Toronto’s Best Dressed: Brian A. Richards, potential future face of fashion in Toronto

Toronto’s Best Dressed: Brian A. Richards, potential future face of fashion in Toronto

Marketing maven with a penchant for unapologetic fashion faux-pas

Richards, who was photographed at his home, wears a vintage hat and vintage leather jacket from Klaxon Howl, sunglasses from Cutler and Gross, a shirt by Robert Graham and pants by Latre. Photograph by Vanessa Heins

It’s been a crazy year for Brian A. Richards and his team at the Collections, the fashion-focused marketing firm he founded with Dwayne Kennedy and Mel Ashcroft six years ago. Their breakout designer Ellie Mae attracted international attention when her chic jackets were worn by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau in Washington, and now that Toronto Fashion Week’s been cancelled, many in the industry are turning to the trio to reinvent the city’s runway scene.

But despite the prestige, Richards has maintained a sense of fashionable irreverence. “I think you can determine a person’s personality by their outfit choices,” he says. Richards’ signature look—a vibrant Hawaiian shirt with wide-legged trousers, loud socks and some sort of oversized chapeau—was inherited from his Jamaican father and uncles.

Brian, 2015 @fsncollections #portrait #blackandwhite #newwork

A photo posted by Photographer • Toronto ?? (@paulcrivellari) on

And although he commits many fashion faux pas (“I like to tuck in my sweaters,” he admits), Richards is charming enough to get away with it. “I get a lot of ‘Only you can pull that off,’ ” he says.

Current Obsessions

Stomping Boot
“I just bought a pair of Timberlands that will be able to storm through any sort of precipitation.” $190. Foot Locker, multiple locations.
Funky Shades
“Sunglasses are the best way to change up your style. Cutler and Gross makes it easy to experiment.” $729.
Waxed Cotton Tote
“Krane’s rucksack is great for when I need to carry my whole life with me.” $780. Gotstyle, multiple locations.
Rosehip Oil
“It’s the only grooming product I use. I shave my head, wash my face and apply the oil every day.” $28. Rosedale General Store, 1075 Yonge St.

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