Over 250 fans lined up outside of RW&CO yesterday to shake hands with Alex Burrows and discover what he's been up to during the NHL lockout. In addition to returning to his roots in Quebec and playing a dozen charity games with locked out players from the Montreal-Quebec City area, he has found his passion for fashion.
It was a natural fit for Burrows to partner with the Canadian owned and operated company with his like-minded vision of what style looks like. Preferring a casual and comfortable style, he also needs a clothing company that is versatile enough to accommodate when he wants to dress up and when he wants to dress down. Since work shirts and ties are his number one choice, a quick look around the store proves that RW&CO suits his needs.
"I was wearing these clothes before the partnership occurred," explained Burrows. "It was the perfect match; I really like this clothing. Once we (Burrows and Agent Paul Corbeil) approached them last summer and they approached us, it just made sense for us to get a deal done and for me to see the fans at the same time."
But, maybe, he wasn't expecting the turn out that he received. People of all ages, from young children like Jovan Munn to flocks of swooning teenage girls and admiring young men and adults. After two hours of shaking hands, giving hugs and signing jerseys, paintings and even an NHL 2012 video game, you would expect the man's smile to have faded and his greetings to have depressed, alas his spirit remained high and his attitude consistent. "Nice to meet you my friend" was a common line from his mouth as fans posed for a photo and got his autograph. One adoring fan spoke to Burrows in French, only to be caught off guard by a response in French with meaning unbeknownst to her. She walked away giddy and unconcerned.
It was amazing to see the support for the talented athlete with fans bringing up surprisingly heartfelt pieces for him to sign, including a "dedicated to Burrows" t-shirt made in Art Class, a few hand-painted portraits and a personal letter, although not for him to sign but rather to keep.
"I haven't been in Vancouver for a few months, so it's nice to see the fans. I'm glad to be back and hopefully I'll be here for a long time. As long as there are talks I'm optimistic and hopefully tomorrow (Nov.6) will spark a good discussion and we can find a way to get a deal done and the season going."
For more photos from the event check out my Burrows and RW&CO Gallery on Flickr.
Note: Burrows signed a four-year, $18 million contract extension with the Canucks the day before the lockout began - Sept. 14.