Founded: Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2004
Founder: Craig Atkinson
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Launched in 2004, originally under the name Spruce – laterally changed due to copyright reasons – Wings & Horns has had a hugely influential role in shaping contemporary streetwear. Wings & Horns became the second in-house brand for Canadian based CYC Design Corp, creators of Reigning Champ and manufacturers of renowned streetwear brands such as ALIFE and Supreme. Craig Atkinson and Brian Mendoza who head the design team have worked to forge a relationship between Japanese streetwear styling and Canadian inspiration utilising tailored designs which are united with custom fabrics. Atkinson, who spent seven years working as a designer in Japan has stated “They re-taught me what quality used to be in North America.” in reference to Japanese tailoring. The brand utilises high quality fabrics in a more directional sense than Reigning Champ and all pieces take inspiration from Canadian Heritage. Mendoza has stated that the brand “aims to bring that classic element, that true timeless feel”, a concept which separates the brand from others of the streetwear genre. Tailored aesthetics are combined with neutral colours throughout all collections. This suggests that detailed research has gone into the brand, as other labels which are manufactured by CYC, perhaps take a different focus. Wings & Horns therefore perhaps is more suited for today’s market where consumers are more likely to buy less, but, of higher quality. Also, this suggests that the neutral colours of Canada which inspire the clothes are more suited as they are likely to remain constant throughout collections. Wings & Horns has undoubtedly played a large role in fashion emphasis across the market, as one of the early adopters of the perennial chino trouser. These have grown increasingly popular each season, now permeating through other brands. 2009 saw the division of the brand into its Research and Archive collections. ‘Archive’ which is more ‘staple’ focussed is devoted the continuation of pieces such as hooded sweatshirts and three quarter sleeve t-shirts which have gained the brand following through their lower end price point compared to other outerwear pieces from the brand. ‘Archive’ however has taken on a more mature approach, adopting pieces such as blazers and ties as seen in the ‘spring/summer 10′ look book which has caused a stir among streetwear fans through its non-compliance with other streetwear trends.
Therefore it would appear that Wings+Horns, is making attempts to bridge the gap between high end fashion and streetwear. Taking inspiration from attempts such as Kanye West’s now famous Louis Vuitton sneaker, it can be argued that a design company which has held such large sway in the streetwear market for a number of years, is now maturing, and hopes to persuade its followers to do the same.