Introducing: Ostrya

Ostrya is an authentic outdoorswear brand with a progressive edge. Representing its local Quebec roots in the international scene, Ostrya develops technical garments with playful undertones – seen most clearly through its minimalist swirl logo illustration. Keeping an emphasis on local production, with some garments even produced at the brand’s Montreal workshop, Ostrya is firmly committed to sustainably sourced clothing. With the brand’s community continuing to grow, its collections fit well in both natural and urban landscapes and are perfect for an all-round active lifestyle.

In line with our first collection from Ostrya at HIP, we spoke to co-founders François-Xavier Tétreault and Simon-David Fortin about beginnings, Montréal life, the current outdoors scene and more.

Firstly, please introduce yourself and your role within Ostrya?

FXT: Hi, my name is François-Xavier Tétreault, Co-Founder of Ostrya. We are a small team, so we all touch a lot of aspects of the company, but I am mostly in charge of brand strategy, marketing, sales, and logistics.

SDF: Hi, I am Simon-David Fortin, CEO and Co-Founder of Ostrya, I oversee design strategy, production, and general management.

Can you tell us about the beginnings of Ostrya and how it started?

Simon and I met in University (Université du Québec à Montréal) in the Fashion Marketing program, where we became friends. At this time, we were already planning to start a project together and we knew it had to mix our love for the outdoors and fashion. After working each on our side in the industry (Simon in production, François in marketing), we joined our forces and launched Ostrya in 2019. Our goal was to create technical clothing and integrate elements from our personal taste.

How would you describe Montréal for those who haven’t visited, what’s the vibe?

Montréal is a unique place. Not only because it’s a mainly French-speaking community in North America, but also because it’s a place where creative people meet and make crazy ideas happen. The vibe in Montréal is always very relaxed, inclusive and welcoming. This city is filled with great places to eat, cultural events and gives a good place to nature with large parks, like the Mont-Royal Mountain. Temperature changes are wild every season, so you will get a very different vibe if you visit the city during winter or summer.

What made you choose to focus on production in Canada?

Production in Canada was the natural choice for us when we launched the brand, as it was easier for us make smaller quantities and have good control on quality. It’s also important for us that the people making our products are paid fairly. As the brand grows, we are always looking for the best way to make our products. This means we are also working with international factories, as long as it helps us upgrade the quality of our garment, while promoting fair labour conditions.

How do you go about creating new silhouettes alongside with improving past styles? Does wear testing and feedback play a part?

Styles are put trough a series of test during sampling production, which mostly consist of actual outdoor adventures including climbing, hiking and alpinism. One of our collaborators, Pemba Sharwa, who is a big mountain guide in Nepal has been testing a lot of gear in his expeditions and our Head Designer Mathis Trudeau is always finding new ways to put our gear to the test. We also receive feedback from the people wearing our stuff every season and try to incorporate their ideas in product development.

What are your thoughts on the current outdoors/trail clothing scene with the explosion of interest and interpretation?

We have always been enjoying both outdoor sports and fashion and we love to be able to connect these things to create unique pieces. I think this growing interest for outdoor clothing in the fashion scene is reflecting how new generations wish to express themselves even when are playing in the mountains or climbing in the gym. Technical garments don’t have to be plain or strictly based on performance. We wish to underline the fact that we are here to have fun.

What does an ideal relaxed day off in Montréal look like for you?

FXT: A perfect day in Montréal would start with a nice run on the trails of Mont-Royal Park, followed by a fresh coffee in the Mile-End. I would then go around bookstores and eat a sandwich at Charcuterie Viens on Boulevard St-Laurent for lunch. My afternoon would definitely include a nap and I would either cancel plans for the evening or go out to Kabinet to grab a drink and eat blinis with friends.

SDF: First I would grab Dim-Sum for brunch in Chinatown at Kim Fung, followed by a dog-walk in Summit Wood, Westmount. My afternoon would consist of chilling with friends at Parc Laurier with a fresh latte from Méchants Pinsons. I would end my day with takeout sushi and roll one with the paper from our friends at KEB Papier.

What’s next for Ostrya?

Ostrya’s mission is to create technical mountaineering equipment with an untamed aesthetic. For upcoming seasons, we wish to expand both our more technical and casual lines and come up with ever-better quality and responsible ways of production. Keep your eyes open for exciting collabs.

Keep up to date with Ostrya here.

New to HIP for AW22 – Ostrya. Online now.