It’s rare that any piece of clothing with the words “Winnipeg, MB” on it would feature anything but a totally hideous scenic recreation, a mountie, or worse, an awkward beaver.
Enter Mine Clothing, with stylish alternatives to a souvenir tee that let Winnipeggers wear hometown swag with pride.
Founded in the summer of 2012 (cleverly referenced on their toques with an “Est. 2012” label), brothers Kyle and Corey Doucette launched their clothing to a sold-out event at the Pyramid Cabaret in February this year.
Kyle (right), who creates the graphics and built the website for the brand, and Corey (left), who handles the business side of things and helps keep his brother on a schedule, are not only great business partners but have to be some of the most loving brothers I’ve ever seen.
When the launch event was over, they had sold out of at least two-thirds of their stock, and were ready to answer back with new designs.
Each of their items features the brand’s signature sense of humour, perhaps the best example of which is the “No Joke So Broke” tee, which goes for a measly $20 (a nod to Peggers’ thirst for a bargain).
Plus, most of the designs make a blatant reference to Winnipeg, like their logoed toques, the bison tee, and, though more general, the “Sunny Beaches of Canada” tee.
Glancing at their online shop, one can sense a distinctly Canadian feel, though everything is more artistic and subtle than an overtly patriotic souvenir tee.
“The more I’ve been doing this, the more important the local thing is,” says Kyle, who envisions putting up a pop-up store at the skate park at The Forks this summer.
“It’s cooler if people in the city know what Mine Clothing is than someone random.”
The twenty-something brothers seem to be part of a new wave of creative young people who have decided to hone their talents in their hometown rather than take them elsewhere.
The clothing line is a beautiful testament to creating the kind of lifestyle they hope to live right here, and investing in the city.
But, with Winnipeg’s trademark humility, the Doucette brothers would never put it that way.
In fact, they view their company as sort of an answer to the way clothing is marketed with so much importance.
“We don’t really want to take ourselves too seriously – the quote I’ve kind of been referring to is ‘They’re just shirts,’” says Kyle.
Visit mineclothing.co to shop or follow mineclothing on Instagram for updates.
Brenlee Coates is a writer and costume assistant on movies. She also believes that shirts are just shirts.