If you’re in need of new jacket (hello, we live in Canada – it’s cold), look no further. In our latest edition of Fashion Fix we caught up with Karl and Mark Matar, the brothers behind the luxury Canadian outerwear brand HiSO.
Founded in 1975 and with over 40 years of experience, you can guarantee that the brand doesn’t only know style, but also more than a thing or two about creating quality outerwear. As HiSO puts it, “first impressions matter; your coat is the first thing people see as you arrive and the last thing as you go…” Makes sense. We like the way you think!
Constructed with rich layers, texture and materials, HiSO only uses the best shearlings and wools sourced from leading hide and textile producers around the globe. That in addition to their effortless shapes, makes for a range of pieces that suits everyone’s fancy. Think oversized and unisex, as well as timeless and elegant styles.
But what really makes the brand stand out, is their effort in being ecologically conscious. We don’t want to name names, but everyone knows a certain Canadian outerwear company that is under constant fire in regards to these issues. That being said, it’s refreshing when you find a brand that doesn’t let profit margins rule over sustainable practice – HiSO being one of those brands.
The company only purchases from tanners that are sourced solely as a by-product from the food industry, or from animals that succumbed to natural causes. In other words, HiSO uses only the world’s most reputable and ethical tanners, along with the newest tanning technology to ensure a minimized environmental impact.
Take a look at the interview with Karl and Mark below and you’ll fall even more in love with this Canadian brand. We’re absolutely obsessed with these coats!
What brought you to the fashion industry?
K&M – Our parents started this company over 40 years ago, and 15 years ago they were ready to settle down and retire. They offered us the opportunity to take over and carry on the business and we jumped at it.
Who is your personal fashion icon?
K – I would say a mix of James Dean and James Bond. I love classic pieces that can last a lifetime – just like a HiSO coat.
How would you describe your personal style?
K – I’m drawn to timeless pieces with clean lines. I live in dark jeans and classic cotton t-shirts. If I’m going out, I’ll swap the t-shirt for a classic white shirt and throw a blazer overtop.
What do you love most about working in fashion?
K – The unique opportunities it presents and the fact that no two days are the same. Working in fashion has allowed me to travel to places I would’ve never imagined and to meet some sensational people across the globe.
What do you wish you could change about the fashion industry?
M – I think fashion is a constantly changing and evolving, and I think a lot of the changes recently have been positive. If I had to change one thing, I think it would be for people to take more chances, whether it be with their personal style or affording more opportunities to emerging brands and talent.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
K & M – We can’t imagine doing anything else! We love what we do and take great pride in carrying on the family business. If I HAD to give another option, both my brother and I are CPA’s by trade, so we’d probably be working in the accounting/finance world.
What is the best piece of style advice you’ve ever received?
K – Don’t hesitate to spend more for quality and make sure you have a good tailor.
What do you wish someone had told you when you first started out in the fashion industry?
M – Don’t be afraid of the word No
If you had any advice for people who aspire to work in fashion, what would it be?
M – Don’t be afraid of risks and putting yourself out there. I’ve found people in this industry love to share their stories and will go out of their way to help you. Don’t hesitate to send that brand or stylist or designer an email to meet for coffee or hop on a call.