In the past few years the city of Toronto has been ground zero for North American artistry. Be it music, theater or fashion, Toronto is not only home to many of the most prominent culture influencers, but provides infinite and diverse inspiration for aspiring artists.

While music may be the medium of choice for many of the most prominent Toronto-based artists, there is a new set of creatives on the rise who are looking to express the essence of the city through the medium of fashion.

RS sat down with Kai Baker-Bossert and Douglas Tynes, the creators of Toronto based label Nightmare, to discuss influences, city life and their own take on contemporary fashion.


RescueSystem: How did you begin to cultivate your individual style & aesthetic?

Nightmare: We first started getting into fashion through internet forums; from there we developed and evolved our personal styles.

RS: What kind of influence has growing up in the city had on how you design?

NM: Growing up in Toronto, we were surrounded by so many creative people. Most nights there are events to go to and run into new interesting people, so we try to surround ourselves with smart and talented people.

RS: What inspired you to begin designing?

NM: We love wearing different clothes and mixing designers together, but when we started making our own clothes we took full control over what we wear and how we look. It’s also a creative outlet for us; we can express how we feel through our garments.



RS: Which artists and designers do you credit with inspiration behind your unique style? 

NM: We get a lot of influence from Undercover, Margiela, Cav Empt, and the blends of streetwear and high end fashion that we have been seeing in the fashion community over the past few years.


RS: How have fans of the brand been able to get their hands on your designs?

NM: Our first pop up was a huge success. It gave us more local buzz in the fashion community than we expected, and gave us the opportunity to talk to our customers and other local vendors. It’s a format we’re going to continue with for a while, and hopefully it’ll give other brands new exposure like it’s done with us.



RS: What excites you about fashion in the late 2010s?

NM: It’s crazy how young fashion designers seem to be getting. The designer of Vejas is only 20, and he just won the LMVH special prize. Also social media is becoming the main way to sell and expose oneself these days. It makes it so much easier for smaller brands like us to be heard and seen.

RS: As you grow as designers, where do you see Nightmare headed in the future?

NM: We hope to get better at getting our message across through our clothes. We also hope to evolve as people, and show that evolution through our clothes.