North American Quality Purveyors is a specialized Calgary menswear shop started in 2013 by Kyle Van Der Velden in the Inglewood neighbourhood. Being one of the many menswear-specific shops to open in Calgary over the past three years, and starting with only a brick-and-mortar storefront (meaning no online sales), Kyle faced the substantial challenge of standing out in our small market and incentivizing Calgary men to make the trip. With a novel concept for the store - stocking solely North American-made high quality menswear products - Kyle's NAQP shop meets these challenges head on.
Since its beginnings in 2013, NAQP has started an online store at shopnorthamerican.com, and quickly become one of the most unique stores on the forefront of the Calgary menswear scene. I visited the shop recently and asked Kyle a few questions on where he sees the store in our Calgary market and how he views our overall menswear scene. Check our our interview and the full photo gallery below!
Q: When did you start North American Quality Purveyors? What inspired you to start a local menswear shop in Calgary?
We opened our doors September 12, 2013. I've lived here most of my life, but the brands and style I love and wear was difficult to find in or even close to Calgary. I was constantly shopping online and as such decided to figure a way of bringing some of the brands to Calgary.
Q: Where do you feel your shop fits into the budding Calgary menswear scene? What niche are you trying to fill?
High quality and "locally" sourced clothing is from where we're coming. We see ourselves as a place in which you can find timeless, yet unique wardrobe essentials of a quality which allows them to get better and add patina as they are worn.
Q: What challenges have you faced with starting a store in the relatively young Calgary market?
Mainly just getting the word out and not being pigeonholed as just one thing. We started out very much as a workwear type of store, yet as we've grown and matured, that only covers part of our style and influence. So the idea that people often will judge you upon first inspection, won't necessarily check back in with you, to see how you've changed.
Q: What has changed locally since you started the store?
I've just noticed a huge influx of new businesses popping up, not just with menswear shops, but tons of restaurants, bars, boutiques etc. I think slowly Calgarians are checking out shopping options outside of chains and malls.
Q: Where do you see Calgary's menswear scene going in the next few years? What plans do you have for your shop going into that future?
I would assume that Calgary's menswear scene still has a lot of growing to do. The more businesses that come in and offer new and unique visions can only better and expand the landscape. It's tough to do what someone else has done, but it's way harder to differentiate yourself from the rest.
As far as where we're going in the future...I just want to further explore the options that manufacturing in first world conditions has to offer. Whether they're new brands to Calgary, or just unique pieces, I want to see Calgarians and our out of town customers to have a wider view and appreciation of what North American made fashion has to offer