Drake Receives $25K Years Co Special Edition Fur Coat From Toronto Raptors For Drake Night
The Toronto Raptors held their 3rd annual ‘Drake Night’ in honor of their Global Ambassador, hip hop superstar Drake. As part of the special night, Drake was gifted a $25K one of a kind fur coat created by Toronto based brand Years Co.
We spoke with Years Co (YC) co-founder Ben Gottlieb to get exclusive insight into the brand and the production of this special edition piece.
UH: When was Years Co established, and what pieces do you guys primarily produce?
YC: We were established a year ago, so we’re in our second season right now. We’re actually established as an arm of Garrison Bespoke, it’s Canada’s leading bespoke tailor that does high-end suiting for Drake, Future, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, politicians, world leaders and a number of celebrities. Garrison does very high-end formal wear, and Years Co is the casual sportswear arm. What we do is more casual takes on more traditional outwear, and it’s all custom-made. We have a line of seven coats, they’re on our website: an overcoat, peacoat, bomber jacket, and the fishtail coat — the most popular, which Drake’s coat is based off of. It’s all custom, all very high-end material. Our price points start at about $2K and go up from there. We serve very high-end clientele, we provide coats that fill a hole in their wardrobe. So guys who are normally wearing top coats on their day-to-day, but don’t have a go-to for their casual wear, that’s the niche we fit in.
UH: How Does Years Co and Garrison Bespoke work together?
YC: Michael Nguyen is the founder of Garrison Bespoke, he’s one of our investors. There’s 3 of us that are the founder of Years Co, Michael, myself and William Ng, who’s our creative director. We share infrastructure with Garrison, they’re two separate legal entities technically, however there’s a lot of redundancy in terms of our production, relationships and clientele, there’s quite a big overlap there. But Garrison serves only Toronto, whereas Years Co serves other markets as well.
UH: How did your collaboration with Drake and the Toronto Raptors come about?
YC: It’s kind of an ongoing collab which is neat. It started maybe four or five years ago, our relationship with Drake started. Drake at that time, who is obviously from the city, and very popular here, was starting to really expand outside of the city and make a name for himself. Some of his albums that were being released south of the border, were getting larger North American and international exposure. The first piece that Garrison did for Drake was actually a tuxedo for Diddy’s New Year’s Eve party, I think that might’ve been 2010 or 2011. So it’s been a pretty longstanding relationship.
Garrison also works pretty closely with some of the executives at MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment) and does suiting for the Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC players. Those three teams are all owned by the same parent company, and Garrison works closely with them. So when the Drake and Raptors partnership was formalized a couple year ago, they started doing the annual Drake Night event. MLSE approached Garrison because they wanted to present Drake with a gift at the beginning to kick the night off. So the first year was actually a suit jacket that they did, which was lined with a vintage Vince Carter jersey, so that was presented to him, it was big success. Last year Garrison did a camel overcoat, it was a $25K coat paid for by the Toronto Raptors as a gift to Drake. With Drake Night being tonight they approached Garrison once again and said hey we’d like to do another gift for Drake.
UH: What is the coat made of, and what inspired its design?
YC: I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Toronto Huskies, it’s the previous professional basketball team in Toronto. The Raptors use Huskies as their throwback jersey. So every once in a while they’ll wear the Huskies jersey and transform the court, it’s a nice piece of nostalgia and throwback. This is overlapped with the Huskies month, so the Raptors have the Huskies court going right now and they’ve been wearing the Huskies jersey. So we combined all those things together and wanted to do a little bit more of a casual piece instead of a top coat, which was a really cool piece for Drake last year, but not something that necessarily fits his day to day style. He’s not a guy you see in suits very often, he’s more jeans, sweats, hoodies, crew-necks, a lot more of a laid back style. We wanted to give him a piece that would really blend into that style. So what we did was took our fishtail coat and we kind of reengineered it and lined it with a grey wool fur that looks like a husky, and also lined it on the inside with one of the Toronto Huskies jerseys. And on the outside, it’s made with Dormeuil cashmere, one of the most expensive cashmeres in the world, and the price point’s over $20K. The wool itself is extremely unique, it’s one of 60 coats in the world made with this cashmere. When that cashmere is made, it’s only made once making it super exclusive and super rare. And the color was custom blended to be a wolf grey. So everything happened to converge at the same time and we were able to present Drake with a piece that really draws from that Huskies inspiration. And it’s something that fits a little bit more with his personal style than things we’ve done in the past, but also honors the tradition of giving him that gift once a year on Drake Night.