Distributor Feature: Throat Threads Apparel
** This interview was originally featured on CUT & SHOW on 19 April 2013
On a recent visit to Toronto, I was fortunate to meet the charismatic and fashionable Russ Fearon, owner of Throat Threads Apparel. The journey from Vancouver to Toronto was well worth the trip, as I was truly amazed from the moment the car pulled up at this historic mansion, the kind you only see in the movies. As I stepped through the door, I was greeted warmly, and I said to myself, “I am in fashion heaven.”
The beautiful interiors, the merchandising of the clothing, and the displays were impeccable. Russ guided me on an inspiring tour through the whole building, and I was really impressed by how much passion he has for this company and his industry. He took me back 20 years to when it all started.
HI, RUSS. PLEASE TELL OUR READERS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR COMPANY.
I would say that we strive to do the best in this industry. We have one rule around here, and that is “we do the right thing,” and that goes for everyone—our customers, our staff, and everyone involved within our company. Good things happen to good people, and we truly believe that. If you can have these morals instilled into your organization, then you end up being surrounded by good people and good products. That’s been our goal to build this environment, and we are doing it really well.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME?
I used to work for Chip & Pepper. I was the third man in their company. I had the responsibility to talk to the licenses and be more of the business guy in their company, so I used to wear neckties, but whenever I would shop for ties, I would never find anything that was cool and hip. Then, when it was my time to start my own company, I needed an original name for “cool ties,” and that’s where the name Throat Threads came from. So it all originated from the tie concept.
WOW! CHIP & PEPPER IN THE ’80S! YOU MUST HAVE AMAZING MEMORIES FROM THOSE DAYS.
Do you have two weeks for me to tell you that story? Here’s the bottom line. These guys are the most fun, enthusiastic human beings I have ever met and believe that anyone will ever meet. They are identical twins, they are fun, and they are marketing experts. I grew up with them from grade 7, and we have been best friends ever since. We just always had a great time together. They built an amazing business and moved to L.A and have had many successes. I have my business, and we talk to each other every day.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MEN’S FASHION THESE DAYS? WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?
There has been a consolidation in the menswear business. A lot of great things have happened in the last ten years. A lot of the strong brands have become even stronger. Menswear is more like women’s wear. It’s much more individualized, so people can show off their style through different looks. Things are cleaning up more, and people want to be dressier, so more “dress casual.” You are seeing the skinny ties, cool jackets, and the bow ties. You are seeing that the guys now will throw on a cool jacket with a pair of jeans at night, so there is a little bit more sophistication. The sophistication of menswear is much more relevant today. Footwear and accessories have been extremely important—socks, belts, ties—all these accessories are that much more important because people can show their individual style and express their personality. Fabrics have become more important. Men like beautiful fabrics. People are carving out their niche in the menswear business to what they stand for.
ARE YOU PLANNING ANYTHING FOR YOUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY?
We definitely will celebrate with our staff, customers, and friends, but the 25th for us will be our significant milestone. Now that’s a party we will all want to be at.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANYONE STARTING OUT IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY?
I have advice for the people who haven’t started—“START.” We all have great ideas, but a lot of these ideas just stay in someone’s head and are never executed. My advice would also be to just start anywhere. I also think individuals starting out should find mentors, someone who has all the experience, time, energy, and the wisdom that you can go to. You learn from them so much more quickly. Find people they respect, that have great reputations, and a lot of these people want to help the younger generation coming into this industry. “Reality is human beings want to give.”
IN YOUR OPINION, (LIVING OR NOT), WHO HAS THE BEST STYLE?
John Varavtos is one of them for sure. Everything he does is so on point and up to trend and new. Someone else whose style has become iconic over the course of time would be Frank Sinatra.
DEALING WITH MEN’S FASHION, I AM SURE YOU ARE ASKED EVERY DAY ABOUT YOUR STYLE AND LOOK. TELL US HOW YOU WOULD DESCRIBE YOUR EVERYDAY LOOK.
I am comfortable, dress casual with sophisticated fabrics, and clean. I like to feel that I can go to any setting and look professional but at the same time feel comfortable and casual. I like a pop of colour, not a lot of pattern. I would say I am a monochromatic kind of guy. I like fitted garments; I do work out and stay in shape, so that leads itself to knits. I also appreciate materials and great craftsmanship, so I gravitate to companies that have that in their DNA!
- Vedika Solecki
Throat Threads on CUT & SHOW