the best products ready to go.
When envisioning future goals, Bryan wants everything. He wants designing clothes to become a full time job and speaks animatedly about ideas for new lines and seeing his clothes in big name stores and across Canada. And he wants to accomplish it all using the live and learn mentality that has already carried him this far.