“We were in econ class, and joked about the idea of selling clothes with someone’s face on it. Odd Future had done it, and it was one of their best selling items — just a t-shirt with their manager’s face on it. It’s just ludicrous!”
Of course, that same day, Julian went home and sketched what is now their brand logo:
A simple design, evoking what seems like a Picasso-esque portrait. The concept then tipped off with hats. It was a unisex accessory, no sizing needed and easy to get started with. Of their first batch of ten, they each kept one, and the rest were sold out on the first day. That was a month ago, and they have since sold twenty more…
Julian and Xander’s enterprise is relatively small of course, but as they cleverly put it, there are 30 people in downtown Montreal wearing a hat specifically designed and created by them. And this idea perhaps best summarizes the spirit of their project. While the next step will be to expand the collection and reach new clients, a lot has already been achieved by that simple fact.
Exclusivity and mystery are, in fact, alluring themes behind the initiative.
Not everyone has these hats and they can only be bought by talking to one of the co-founders. To add to that, Julian will be leaving for Edinburgh next semester, which means, that i.n.t.r.s.t could develop two micro-spheres: one in Canada and one in Scotland. As they joke about this, J&X show an odd kind of self-awareness — they are not here to conquer the world but they will settle with leaving their “mark” on it.
“The idea and the logo are dope because we have succeeded in making people wear stuff with our faces on it. And I’ll take that.”
Above all, i.n.t.r.s.t is a friends’ project. In their immediate surroundings, it is friends who have bought their hats, friends that have posed as models on social media — and when someone reacts to the eye-catching logo, people can say it was their friends that made it.
A lot of work goes into building a facade, however. While they remain humble, J&X hide a kind of genius in their work. On top of the eye-catching logo, the design is engineered to attract questions: What is even i.n.t.r.s.t? Does is mean “interest” or is it an acronym? Why did you take out the “e”s? On their social media, hats pose next to the fire and models even rep the i.n.t.r.s.t brand in Switzerland. To put it simply — it all looks legit.
But behind this facade, is an idea and a desire to make cool clothing that anyone would want to buy. Essentially a garage band for fashion, i.n.t.r.s.t is enchanting by its simplicity. People want what even they don’t understand. And in the same way that Picasso seems a daft genius or that Odd Future’s meaningless designs inspire questions, J&X seem like they have something figured out.
You can follow i.n.t.r.s.t on Facebook here.