Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel

Daniel Gre­gory Natale re­turns home for a fash­ion week pop-up.

Fashion (Canada) - - The Market | People - By Jac­que­lyn Fran­cis

I never liked to draw,” ad­mits Daniel Gre­gory Natale when asked why he changed his fo­cus from ar­chi­tec­ture to fash­ion af­ter fin­ish­ing a foun­da­tion year at Par­sons The New School in New York. The Toronto-raised Natale thought he’d fol­low in his ar­chi­tect mother’s foot­steps un­til he re­al­ized that clothes also al­lowed him to cut and build pro­to­types out of raw ma­te­ri­als but in a faster, more di­rect man­ner. Be­sides, “be­tween the stu­dents and New York, the en­ergy was so high around fash­ion.”

His par­ents en­cour­aged him to ex­plore dif­fer­ent forms of de­sign, too, and it turned out to be sound ad­vice: Sel­fridges bought Natale’s en­tire grad­u­a­tion the­sis in 2016. “I ended up pro­duc­ing 150 pieces in New York and Toronto,” says Natale, as if it was NBD.

Septem­ber is a home­com­ing of sorts for the 27-yearold. He joins 11 other Cana­dian de­sign­ers in the Dis­cover This pop-up, a Hud­son’s Bay part­ner­ship with RE\SET by The Col­lec­tions. Dis­cover This launches with a pre­sen­ta­tion at Toronto Fash­ion Week on Septem­ber 4.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to do some­thing back home,” says Natale, who lives in New York but keeps a stu­dio in Toronto, where his brother and busi­ness part­ner, Raymond, is based. Natale is con­tribut­ing two looks to the pop-up, one of which is his much-talked-about Up­side Down jeans. The jeans, which are made from up­cy­cled Levi’s and, true to their name, fea­ture bum pock­ets at the an­kles, were orig­i­nally a lim­ited-edi­tion piece, so there was much head scratch­ing when a shock­ingly sim­i­lar pair ap­peared on the Vete­ments Fall 2018 run­way. Natale is once again very NBD about it all. “I know how much [Demna Gvasalia] ref­er­ences other de­sign­ers and does this all the time,” says Natale. “Be­sides, when it hap­pened, I didn’t have to go out there and prove my­self. Peo­ple were like, ‘Oh, yeah, those are very ref­er­en­tial.’ I didn’t have to fight any bat­tles.” As they say, “Save your strength.”

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