By Justine Barnes
Elpidio Trading hosted a media and buyer preview event on Friday, Jan 29th at their studio space in Gastown. The company was started by Rob Lytle and Thiago Paes in June 2014. I am not sure if we were more impressed by the 3 brands that they carry (Pantone, Garment Project and Oh Dawn) or the founder’s taste in decor. Each brand has different qualities that you will easily fall in love with.
Rob Lytle is a born and raised Vancouverite with a degree in Business and Marketing, as well as a diploma in communication arts. With the education to back him, he chose the life of entrepreneur. It is also noted on their website that he spent a year surfing at the best surf spots around the world.
Thiago Roberti Paes was born in Brazil and finished high school in Germany. He moved to Vancouver in 2006 to complete a degree in communication studies and a minor in international business. He is described as being a multilingual, roller coaster loving, fashion aficionado.
Read on below for our interview with Rob Lytle.
Interview with Rob Lytle:
How did you and Thiago meet?
Thiago and I met through mutual friends, traveled through Europe and worked at a lounge on Davie Street called 1181. Over years of knowing each other, we decided to expand our relationship into a working partnership through a collaborative effort.
What made you decide to start a company together?
We both have a love for business and design and wanted to create and build something together. Thiago and I often discussed owning a storefront together but found that distribution was a better fit. It has been an ambition to work for ourselves and we are confident that with our combined education and life skills we have provided a solid foundation for our future success.
Fashion is one of the industries we both have a keen interest in. Thiago’s family has deep roots in the fashion industry. His mother is a successful wedding gown designer, owning and operating “Atelier Ceica Paes” in Brazil. Thiago’s grandfather, Elpidio (and our company’s namesake), owned and operated three large department stores and a clothing manufacturing company in Brazil. We felt it was a great way to continue the legacy of his family and honor the late great Elpidio.
What is special about the 3 brands that you carry?
Our objectives as a company is to distribute apparel of the finest quality, produced ethically, reflecting our commitment to social responsibility within the global fashion community. These three brands are aligned with our objectives. They are produced from high quality materials and manufactured in Italy and Portugal.
PANTONE UNIVERSE COLORWEAR is a licensee of Pantone, the global authority on color. Established in 2012, Pantone Colorwear is a Monaco based fashion house with color at its heart. The collections are defined by a modern philosophy of design, thoughtfully combining emotion and functionality to invoke the feeling of empowered style and comfortable usability.
OH DAWN is a lifestyle label from Copenhagen started by three surfing buddies who were inspired by the contrast between their concrete surroundings and the breathtaking Scandinavian seascape. Oh Dawn creates pieces that compliment the urban, active lifestyle. Based on the high quality of their garments, Oh Dawn has bridged the gap between surf shops and fashion boutiques being featured and sold in both.
GARMENT PROJECT is a footwear company founded in 2013. Designed with Scandinavian aesthetics the collection is a hybrid between a classic sneaker and a formal shoe made from high quality fabrics including leather, suede, nubuck, goat and calfskin.
What are your goals for the future of your company?
In our first year of business we will focus on growing Elpidio and our brands within Canada. We are excited to bring new, fresh quality apparel to the Canadian market. Our goal is to expand into the USA by year two and look to add more international brands including some Brazilian lines.