Simple, clean, inclusive and minimalist aesthetics mixed with high end quality, deep roots in the cultures we love and a price that's easy on the funds, that's what TAIKAN is all about and we're hyped to include this new Canadian company in our mix of brands.

TAIKAN was created about 4-5 years ago in Vancouver BC and was originally a bag brand. After a few years of putting out high end Japanese design influenced bags, the brand added apparel to its collections and that's when it really started to blow up. That was about a year ago. If you look at the brand now and the ranges they put out after only a year, it's clear that the brand has something special... a bright future.

Now a fully established brand with multiple collaborations and deep roots in the skateboarding, music and art world, TAIKAN has everything to become a staple Canadian brand for clean, minimalistic and comfortable garments that anyone can look good in.

To understand the brand a little better, we spoke to none other than its creator Garret Louie AKA GMAN. Check out our selection of TAIKAN products at the link below and keep reading to learn more about this fresh Canadian brand.

FOLLOW TAIKAN AND GMAN ON INSTA : @taikaneverything @garretgman


Hey Garret! First of all, introduce yourself. Hi! I’m Garret Louie, but my friends call me GMAN and I’m from Vancouver BC, born and raised. You have a rich background in the industry. What’s some of the things you’ve done before creating Taikan? To give you a brief history, I started a Canadian distribution called Timebomb ((currently distributing brands such as OBEY, Stance, eS Footwear, Topo Designs & more), which is going to be 30 years old next year. In parallel, I've also been throwing and promoting parties and events in Vancouver for a long time and still do to this day. I own a music venue called Fortune Sound Club that’s now 13 years old. In addition, I also launched a sneaker store called Livestock, which has 4 stores and Online. That said, I sold my stakes in Livestock last year so I’m not part of it anymore. All that experience really is what got me started with the brand we’re here to talk about, TAIKAN.

What led you to create TAIKAN? I think I’m really inspired by these other brands that are coming from Canada, especially Vancouver. Many years ago, cool brands coming out of Canada were few and far between, but now, you have brands like Arc’teryx, LuluLemon, Herschel, Reigning Champ, etc. It’s so inspiring for me to see these really pop off and it motivated me to do the same. The other reason why I started TAIKAN is because a few years ago I was wearing a Japanese bag brand and everyone would ask me where I got it. I would say that it’s only available in Japan and the price was pretty steep.
That led me to think that what if we start a brand with the same clean and minimal aesthetic as the Japanese designs I liked, but for a more affordable price.
What are the brand’s main influences? Skateboarding, photography, art, music and design.

And how did apparel come into play? We added apparel in our collections about a year ago. After years of distributing apparel brands like Stussy and Freshjive in the mid 90s to RVCA, L-R-G, OBEY, etc. and working with some of the best streetwear brands in the business, it made sense for TAIKAN to transition to apparel as this is what Ive known so well over the years. What makes TAIKAN special according to you? We’re mostly going for clean high-quality basics with a twist. We’re really all about a minimal aesthetic and not having too many logos. A lot of brands have logos all over and I think TAIKAN is the perfect complement to that. Let’s say you have a logo on your hat and pants already, you might want to have a basic crewneck with no logo to bring your fit together without looking like a walking billboard. We’re trying to be the glue that could get all these other brands together. We’re also going for sustainability with creating those clean basic pieces. You might not keep your graphic tee for more than a year or two, but you’ll for sure keep wearing your blank black hoodie for years. One other thing is we are very inclusive. It’s for everyone and gender neutral.

So none of the pieces have logos? We’re mostly just going for minimal branding, but I don’t want to say we’re only doing that as we don’t want to have rules in our design process. We do collabs with artists that are named “Taikan by” where we give artists complete freedom to do what they want on our shirts. You might find some logos and more elaborate graphics on these pieces, but we will always run the basics with clean flags as the center pieces of the collections. I’m wearing TAIKAN top to bottom right now and you might not know. What should we be expecting for the future of TAIKAN clothing wise? We’ve been learning a lot since we’ve first started the brand and now, we’re coming through with the same essentials that we love, but with a nice twist to it. You’re going to see more and more elaborate gear coming from us. Reversible jackets, patchwork wovens, sweaters with sick designs knitted in it and with patterns, etc. Our basic and clean essentials are always the starting point, but you can expect some fresh colors and updates in the gear.

Is there a TAIKAN skate team? Absolutely. We've got Mitch Barrette, Kenny Win, Hugo Balek, Pedro Orsi, Derek Swaim, Will Savage, Malik Walker, Isaac Walker, Doogie Lester and D Money to name a few. We’re not trying to be a “skate” brand specifically, but we for sure will always hook up skaters. Skateboarding has been a big part of my life so we will always represent for them.
 Anything in the works that we should be aware of? There’s a bunch of things coming up for the brand. First is Soulection, a global music production and Dj crew creator we've collaborated with before. We have a third drop coming up with them that’s going to be out in November for Complex-Con. There’s also a collab with a brand called Market, formerly called Chinatown Market. We did a collab with them before and have another one coming up. Another big one that’s going to come up before the end of the year is a collaboration with the Vancouver Canucks. Going to be a busy month! There’s a bunch of other projects in the works that you will know about sooner than later! Thank you for your time Garret!

Check out our Taikan selection at the link below and follow @taikaneverything on Instagram to be aware of the brand’s updates, projects and day to day life! CHEERS!