HOI BO + MJÖLK

NOW Magazine - BUZZ Fall Fashion Guide - - Glitter & Doom -

De­signer col­lab­o­ra­tions in Canada usu­ally pair a big re­tailer with a fledg­ling fash­ion la­bel. The store gets the op­por­tu­nity to bask in the in­die style of a small but buzz- earn­ing brand and the de­signer ben­e­fits from an ex­panded au­di­ence for his or her aes­thetic and hope­fully a pay­cheque.

John Baker and Juli Daoust of Mjölk and Hoi Bo (hoibo.com) de­signer Sarra Tang came to their part­ner­ship in a much more or­ganic way. In­tro­duced over din­ner by Erin Hall, who owns Rob­ber on Queen West, they were al­ready each oth­ers’ cus­tomers. (Daoust car­ried one of Tang’s bags, while Tang wore a bracelet from the duo’s Junc­tion de­sign shop.) A few meet­ings over cof­fee and a de­sire to co- cre­ate a bag that both men and women would be happy to carry led to Tang hand­ing over a pro­to­type for Baker and Daoust to take on a field-test­ing trip to Ja­pan.

“The fi­nal prod­uct strongly re­flects our shared belief in a per­fect bal­ance of form and func­tion,” says Tang. Made of waxed black or grey lug­gage-weight twill ac­cented with naked leather straps and solid brass hard­ware, it can be worn as a back­pack, shoul­der bag or mes­sen­ger. A style al­liance never looked as nat­u­ral as this. $690, avail­able ex­clu­sively at Mjölk (2959 Dundas West, 416-551-9853, mjolk.ca) start­ing Oc­to­ber 21.

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