We’re always looking out for interesting and creative happenings in our city and the latest that caught our attention is the ECCO x Mack House stackt market pop up experiential space happening downtown Toronto. The premium heritage Danish brand has moved in until October 29 to offer up a unique opportunity to discover what’s new and to learn about what makes this Scandinavian leather goods company one of the most sought after in the world. Not only are visitors invited into the space to learn about their design, innovations, and high tech processes, but also to meet with local Toronto graphic artists and illustrators on the weekends at the pop-up’s “Illustrator Series”. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take away a complimentary DIY small leather goods kit to make their own creation.
Each artist featured in the Illustrator Series will bring their unique style to the table. Featured artists include @huneystudios @SarahSkrlj, @theworstCam, @iamChrisNevin, @Rewfoe, @MikeHakk and @Leeloodle and will be on-site each weekend until October 24th.
I met with @huneystudios recently — and of course to have her customize a pair of ECCO sneakers. Huney is a recent English major graduate from Ryerson University and a freelance artist. She started applying her freehand illustrations onto shoes and the word got out quickly. She describes her own style as minimal and abstract. Huney’s style is influenced by Matisse and Picasso but also modern pop culture artists including Andy Warhol. You can see her work on Instagram here.
For the past three years, her sought after style has evolved to include illustrations on leather handbags, jackets, and clothing. She’s also has worked on several murals around the city including interiors of restaurants.
Huney has been working with Mack House, a well-known customization space at stackt where she’s collaborated with international brands and local sneakerheads. There, she’s also instructed in workshops where visitors book and learn how to create their own art, or hers, on shoes and apparel.
We asked Huney for tips on how to best customize our own goods…
Always use a pencil to sketch out your design first to get the placement and composition down before painting. Once a paint stroke is down you cannot fix it. “Although my designs seem super simple, I use one brush stroke when I paint. So, it’s important to be happy with your placement first so there’s no margin for error.”
Acrylic Leather Paint (she uses Angelus) is used on leather goods as well as vegan “leathers” but she tells us it’s made to adhere better to the material and is longer lasting. It won’t peel away or fade if applied carefully. And the paint is water-resistant. It also dries fairly quickly but always give time for the paint to completely dry. This paint dries within minutes.
Also works well on cotton and polyester. By the way, canvas and denim have more texture to them but just takes more time to paint.
You’ll want to take good care of the leather piece you’re designing. Careful of where creases would happen naturally through wear. You’ll want to add a weatherproofing spray overall to the piece once the paint is dry.
We probably wouldn’t wear the hand-painted coveted pieces in the winter where there is salt on the sidewalk. Should you find yourself in that situation, best to wipe off excess salt and dirt as soon as you get indoors to minimize salt damage.
And if you spill something on your customized designed goods, best to quickly take a damp washcloth and wipe off immediately to minimize staining.
ECCO will also be supporting stackt Market neighbours in collaborations with Courage Cookies, Pearl & Bean, and Belgium Moon Brewery. stackt Market is a unique creative space that features many businesses with a focus on creativity. Each is housed in former shipping containers, that are puzzled together to form over 10,000 ft of this always evolving market destination located at Front Street and Bathurst Street. You’ll find a variety of inspiring shops and food stops worthy of a visit. Check for weekend events like special brunches in the open air park space. Often art installations are found at stackt. Dog friendly too! See what’s happening here.