This month, we discover the Vancouver-based company: TAIKAN.
Conceived from the desire for inspired purpose-driven product with an emphasis on aspirational silhouettes, TAIKAN brings timeless design in classic-rooted styles.
The Summer of Love, a social phenomenon coined in ’67, represents a group of youthful creatives, expressing their views during the civil rights movement. This movement is the inspiration behind Taikan’s latest line, called Collection 003.
Pale vegetable tan pinks and creamy canvas-whites are focal points throughout the line, tying the Summer of Love from the past to present day.
With the release of the new pieces, we decided to ask company’s brand director, Paul Ismirnioglou, 10 questions about TAIKAN!
1. How did the name of the brand come together?
It was a play on words; Taikan (pronounced “TAKEN”) means “To carry or bring with one”. This name was coined by the need to carry our own items, while focusing on unique designs.
2. Why did you decide to focus on accessories?
We felt like there was an opportunity within the market for cleaner silhouettes without losing functional designs. Taikan mirrors what
we are presently seeing on the streets rather than in the mountains or trails.
Our bags focus on simplicity and functionality, two concepts that were missing from today’s market. The design theory is simple: less is more; and we’re doing our best to remain as minimalist as possible for seasons to come. Taikan is a fashion-based accessories line and uses the simple aesthetic to showcase our products.
3. Who is your target audience?
We’re currently targeting the mid-twenties to early thirties crowd; these individuals enjoy art, design, fashion and music. They’re also drawn to our authentic message and design of our products. Many of our collaborations focus around music and photography, which is where we find the majority of our target audience stemming from.
4. Who are the designers behind the brand?
Jean-Claude LeBlanc is the head designer for TAIKAN. He has a background in Industrial Design and created homeware products for luxury furniture stores (Inform Interiors). He was also the founder and designer of a clothing brand called Blanc & Noir, which provide extensive manufacturing and sourcing experience in Japan, Italy, Canada and Asia.
5. What would you say are the biggest trends right now when it comes to totes and backpacks?
It’s so hard to say but I think that consumers are more interested in the brand rather than a trend. Totes are really starting to pick up overall, but new categories like chest and side bags have taken off with younger consumers.
6. Why were you inspired by The Summer of Love?
The Summer of Love was extremely influential on the music scene and shifted the overall opinion of the industry. Taikan has strong ties to this industry and draws inspiration from the history as a whole. The Summer of Love encompasses a time of transition for young creatives, which perfectly represents Taikan’s new endeavors with the Veg Tan series.
7. Where do you manufacture your designs?
Everything is designed and tested in Vancouver, Canada, but our production is being fulfilled overseas.
8. What materials do you mostly use?
Our core collection features our staple Ballistic Nylon: this durable material offers structure to our pieces, while remaining stylish. For Collection 003, we also introduced Italian leathers and suedes, and Cordura Camo for the elevated pieces.
9. How do you pick the names for each new design?
Our names are mainly based of off military aircrafts. Ballistic Nylon was developed for pilot jackets, due to the durability of the material.
10. You focus extensively on backpacks. Why?
We have a bunch of new products (chest and side bags) coming out for SS18, but to answer your question, we wanted to master our current product range before jumping into different categories of accessories. Staying focused is a special key within the first few years of building a brand. We now have the opportunity to extend our range into different categories, while staying consistent with our core message.