By now I'm sure all of you have seen someone in a "Toronto vs. Everybody" T-shirt or a "Canadian Built" crew neck. Yanal Dhailieh is the Founder of Peace Collective, the clothing line that has put Toronto, and Canada on the map.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask Yanal a few questions about his brand, his career, and our city!
1. Can you sum up your occupation in 3 sentences or less?
I am the founder and creative director of the Peace Collective. We are a lifestyle brand that allows Canadians to show pride in who they are and where they come from all while giving back to the community.
2. As a child, did you ever imagine yourself having your own clothing line? If not, what did you originally want to be when you grew up?
Not at all, as a kid I wanted to be a doctor. I went to the university of waterloo for biomedical science and have never taken a design, fashion, or business class in my life.
3. What do you think it takes to be a successful young professional in Toronto?
To be a successful young professional in Toronto you need to have a vision of what you want to accomplish and the ambition/passion to chase it with all you have. Toronto is a great city that is booming with passionate individuals looking to create something amazing, so if you have the vision and the passion it’s easy to find people who can help you on your journey.
4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced career wise thus far? And how did you overcome that?
Wanting to start a lifestyle/clothing brand with absolutely none of the experience, knowledge or network needed to accomplish it. It meant a lot of long nights making mistakes and working 40 hours at a full time job to fund my dream.
5. Up to this point, what has been your biggest accomplishment in your career?
The best feeling and the biggest accomplishment has been the success of the Peace Collective. When I am out and I see people wearing our garments it gives me a sense of pride that never gets old.
6. With each purchase of select clothing items from your line 4$ is donated to charity. Can you tell us a bit more about Breakfast for Learning and its significance for you?
Breakfast for learning is the biggest provider of school meals in Canada. When I started Peace Collective having a one for one model and a charitable cause that we believes in was very important. The reason why we chose school meals is that right before starting peace collective I was volunteering at a school in Morocco. The school had a program for underprivileged kids that was amazing. They had a big problem with parents who would go out and panhandle for money during the day taking their child with them, not allowing the child to go to school.
The only thing the school found was successful in convincing the parents to send their child to school was providing a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The parents didn’t have to worry about how they would feed their child so they let the child go to school. Something as simple as a meal was in return providing a child an education.
7. What can we expect from you and your team in the next 5 years?
We want to be recognized as one of the premier lifestyle brands in Canada and we hope to have programs all across the country that allow Canadians to give back to the community.
8. When are your favourite places to find inspiration in the city?
Going for walks anywhere in the city gives me inspiration.
9. When you’re not working, where is your favourite way to unwind?
Having drinks at a patio or catching a raptors game.
10. Which individual would you be most excited to see repping one of your designs?