Behind the Seams With BRAVE Leather

K DBehind the Seams, FTA Blog

This month we are getting up close and personal with the iconic Canadian leather brand, BRAVE. Learn all about them, their values and what makes them sustainable!

Tell us about your brand: who are you and why have you decided to create your brand?

BRAVE Leather began as a street vending stand 25 years ago. I am the founder and head designer of the brand. I created the brand because I thought I could offer something better than what was currently available and I loved (still do) to work with my hands in creative endeavours.

How do your values shape your business?

What I value most in life is integrity. In business sometimes – in the short term – that makes a company less profitable. Shortcuts do increase margins, but in the long term I think you successfully build a truly lasting brand by taking the long road and staying on it. 25 years is a long time to be a significant brand in the world of fashion and I believe BRAVE Leather will be bigger and better over the next 25 years because we stick to our principals.

What is your relationship to fashion/clothing?

This is a tricky question because I am more excited by the process than I am by the fashion per se’. Fashion is the medium by which I am able to practise my craft. Our mantra is Art inspired by it process – we must have amazing style for people to be excited by the products and we work hard on the design. I believe we are good at it, but my true passion comes from figuring out how to make an article better: better quality, better function, better production technique so we can make the products in Canada at prices that make people love to both buy and own BRAVE Leather products.

Who has impacted your life the most and why?

From a professional standpoint I would say one person and one moment in time. His name is Albert Sliwin. He is a very successful 86 year old man who moves and thinks like a 22 year old. In 2007, a big US company made an offer to acquire my company, and their offer was a really big number, bigger than I ever thought I would see in my lifetime and I was very tempted – but I went to see my friend Albert and asked for his opinion. He asked my one question “what will you do next” and since I didn’t have an answer – his advice was “don’t do it”. It was the best piece of advice I ever received. Today if they came back and the offer was 10 times the original number my answer would be the same. Creating amazing product for my brand is what I love to do, and that more is important than big numbers.

Who/what do you look to for style clues and why?

I like to watch people and I like to listen to my customers

When you think of the future of sustainable/eco-fashion, what do you see and what excites?

I think the future looks similar to the present, some people passionately “care” about the issue of sustainability and some people passionately “could care less”. What I find exciting is that the subject has greater awareness and reach that seems to be growing and my hope is that by bringing knowledge about the issue to the other side – more and more people will “passionately care”.