As an event dedicated to creating opportunities for local artists, musicians and designers, Supercrawl serves not only as an integral promotional event for the city of Hamilton, but also as an opportunity for the tightly-knit community of Hamilton creatives to connect over their passions.
Hamilton’s fashion scene is one of the fastest growing art scenes within this city. With designers and purveyors specializing in streetwear, vintage clothing, lingerie and up-cycled materials, there is no question that the diversity within the scene is an important aspect of why it is thriving.
Aaron Duarte and Paul Heaton, the creatives behind the Eye of Faith, a multidisciplinary clothing brand striving to bring “the best of the past to the present to shape the future”, sat on the Supercrawl Fashion Committee. From curating the line-up for the fashion stage, to reaching out to new designers, the duo were ultimately able to see just how important events like Supercrawl can be for Hamilton’s fashion scene.
“Designers aren’t always looked at as artists, but when you break down everything from the intricacy of their patterns, the attention to detail and palette, to even the artistry behind their original graphic prints, fashion is as much an art form as any,” said Duarte. “Supercrawl has chosen to help give representation to the fine creatives that bring life to this industry in our city.”
In addition to creating an opportunity for community growth within Hamilton’s fashion scene, events like Supercrawl are essential for both new and seasoned designers within the city as a form of exposure and as a platform to reach a significantly larger audience than they normally could.
The steady stream of runway showcases that take place throughout Supercrawl at the Maker’s Market Fashion Stage typically hold the largest platform that many of Hamilton designers, brands and purveyors will have to demonstrate their work.
“[Supercrawl] is a great chance for new designers to get their name out there, and let the general public see all the hard work they have put into their passion,” said Duarte. “Even the regular art crawls that happen every month generate impressive traffic that give shop owners on James Street a steady flow of new and returning clients that keep [Hamilton’s fashion] industry alive.”
From Aug. 24 to Sept. 2, Supercrawl paired with CF Limeridge Mall to host a Supercrawl Fashion Pop-up store that put Hamilton designers on display. The event created an opportunity whereby Hamilton independent designers and purveyors were able to generate sales and promote their brands within the city’s largest shopping mall.
It also served as a way to promote Supercrawl to individuals in the area who may not be familiar with the downtown arts and culture scene.
Kadeem Jarrett and Michael St. Jean of Foreign Waves International, a streetwear and lifestyle brand based in downtown Hamilton, participated in the Limeridge Pop-Up this summer, generating interest in their brand from a different audience.
“[The Supercrawl Fashion Pop-Up] was a really great experience because our brand is very well known in the downtown area of Hamilton, so being able to gain some exposure on the mountain really increased our following,” said Jarrett. St. Jean echoed the sentiment.
As fashion, especially in Hamilton, is often seen as a form of business rather than an art form, Supercrawl serves as an important opportunity for independent designers to demonstrate how unique and community-focused Hamilton’s local fashion industry really is.