A proud Montrealer of Haitian origin, ‘Chris’ is driven by one thing: creation. He’s the first to admit that it’s his only passion. Even though he studied clothing structure, his heart belongs to accessories, particularly bow ties. For now, at least. While he is a talented designer, Christopher is also a daring entrepreneur, having launched his own brand.
The Exorphe Collection came into being by way of a happy accident. During an event, Christopher was tasked with finding a particular style of bow tie. When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he simply decided to create it himself.
That’s all it took for this fabric architect to launch the Exorphe Collection, a line of handmade bow ties marrying form and colour at a price that flusters the competition.
But the artist doesn’t stop there. He is currently studying to become a patternmaker while continuing to offer his services as a style consultant at Surmesur, a house of creation on a different level, where he can share his enthusiasm and his open mind.
François Thériault co-founded Surmesur along with his brother, Vincent, when their world travels revealed the potential to offer a new way for men to shop. “The moment when I saw thousands of possibilities of fabric and options, I knew something amazing could be created,” he says. Since the brothers had always shared a passion for sports and entrepreneurship, it seemed logical to put their interests and heads together to launch Surmesur in a competitive market where they would have to work hard to thrive. “Sports taught us to always push ourselves to meet our goals, whether it’s for a practice, a game or the playoffs,” says Frank. His role within the company also plays to his interests as he looks after supply chain and logistics, overseeing every step of the client experience from fabric sourcing to order processing to final delivery. For Frank, it’s all part and parcel of building the client relationships and customer satisfaction that are the lifeblood of Surmesur.
For Charles, everything revolves around culture, impulse and aesthetics. This Star Wars fan embraced literature at a young age, later adding art history to his repertoire before pursuing his newest passion.
Working in a tea house was a revelation for Charles. He even holds a diploma from the Canadian Tea Institute, and it’s this interest that led him to clothing. As he likes to say, both worlds are all about ‘the aesthetic, beauty, detail, the richness of tastes.’
A veritable social media phenomenon, @hismajestycharles discovered fashion while working at Terra Nostra for two years. He later stretched his creativity at Venne, a made-to-measure menswear store.
Charles brings an entirely different dimension to the Montreal boutique. Besides his personality, his creativity and enthusiasm make him one of the most sought-after stylists in his milieu. It’s in this environment, where he can be himself and express his art, that Charles feels complete.
Having lived in Pittsburgh his entire life, Zach Barzanty is a true “Yinzer,” which means, as Zach himself explains and every Pittsburgh native would understand, that he bleeds black and gold!
Actually, it could be said that style is also in his blood: when Zach and his brother were younger, their grandfather gave them the majority of his cufflink collection. Zach has been “a big cufflink guy” ever since.
After gaining 10 years’ experience in menswear, Zach was attracted to Surmesur because of what he describes as its family atmosphere, a feeling he tries to replicate in-store as manager of Surmesur Pittsburgh.
Like many of his fellow Yinzers, Zach is a fan of any and all sports. His dream would be to combine his interests by dressing professional athletes, a dream that could easily become a reality in a sports town like Pittsburgh.
“Athletes dressed in suits is like seeing a shooting star,” he says. “It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s phenomenal.”