At the heart of RAAS, we are dedicated to sharing the passion and drive from amazing local brands within the community and so with a lot of excitement we present:
BEHIND THE BRAND
An in depth look at the people and the heart behind the brands that proudly call RAASYEG home, starting with Adesso.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ayaz Raja from Adesso Accessories to talk about their unique, fashion-forward men’s store and what the future holds for this dynamic team that is tangibly passionate about changing the way men shop.
How did Adesso Start?
My two business partners, Abdul and Lucas, recognized that there was a niche within the market for men that wasn’t being fulfilled. At the time, there wasn't a one stop shop for men to purchase ties, pocket squares or items that were a lot more fashion forward and European inspired. We all have a retail and styling background, and it's a field we are all very passionate about. We saw something was missing, so we created a brand that people would notice and respond to. We endeavour to be trend setters - if you're looking for a funky sock or a vibrant tie, something that is unique to you, you go to Adesso.
How did you and you business partners meet?
Abdul and Lucas both worked at Guess together and they would always talk about starting their own business. I had a fashion blog previously and Abdul saw my work; we ran into each other once and he communicated that he had this idea about starting a brand and he said he wasn't ready yet but when he was, he wanted me to be a part of it. Two years passed and I kind of forgot about it. Eventually, he messaged me back in October 2015 and said he was ready and asked me if I was still on board. I jumped in and here we are!
What's the story behind your name, Adesso?
Adesso means 'now' or 'in the moment' in Italian. We are in love with the Italian fashion scene. Milan is the central hub for men's fashion. Italian architecture, everything about the Italian culture in terms of fashion and art is ahead of its time. The attention to detail is beautiful - it's colourful and vibrant and there are no limits. We wanted to create a brand in vision of that, which is why when you look around our store you'll see a lot of European inspired prints.
Do you design the prints?
With a lot of our products we do in-house designing. Our leather bags are all designed in house and we get them manufactured in Pakistan as Abdul's dad lives there and was able to connect us to quality manufacturers. Our socks are designed in house and for our ties, we work directly with our manufacturer to get the designs we want. They send us prints and fabric swatches, and we go through a selection process. If we want to change the sizes of the designs or the colours, we can make those adjustments. We try to have our own touch on everything to some degree so it's unique to adesso.
What is your Best seller?
Our socks. Our ties are also doing phenomenal. We also work with Good Luck Socks, they are an Edmonton brand. We love working with other small brands; anything that compliments our brand and helps ease the men's fashion scene and men's fashion experience we will feature it in our store.
What is your big vision for Adesso?
We want to take it international; one step at a time, slow and steady. We definitely want to open a location first in Calgary and then across Canada because we believe our brand is different and is needed within the men's market. When people think about men's fashion we want them to think of Adesso. We want to be a one stop shop and a brand that people can rely on and trust. Not only do we focus on the design, but we focus on the quality of our products and customer experience. When you come into our store we are going to make sure that you leave comfortable and very satisfied. We are here to be honest and make sure you get exactly what you need, whether it's from us or somewhere else. We want to make sure that you can rely on us for fashion insight and product knowledge.
What is something you'd want a first time shopper to know about Adesso?
That the products that you wear from Adesso will make you feel good. It isn't only about looking good, but feeling good, feeling confident. Our products are unique and sophisticated and we want you to indulge in the Adesso experience. We will take care of your needs from A to Z and we want you to walk out more confident than when you walked in. Furthermore, we try to cater to everyone's needs; if there's something you're looking for that you can't find in our store, let us know! We can find it or design it for you. We can always create something or bring something in. We do a lot of customization. We can design ties or socks to your needs.
If Adesso was a personality what three character traits would it have?
Versatility. Confidence and someone who isn't afraid of breaking fashion norms. When we think of a famous person that has the traits we want Adesso to emulate, it's David Beckham. His style is so versatile. He can rock a suit and a very casual look. He is fashion forward and walks with confidence.
Thank you, Ayaz for taking time to share your passion with us. It’s stores like Adesso that make RAAS such a wonderful place to visit. We hope that you come to Adesso next time you visit RAAS, and be sure to tag us in your photos of your favourite Adesso finds!