The four walls of high school became the breeding ground of ideas for a young fashion designer from Scarborough.
“Designing has been something I wanted to do since Grade 9,” Michael Nyarkoh said. “And it’s been a constant evolution.”
Nyarkoh, 21, is one third of +Wolfe, a contemporary clothing line for men. Nyarkoh, along with fellow designers Erixon Bernardo, 19, and Justin Escutin, 19, began the design of +Wolfe last August.
Very much a character based line, +Wolfe exudes a sophisticated cool that attracts and intrigues fashion forward young men. Nyarkoh describes the +Wolfe man as a “mysterious” and “sincere dude” with a keen eye for fashion labels and a distinct style.
Nyarkoh, who is a Fashion Business student at George Brown College, has always been interested in creating art — either through poetry, music or design. His love for design and fashion led to the creation of his very first clothing line in ninth grade called Abstract Intentions. The street style-based clothing line that Nyarkoh and his high school friends created gained a lot of support when it was launched. It was also the start of a seven-year journey that would lead to the creation of menswear.
“[When] +Wolfe came into surface … it was like I was still hungry,” Nyarkoh said. “I was [also] with people who were very much hungry to make clothes.”
Nyarkoh says Bernardo and Escutin of +Wolfe have played an important part in his design journey.
“They were very much the reason why I wanted to design again,” Nyarkoh said.
Despite the competitive world of fashion, the +Wolfe team is determined to make its presence known in the fashion industry. The team aims to put Canada in the international “fashion playground.”
“We have always wanted whatever we do to be homegrown,” Nyarkoh said. “We want our staple button-up to be that Toronto button-up. We want to be the poster child of Canadian menswear fashion.”
Though the team juggles school, part-time jobs and family, Nyarkoh, Escutin and Bernardo stay consistent in the design and branding of +Wolfe. With great support and belief in their brand by those who surround them, +Wolfe is gaining momentum and creating a buzz in downtown Toronto.
“We’re working towards making Canada a place that really provides good fashion,” Nyarkoh said.
As +Wolfe prepares for the launch of its fall Capsule Collection, Toronto can only wait for what they’ve got to offer.
“As small as [+Wolfe] is now, there’s a potential that this can be very big,” Nyarkoh said. “How long is that going to take? I don’t know. I’m hoping very soon. But there’s something in the waters.”