Without a voice to sing, or a niche for acting, what better way for young entrepreneurs, Michele and Chris, to channel their self-expression than through fashion?
In the prime of their teen life, these proud Montreal natives began carving their way into the fashion world with a simple mantra: “stay true to yourself.”
Magnolia Road’s unisex streetwear clothing draws inspiration from the experiences and surroundings of Michele and Chris’ upbringing in Montreal. In fact, the name, “Magnolia Road,” comes from a street close to their homes in west Montreal. The magnolia flower in their logo represents the beauty of their youth as teenagers, and the road as a symbol for the challenges that lie in the future ahead.
Chris summarized that, “As we go down this road, our brand will shift and grow, maybe even like a magnolia?”
In a similar vein to their other pieces, Magnolia Road’s Spring 2017 ‘$olo $undayz’ collection embraces the clashing themes of beauty and struggle, lightness and darkness – black and white. Each piece is branded with the vibrantly colorful magnolia logo. The logo is fittingly placed over your heart so that, as Michele stated, “you wear our brand with as much pride as we created it with.”
My ‘White Rage’ long sleeved shirt reflects the stylistic element of Magnolia Road’s design, and adds an edgy, electrifying splash of orange across the back. The logo is also stitched directly into the fabric of the clothing, so I don’t have to worry about it fading or flaking overtime, which is a common frustration that I have with mainstream streetwear.
Though Magnolia Road’s simplicity requires very little additional accessorizing, it didn’t stop me from experimenting with the various day and night looks that could accompany my ‘white rage’.
A refreshing benefit to receiving my Magnolia Road streetwear, was running my hand over a tag that said (for a change), “100% cotton: MADE IN CANADA.” Those are words you find very rarely in fashion today. Rest assured that with Magnolia Road, everything is from the work of local producers, artists and printing shops that Michele and Chris discovered around their favorite neighborhood, NDG, in Montreal. So, in other words, you really know what you are paying for.
As Michele put it, “you are buying a story and a personality.”
Today’s fashion market has been diluted by ‘fast fashion’ marketing strategies. As Michele observed of the past, “when people had style you could see it, and everybody brought something unique to the fashion world, but in modernized fast fashion stores you can purchase an entire outfit that makes you look like everyone else.”
It’s easy to forget that fashion has the power to give us a voice. Magnolia Road inspires us to think creatively, and to embrace what makes us, us. Chris and Michele’s powerful message speaks to the next generation of streetwear: become who you are.