A trip to Europe inspired owner Drew Rudichuk to open a men’s clothing store to enhance the fashion culture in Calgary

Drew Rudichuk, the 27–year-old owner of Modern Menswear, is bringing some European flare to Calgary.

According to Rudichuk, men’s fashion in Calgary is very safe.

In mid September of 2014, Rudichuk opened his clothing store for the men of Calgary to come and shop for different and original brands.

This store fulfilled Rudichuk’s desire to bring in brands that no one else sells in Calgary such as Wood Wood, Han Kjobenhavn and Wemoto and provides an environment where men can feel comfortable and excited about buying new clothes.

Brands at Modern Menswear are for sale at prices ranging between $50 for a 6streets T-shirt and upwards of $400 for a Wood Wood bomber jacket.

Rudichuk believes it was a big risk to invite European fashion to this city’s demographic. Drew Rudichuk, owner of Modern Menswear showcasing for the camera some of the new clothing in the store. Rudichuk is wearing Royal Republiq boots, pants and sweater by I love ugle, Wood Wood jacket and Han Kjobenhavn eyewear.
Photo by Kyle Smith

“A brand that would do well in Europe may not necessarily be suited for Calgary and its lifestyle,” Rudichuk said because men’s fashion in Europe tends to have clothing with a different fit, cut, and design.

Modern Menswear is situated in a rustic red brick storefront amongst other businesses on 4th St S.W.

The rustic store has an open and personal environment that evokes a feeling of comfort and welcome. It is filled with vintage belongings that bring the color and shape of European and Calgary brand clothing to life.

“I’ve always wanted to work in fashion –- I never understood how I would fit into the fashion industry,” said Rudichuk. “I’m not really a hands on or designer type of person, I like the business and analytical marketing mind set.”

Rudichuk has traveled a unique path before launching his current enterprise.

Rudichuk finished school in Vancouver at Langara College with a business degree but according to Rudichuk, “The road there was a little windy.”

Andy Nguyen, designer of 6streets brand, which is sold at Modern Menswear, sitting in the store front wearing Nike Air Max 90’s runners, I love ugly pants, Wemoto sweater, Han bomber jacke, and 6streets 5-panel cap.
Photo by Kyle Smith.

Before getting his degree, Rudichuk went to Montana Tech in Butte, Mont for petroleum engineering for one year before transferring to the University of Victoria to enroll in business for two years.

Rudichuk travelled to Europe four years ago to visit his sister Lauren Rudichuk who was doing an exchange in Copenhagen. It was this trip that convinced him to bring some European flare back to YYC.

Rudichuk said, “I fell in love with Europe –- and a lot of Calgarians travel abroad and a lot of them like European brands that are hard to find here.”

“Calgary is really changing culturally but we still have a huge lack of fashion, it is very generic, so I think I saw a hole in the market and I saw an opportunity.”

Opening a men’s store in a fashion market like Calgary can be challenging. But the emotional support Rudichuk received from his family to pursue his new venture was what allowed him to bring some fashion influence to the male demographic in Calgary.

Rudichuk also received loans from friends and family to help him open up his enterprise but was uncomfortable to disclose how much he received.

“All this wouldn’t be so stressful if I wasn’t spending very large amounts of money that I have borrowed and need to pay back,” said Rudichuk.

Although Rudichuk is taking a risk in the Calgary fashion market, his co-workers and customers believe his business personality is what will make him successful and describe him as down to earth, goal driven and a little quirky but mostly an all around approachable guy.Andy Nguyen and Drew Rudichuk stand together in front of one of the denim walls in Modern Menswear. Nguyen is wearing Nike Air Max 90’s runners, I love ugly pants, Wemoto sweater, Han bomber jacket and 6streets 5-panel cap. Rudichuk is wearing Royal Republiq boots, I love ugly pants and sweater, Wood Wood jacket and Han Kjobenhavn eyewear.
Photo by Kyle Smith

“He is the quirkiest guy I know. He’s a goofy dude –- when we talk about business it’s in a informal tone but he always gets his message across,” said co-worker Andy Nguyen.

Nguyen is the designer of local brand 6streets. He also works at Modern Menswear, and has been selling his brand there since October 2014.

According to Nguyen, he wants his brand to be in an environment that sells clean-cut menswear, is fun to work in and personal, which is what Modern Menswear is.

Nguyen met Rudichuk nearly two years ago at one of his 6street pop up stores in Calgary. Rudichuk was in the process of opening his store and wanted Nguyen to collaborate with him.

Rudichuk’s personality impacts Nguyen, as Nguyen explained, “He doesn’t just talk, he walks – He’s been talking about this boutique since the beginning of last year and he saw it through, he made it happen and I connect with that.”

Rudichuk has put in between 50-70 hours a week, working to create an enterprise where the men of Calgary would come to shop.

However, to Rudichuk, the toughest part about owning a men’s store is buying for Modern Menswear. When buying for the store Rudichuk has to be disciplined in picking pieces that he likes and his clients would enjoy.

This European-focused clothing has caught the eye of Calgary Flames player Joe Colborne, who met Rudichuk when he did a styling shoot for Modern Menswear with Branded Magazine on Sept. 19, 2014.

“Drew was a really laid back and fun guy. He seemed passionate about his job and seemed to look like he had a fun time doing what he does,” said Colborne.

Colborne mentioned he is not that interested in fashion but after the photo shoot he knew Modern Menswear was a store he would purchase clothing from.

“It was a really cool setup at Modern Menswear. The people there made me feel comfortable and it was just a really good time,” said Colborne.

The goal Rudichuk has for Modern Menswear is to be successful by providing the men of Calgary with a calm environment to update their wardrobes and clothing to suit each individual.

Rudichuk is similar to the clothing brands he offers for the young men of Calgary: unique yet professional.

sshinkaruk@cjournal.ca