Bonding over our common love for skating, art, fashion and cool, weird shit, VICE and Vans partnered to launch Unbound—a series that enables emerging Canadian creatives to work on what they love.
“A customer asked if it was supposed to be teenage clothes for adults.”
Cynthia Or describes the kind of reactions she gets to the curated selection on display at Creeps, the West Toronto Chinatown clothing shop she runs with her sister. It’s the type of comment that feels inevitable on a shopping trip to Buffalo with your aunt Sally, but it’s also the type of nonchalant comment that continues to put odd ageist classifications on styles and trends.
As looks like dad jeans are increasingly reclaimed by childless people of all genders, Or is continuing to break down the stigma and classifications of style in her latest editorial, which takes inspiration from her family’s Hong Kong heritage and the attitude her parents social circle has towards clothing.
“There's a difference between how people dress in Canada and Asia. In Asia, people have more fun with the way they dress, people wear more colour. In Canada it’s just like adults have to wear office clothes” Or says. “As if becoming an adult requires you dress boring.”
Casting her parents, their friends, and even neighborhood kids from around her store, Or’s photos present clothes as a way for people to defy simple classifications and dated expectations.
“The two older ladies, I grew up knowing because they were my mom’s friends,” Or says, referencing a pair models she cast for the shoot. “One of them, Cat, was always up to date with the trends. They sing karaoke together. She always had dyed hair. She’s always been that character t
hat’s very free and known how to dress how she wanted.”
Mixing the models’ own wardrobe with pieces from Creep, Or shot her subjects within their neighbourhoods, hangouts, and homes to both naturally capture their personalities and show how their style evokes their environments.
“There's no you’re too young to be cool or you're too old, if you’re into it then you can own it.”
Check out the photos below and plan your next raid of grandma’s closet.