And so it is the company motto of Green Shag Bespoke Clothiers in Toronto.
Green Shag is the double entendred, fun company name and the great grassroots approach to developing customized and personalized style for urban males. It's also a story about a husband and wife team who started the business after living in Vancouver and realizing the poor options available to men who wanted to exhibit a little more personal style and flash than Tommy Hilfiger or Polo.
Strangely, my first encounter with Green Shag was heading into an elevator on the 17th floor of the newly renovated agency DDB Canada. In walked Victoria McPhedran - the ebullient co-founder of Green Shag - making house calls on some of her prized ad-men customers. By the ground floor, her passion had won me over - she had infectious enthusiasm, a smart retail and wholesale idea for custom made-shirts and cufflinks and a tonne of talent (her husband is a former creative ad guy and makes up the design component of Green Shag).
Green Shag relies on the quite-introverted fashion mindset of otherwise powerful men. As a gender, we may have an affinity for good stylish clothes but we're living in constant fear of making the next fashion crime (recall Seinfeld and the puffy shirt episode). Given her own background in the financial and ad worlds, I could see how Victoria is brilliant in bringing the fashion soul of blue-suited men out. As I recall of our quick elevator ride (many months back now - sorry for the late post), she has a sense of personal style, an influential smile, a scary understanding of the male psyche and an ability to spot the personal comfortable fashion zone for the boardroom, party or bar (not white-shirted and not Jimmy Buffett-ed).
Because of fashion sense that stretches, some of Green Shag's first customers were women shopping for men and gay partners. The word of mouth has spread and built from there given the "spot that person" visible Green Shag fashion badging statement and the weight of strong grassroots media (love the hockey cufflinks and John Tonelli incident profiled in The Globe and Mail).
What rules is Green Shag using to spread the shagg-able word:
The Law of Word of Mouth #1 - Passion - there is a personalized charm for dealing with Victoria, you realize this is a women who has found her right calling and you're willing to be led along the fashion trail gladly
The Law of Word of Mouth #10 - Self-Expression - ask any alpha male and one of the highest forms of compliment is to be recognized for something they''ve done (or in this case worn) that is different and personal. By producing stuff that's well beyond Moore's or The Bay's rack and more unique than Harry Rosen's, Green Shag enables those compliments to happen
The Law of Word of Mouth #14 - VIP Treatment/Customization - customized to your fit and to your sense of style, chances are you'll be wearing a one-of-a-kind, when you shop Green Shag
Law of Word of Mouth #18 - Visibility - these aren't just quality made English and Italian cottons or simple bronzed-metal veneer, there is a sense of forward style that begs to be noticed with Green Shag's offerings
Law of Word of Mouth #26 - Innovative - Green Shag has carved out a fun and unique fashion area within the stoic wardrobes of grey and white collared men, most fashion shops aim for the "out there" edges, Green Shag converts and educates the rest of men to move to the left on the adoption curve
Law of Word of Mouth #35 - Ritualistic - called The Journey, frequently customers experience their first affair with customized tailoring with Green Shag and it does have its own set of rituals and language
Green Shag has now moved into a new pad called the Stordio- give them a call ahead and go on a XY fashion ride:
401 Richmond Street West, Studio 215
By Appointment or by Chance