Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed men’s wear evolve into a more tailored aesthetic. Our pants are sitting a little bit higher and our shirts are fitting a little bit smaller – all in celebration of a new silhouette. The Slim Fit shirt has become a staple in just about every man’s closet but the quest to find a slim fit shirt that honestly compliments the male figure is ongoing. That is, until we sat down with the Toronto-based visionary behind Nordem Hirst, Kallvis Gents. At just 24 years old, Kallvis manages to awe us with his innovation. In re-examining the Slim Fit shirt, he has boldly accepted the challenge to dress the magnificent men in our city. His mission is simple: save the world, one shirt at a time.
Kallvis’s career debut came shortly after graduating from George Brown College, with a unisex collection at Fashion Art Toronto [FAT] under the label, HUMAN NATURE. The label is meant as a commentary on our innate pursuit for beauty. Kallvis explains, “I care about beauty. I care about dressing people. I like [it] when people look good. HUMAN NATURE was my artistic expression – my pursuit for beauty. We all want to live more beautifully.”
It is this philosophy that propelled him to specifically focus on men’s wear. As a slim man himself, Kallvis relates to the struggle to find a shirt with a good fit. This allowed him to reconsider his brand and cater to the gap in men’s fashion. Gents’s re-branding began with a simple game of word association. “I started with words like luxury, shirt, fit, tailor, modern, slim, athletic, and every day. I picked the two words – modern shirt – and I had the idea to rearrange the letters. Nordem Hirst is an anagram of modern shirt
Beyond brand development, Kallvis’s product delivers. He enthusiastically states that he sets himself apart from the crowd through his creative process and great technical skills. But when asked about his line of shirts, he falls silent. Eventually, he proposes that each shirt speaks for itself.
He parallels the complexity of putting a shirt together with engineering. It is this unique point of view that has allowed him to perfect the Slim Fit Shirt. His process involved re-cutting the shirt more than ten times, then test-fitting it on at least ten models to get the most accurate depiction of style and fit. He describes the shirt as the “bread and butter” of any outfit and prides himself in daring to achieve the best silhouette.
Kallvis embraces other aspects of men’s wear. He is currently working on men’s ties and is also “engineering” a few suits. And while his specialty lies in his eye for detail and signature classics, he is eager to present more contemporary designs in his next collection – exploring colour, in particular. We should all be on the lookout for what Kallvis will do next in his pursuit for beauty. Gents may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we believe he makes a most suitable hero and a perfect gentleman.
WORDS: JONATHAN BRODERICK
PHOTOS: PAUL STEWARD
MODEL: RAMA LUKSIARTO