Winnipeg’s Friday Knights creates clothing for city’s vibrant hip-hop scene

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Happy New Year lovely fashionistas! I hope your holidays were filled with sparkle, sequins and shine — mine certainly were.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/01/2016 (2458 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Happy New Year lovely fashionistas! I hope your holidays were filled with sparkle, sequins and shine — mine certainly were.

In keeping with my New Year’s fashion column tradition, I am starting 2016 with a shout out to a local designer and the first one for this year belongs to Friday Knights.

Friday Knights isn’t necessarily new to the fashion scene as far as local streetwear brands go, but its grassroots growth in popularity makes it new to the mainstream.

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Friday Knights’ Eric Olek began selling his streetwear fashions out of the trunk of his car, but now has his own boutique, where he creates his new designs.

Eric Olek started Friday Knights, a streetwear brand created with the hip-hop scene in mind, five years ago. At the time he was an unemployed ambitious Winnipegger who sold goods out of the trunk of his car.

“I was invited out to a launch party for a local entertainment company and was really inspired that people in our city were making such big moves,” Olek remembered. “It excited me. I wanted to create something for others to love with the narrative being largely based on my own experiences and my love for hip-hop culture.”

These days, Olek has shut the trunk of his car, opened a local boutique and has turned out three solid collections each year. That hasn’t changed the company philosophy, he says. “Friday Knights is still an underground streetwear brand to the very core.

“But more than that, it’s a lifestyle,” Olek says. “It’s about doing you and chasing your dreams. Taking all of the forward momentum you have on a Friday night after a long week and living like that every day. Our goal is to create timeless and original pieces while pushing content relatable to a culture cherished by millions.”

His designs are simple, clean and understated with bits of flair. In keeping with other streetwear brands, the simplicity of Friday Knights allows people to incorporate their own personal style into the mix while still repping the brand.

Supplied photo Friday Knights’ designs can be understated, above, but they also have graphic prints, below, that allow people to incorporate their own style.

“The first couple of lines were just graphic T-shirts and sweaters, but I learned about design over the years — patterns, samples, manufacturing, et cetera,” explains Olek. “Over the last 18 months I’ve released three made-in-Winnipeg collections including everything from T-shirts to pants and button-down shirts, hand-selecting everything from fabric to buttons.”

And it looks as though the brand will continue the momentum this spring. Olek plans to launch a unique retail outlet for Friday Knights and brands like it. Olek won’t divulge too many details on the new store but hints that following @NomadWpg on Instagram might give you a sneak peek.

Friday Knights Clothing & Accessories is sold exclusively at Blackli$t Boutique at 75 Albert St., or check out the brand online at www.fridayknights.ca, Instagram @fridayknightsclothing and Twitter @fridayknightsca.

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Updated on Sunday, January 10, 2016 5:55 PM CST: Corrects typo.

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