HALIFAX — Alex MacLean literally took the shirt off his back to start his own clothing company. His project for a class at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, turned into a brand that sells hoodies and T-shirts with the slogan East Coast Lifestyle. It’s a proud mascot for a region of the country where NHL star Sidney Crosby grew up.
When did boys wear pants?
Now, a little more than two years later, the young Halifax-based company is expanding. It is hiring more employees and launching a West coast clothing company, with mountains instead of anchors, that will be sold in stores across Canada. MacLean is also hoping to get the East Coast Lifestyle gear into stores in Sydney, Australia, since the city sits on that continent’s east coast.
It’s a tough time for many fashion retailers. Boohoo, an online retailer, bought some of Karen Millen’s and Coast’s business this week as the two brands struggled to compete with discount rivals. The move was the latest blow to high-end chains in Britain as shoppers turn to online shops for low prices and more variety.
Coast offers a mix of laid-back and cosy styles, from summer-ready sleep shorts to super soft cotton tees and pants with custom Coast prints. Its colour palette taps classic style and versatility, with shades of blues and navys plus neutral greys. For a touch of fun, they produce a range of witty and offbeat marketing campaigns to go with their clothes. Among the best is an advert featuring John C. Reilly doing a series of activities in an action suit.