212 Productions pleads for less fashion groupthink

When former model Scott Walhovd and business partner Anthony Castro decided to launch their own clothing label, 212 Productions, and a boutique store (located at 454 West Cordova Street), some colleagues were skeptical Vancouver's openness to New York inspired fashion.

As 212’s clients have become more sophisticated, the owners have sought to round out their collection of items high-end, but affordable fashion.

“We wanted to create a bridge for that girl wanting the next thing that wasn’t Aritzia," said, adding that 212 has aimed to keep its pieces below $300, with items typically going for around $100.

 While the global downtown has been difficult for many businesses, Walhovd has chosen see the downturn as baptism by fire. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. I wish I had made those mistakes on somebody else’s dollars," he said. "But it’s quite inspiring to know that I’m not one of these people that just talk about doing something. It’s very gratifying.”

For Walhovd, who is in his mid-twenties, the most important aspect of his business is connecting his passion for design and fashion with clients that have a strong sense of originality and independence.

“Our customer is an independent and successful woman," he said. "I want customers who feel they are their own person, that they don’t have to rely on anyone, they can make their own choices and they can be different. I’m sick and tired of the women in Vancouver who are sheep and follow each other. I want that person who has her own individual sense of style to come down here and say ‘this is me, this is why I am buying this. I want to be able to show my own personality through what I wear.’

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