KIN FW2010 Words by Fok, Photographs by Dan Chaparian A standout among the new lines at Capsule was KIN, designed by Sydney Mamane, proprietor of his eponymous store, “Sydney’s” (www.shopsydneys.com) in the Queen West district in Toronto. When I went into his store for the first time in 2007, it was by happy mistake. I’d gone to the area specifically to visit nearby Delphic and Klaxon Howl, and was on my way back to my brother’s when I ran across his store. Then, he was selling own brand shirting and a variety of mostly mid-priced brands with a decidedly downtown feel and color scheme – outerwear and shirting from Bblessing and Opening Ceremony figured prominently. I bought a grey Entermodal cardcase from him that I still carry. Fast forward 3 years, and he carries more brands with an artisanal feel at higher prices, including MA+, Julius, Rick Owens, The Viridi-Ann, Nicolo Ceschi Berrini, and Dries van Noten. The KIN line is full collection that will serve as an entry level brand. When I got the KIN flyer prior to setting up our agenda for Capsule, I gave Sydney a ring. He told me that he had been developing the line for a couple of years, and that it was a extension of his well regarded shirting and MTM service, which had been available from his store at least since 2007. Sydney at work. The shirting that started it all. The FW10 collection consists primarily of slim shirting, and suit separates in textured wools with a dry hand. The entire line is sewn in Toronto from Italian and English cloth. A suit jacket was made in 14 ounce Italian hard twill, another in 18 ounce black barathea, with the customer having the option of getting the matching pants. Many of the pieces are minimalist takes on classics. One of my favorites was a pared down duffel coat with a straight silhouette in charcoal grey. The hood and the silhouette made its provenance unmistakeable, but the ubiquitous toggles were nowhere to be found. The palette of the collection is similarly minimal, limited to grey, black, and white. If you took a snapshot of a customer outside his Queen West store, and if it was 3 p.m. on a grey Toronto winter day, and if the customer had the customary pallid Canadian complexion after 3 months of winter, you’d probably be hard pressed to figure out whether the photograph was shot in color at all. One of KIN's signature slim, straight cut sportscoats. A monochromatic palette highlighted the austere collection Monchromatic shirting and suiting Sydney’s background in tailoring is evident in the attention to cut and details – the custom made buffalo horn tack buttons on the button flies of all this trousers, the nod towards western styling in the frog’s mouth pockets on his five pocket, jean style pants, the articulated arms of his jackets, custom brass collar stays. Retail prices for outerwear start at ~$800 USD, and will sit alongside much more expensive brands, makes me wonder if the market in Toronto hasn’t evolved significantly in the past few years. Custom brass collar stays on KIN shirts. Sydney shows me the construction details on a sportscoat. Custom bone shanked buttons on trousers show the attention to the small things. Sizing is small person friendly. At 5’11” and 170 lbs, I’m often a small or small medium in American brands, but I felt like I would hulk out of the medium sized samples, which is probably lucky for Sydney, because I was considering borrowing a piece of two for further inspection throughout the rest of winter.
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1/23/10 at 6:32pm