Fashion

Canadian-Made Cosy Clothes For Stylish Kids & On-The-Go Grownups

November 13, 2021

Founded by London, Ontario, mom Erika Oakes, Os & Oakes is a line of contemporary clothing for stylish kiddos and their on-the-go adults. Made in Toronto of an incredibly soft, bamboo-blend, sustainable fabric that is durable and ethically made, the brand’s fall/winter collection features fave cosy items like leggings, crewnecks, rompers and long sleeves in new seasonal colours: merlot, pine, fig and ash rose. We chatted with Erika to learn more! —Vita Daily

Hi Erika! When and why did you launch Os & Oakes?

We launched os & oakes in 2016; I loved buying adorable, stylish clothing for my boys and often spent hours searching social media for cute brands that I loved. I couldn’t always find exactly what I was looking for so I felt inspired to create a line of clothing that my kids could play in comfortably, while looking fashionable and on-trend. My brother Michael also felt compelled to exert some creativity and design into a sleek contemporary brand, that would portray a simple look for kids. Partnering up, we drew up some designs created our little ostrich logo and sought out Canadian manufacturers. We wanted to uphold some key standards in our production (i.e., Canadian made, making eco-conscious decisions etc) and of course we ensured we developed a quality product that both parents and kids would like! The name Os & Oakes came out of brainstorming session one night. Os stands for our Ostrich—we thought an Ostrich was different, quirky but still cool enough to be used on adult clothing if we ever wanted to expand our line. Oakes is our family name, but mainly represents my boys who were the inspiration behind the line.

What fashion niche were/are you aiming to fill?

Children’s fashion is often plastered with characters and graphics, and our aim was to offer an alternative to that. We wanted our designs to be simple and easy to wear. Instead of using a polyester fabric we opted for an extremely soft and hypoallergenic bamboo cotton blend. By keeping the items gender neutral and using higher-quality fabrics, it makes our items easier to pass on throughout the family. Parents also started to request our items in adult sizes, so our designs have now evolved into adult items as well so that we have items that all members of the family can enjoy. We love that all members of the family can co-ordinate or match in our items—perfect for family photo shoots! Some of our popular pieces include our adult sweatshirts: the fabric is so soft and is wearable through all seasons. Our baby romper is also very popular: we have placed a zipper between the legs instead of traditional snaps to make diaper changes quick and easy, and we have also added our signature elbow patches, which parents just love.

You just launched your new FW collection! Tell us about the range, the inspo behind it and your top styling tips for our upcoming family holiday photo shoots.

We were inspired by traditional fall and holiday colours this year, that are also complemented by many of the neutral colours we already offer. The deep-red merlot colour and bluish pine green are perfect to wear throughout the holidays and they are also gender neutral. While these colours are bold and beautiful, they pair really well with the plaids of the holiday season.

So, what one Os & Oakes piece will you be rocking all winter long, and why?!

Personally, I love the adult merlot crewneck or the ash rose pink hoodie. However, I am most excited about the new piece we will be introducing soon. It’s a ladies half-zip sweater in a stretch waffle fabric that is SO comfortable, and the perfect polished casual look. Stay tuned!

osandoakes.com

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