By AHMED DIRIE
Scarborough-raised fashion designer and owner of clothing store 100 Miles, Garie ‘Miles’ Adamson is marking the one-year anniversary of his store’s launch in the Beach with a two-day celebration on the last weekend of April.
100 Miles opened at the end of April last year at 2359 Queen St. E. as Adamson brought his flagship store featuring unique, hip-hop infused style with him to the Beach.
The Jamaican-born Adamson was taken by the community’s welcoming ambiance and has relished embedding himself in the Beach and getting to know local residents over the past year.
“We’re still learning the whole demographic but the people in the area have embraced us very well,” said Adamson in an interview with Beach Metro Community News. “And we love the Beaches.”
He continued: “We’ve been everywhere as a brand from downtown Toronto to Scarborough and we’ve done shows in Markham and Mississauga, but we never really touched the Beaches. During the pandemic, we had a chance to do a couple of events and we were received very well.”
With 31 years in the textile industry and a brand known around the globe, Adamson is no stranger to fashion, design or retail.
An outlier in terms of longevity, Adamson has been working to promote Toronto’s distinct sense of style and oft ignored influence on the fashion world.
“Toronto, we’re still not really recognized as a fashion capital,” he said. “Yet still, I feel for 31 years that we’ve been putting major apparel lines on a lot of famous, iconic people. So, I think that we’ve been able to overcome and conquer what people don’t really perceive…That being that we are a fashion capital, and have been for some time.”
Celebrities to have endorsed 100 Miles include homegrown pop superstar Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham, who notably wore one of Adamson’s hoodies as the Toronto Raptors punched their ticket to the 2019 NBA Finals in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
On the international side, the quality of Adamson’s clothing was one of the few things famously bitter rivals Tupac ‘2Pac’ Shakur and Christopher ‘The Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace could ever agree on. Shakur famously donned an identical hoodie to Drake’s in the 1994 sports drama Above the Rim.
“Tupac being such a global, iconic celebrity and people being such fans of his, they’ve always wanted to have something that’s associated or affiliated with him with, our brand being one of those things from the movie,” said Adamson. “A lot of times the message I get from consumers is that they’re huge ‘Tupac’ fans, and they’ve waited years to buy this hoodie and to finally know the brand that actually outfitted him.”
The film and Shakur’s performance have lived on. That, along with Adamson’s embrace of online shopping, particularly during the height of the pandemic, have played a large part in establishing 100 Miles’ global footprint.
“We ship anywhere,” said Adamson. “A majority of our clients are from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, France, Netherlands, Paris and Amsterdam. We’ve shipped all over the globe and of course, Canada.”
All of the products that can be found at 100 Miles are locally designed and produced. Despite the associated costs, the Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute alumnus has kept his manufacturing in Toronto, aligning perfectly with the Beach’s entrepreneurial spirit and its penchant for sustaining its homegrown businesses.
“We’ve learned that (the Beaches) love ‘Canadian-made’ and supporting local,” said Adamson. “We do a lot of custom work from t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, you name it for other companies and institutions,” he continued. “That’s kept us very busy.”
As a thank you to the community for being so welcoming during the store’s first year, Adamson has a surprise in store to commemorate 100 Miles’ upcoming milestone. The two-day extravaganza will also serve as the exclusive launch of a line of spring and summer Beach-inspired merchandise.
“There’s a lot of different pieces,” said Adamson. “We have shorts, tanks, women’s apparel and yoga wear that we’ve really been working on for the last year-and-a-half. So we’re introducing yoga wear, joggers as well as dog-walking apparel.”
All of the items of clothing, including 100 Miles’ signature hoodie, will have ‘Beach’ or ‘Beaches’ embroidered and stylized in the form of its iconic logo.
Adamson has embraced social media, including Instagram and TikTok, to stay connected and to keep an ear to the ground on emerging trends.
However, he said he relies on his years of experience to stay relevant in the ever-changing fashion industry as well as the understanding that often the best promotional tool at his disposal is the high quality associated with his products.
“We’re from a time in the ’90s where it was really about the culture and about your craft or what you had to offer to society,” said Adamson.
The two-day 100 Miles anniversary celebration starts on Saturday, April 29, and continues through Sunday, April 30, at the store. There will be an in-house DJ and music as well as food and drinks from noon to 7 p.m.
“We’re incorporating this area that we love now into our apparel,” said Adamson. “It was only right and we invite everyone to come and see how we brand ourselves with the community that we represent with some of our new designs.”
As for the future of 100 Miles, Adamson said the company will continue to promote its bread-and-butter, brick-and-mortar store as well as push online sales to further establish the brand’s global presence and acceptance.
For more information on Adamson and 100 Miles, please visit https://www.100milesbrand.com/
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