Grailed In The 6: A Visit With Nomad
Grailed In The 6: A Visit With Nomad
- Words Grailed Team
- Date August 31, 2016
Since it opened its doors back in 2005, Nomad has been the face of menswear retail in Toronto. Perfectly capturing the city's fashion scene, the shop has become the de facto meeting place and center for fashion enthusiasts thanks to an ever evolving brand list and staff of tastemakers. We spoke with Ivan Chow, Nomad's Manager and Buyer, to learn more about what goes into running Toronto's favorite shop.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Nomad currently.
Hi, I’m Ivan, I’m the Manager and Assistant Buyer at Nomad. I’m responsible for store operation and working with the owners on our buys.
How did you get started working at Nomad? What’s your career trajectory been like?
It all started 4 years ago when I applied to Parsons and didn’t attend because I spent all my money on clothes. Instead of a formal education I opted for a hands-on approach and applied to be the photography intern. From there it quickly developed into a permanent position and I was fortunate enough to get embedded in almost every area of the business. It’s been a whirlwind ride with a lot to learn but thankfully I have a slew of great mentors.
Nomad is often viewed as the Toronto men’s shop. In your opinion, why do you think the scene has galvanized around you guys specifically?
I think it has to do with the reputation that we’ve gotten over the years. We carried a lot of brands that weren’t easily found and people knew us to be that spot that was always pushing the envelope. Although that brand list has changed, our ability to curate hasn’t so people are always looking to see what we’re bringing into the fold.
What makes the Toronto Menswear community special?
The menswear community’s ability and willingness to collaborate puts it on a different plane. If the city were an enamel pin, it’d be the “Let’s Build Fam” one. Whether it’s within the fashion community or with other creative fields, there are always projects coming out of the woodwork. There’s no shortage of talent and end to the thirst to create.
It’s now been over 10 years since Nomad first opened its doors. How has the shop evolved over time?
The overall DNA of Nomad has remained the same. Nomad today still feels like the Nomad I shopped at in 2006. That being said, we have ramped up e-commerce and moved to a larger location, both mandatory for fostering growth to last another 10 years.
How would you describe the Nomad vibe in 2016 to someone who has yet to visit the shop?
We’ve always had a strong family vibe at the shop. Long time customers are treated like kin, newer customers like friends. It’s all about trust for us, we wouldn’t have lasted this long if all we did was push clothes on customers. If you try something on and it looks like shit, we’ll tell you.
What are Nomad's best selling brands and labels? Who would you still like to bring into the fold?
At the moment Gosha Rubchinskiy and Fear of God are our quickest selling brands. Once it gets colder Arc’teryx Veilance flies off the racks (after all, we are located in Canada). There’s also a heavy demand for staples like A.P.C., Wings + Horns, and the Comme des Garçons family. I would love to bring in more from the Comme des Garçons family, I’m a diehard fan. I’m pretty sure I saw Rei smile at the showroom.
What does the future of Nomad look like?
Non-stop curation and the eternal question of “what’s for lunch?”
Any OG stories you can share with us? Famously, OVO traces some of its roots to you guys.
The OG stories are best shared over beers ;).