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Groundbreaking Fashion
for the Hip Hop Generation

By Theresa Micallef

It's been a steady uphill climb for fashion entrepreneur Adrian Aitcheson of Too Black Guys (TBG) clothing company, ever since Mary J. Blige's classic "Real Love" video hit the airwaves in 92'. The video featured Mary rocking a TBG button-up baseball shirt with "Too Black Guys" emblazoned on the front and was the first big break for the company, and their official introduction to America, as well as the rest of the world. Other early supporters of the line founded in Toronto in 1990 included Spike Lee, Ice Cube and A Tribe Called Quest, who wore TBG gear in their 91' video for "What's The Scenario". A few years later, Quentin Tarantino wore a TBG piece in the 96' Spike Lee film Girl 6. TBG opened their first store in Toronto in 91', followed quickly by the opening of a location in Manhattan, New York's lower east side in 92'.

Adrian, a University of Toronto economics grad, began TBG with five different t-shirts and a total investment of $2,000. Soon after its launch, the company became known across the continent for its Afro-political styles, graphics and expressions, and following close to a decade of success with his self-financed company, Adrian closed the doors of TBG and took a position as Design Director at Roots Canada. He designed several collections for Canada's leading lifestyle brand, including the line created for athletes of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, and was acknowledged with the prestigious Designer of the Year Award at Toronto Fashion Week in 2003. Seventeen years later, the brand's supporters convinced him to reintroduce a reincarnation of the TBG line, combining the sentiment of the early nineties, but updated in terms of look and style. Canadian retailers in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary now carry the new TBG line, and deals have been struck across the globe in the U.S., Europe and Japan. In addition to taking TBG global, Adrian is currently head designer for Canada Goose, Canada's leading outerwear brand.



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