F as in Frank's FAIF MC capsule collection channels badass biker cool
There’s so much to love about vintage motorcycle clothing—the smell, the history, the rock ’n’ roll street cred. But then again, there’s also the holes, the stains, and the ill-fitting, dated cuts. (Anyone who’s ever gone on a charity-shop hunt for the perfect leather vest knows exactly what I’m talking about here.)
Now, thanks to the team at F as in Frank (2425 Main Street), you can tap into your inner Easy Rider without looking like thrift-store road kill.
Co-owners of the vintage boutique, brothers Drew and Jesse Heifetz (along with designers Kirsten Landry and Jessica Goossen) recently launched FAIF MC, a capsule collection of reworked vintage biker threads. Using decommissioned Steppenwolf-era duds that, for whatever reason, are unsalable (be it a damaged sleeve or mom-cut ass), the team perfects every one-of-a-kind piece in the back of their shop. That’s also where they produce Snap, the store’s main in-house vintage line that, after several years in existence, is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
“This spring just really blew up,” says Drew Heifetz, who met with the Straight at the SoMa store. “And we just started getting inundated with orders that were becoming hard to fill.”
To celebrate their long-awaited Snap success and keep things fresh in between seasons, they came up with the idea of limited-edition, hog-inspired wearable art.
The FAIF MC Polly Pocket denim shorts ($84), for example, are a fawesome update of an old classic. Before one back pocket of each pair is decked out with a retro motorcycle-motif bandanna appliqué, the jeans have to be cut, reconfigured for today’s fits, bleached, dyed, and distressed.
So if you think working with previously loved clothing is easier than designing something from scratch, you’re wrong. As Heifetz explains, these bad boys are labour-intensive.
“There is a lot of work that goes into these garments—like hours and hours,” he says. “Sometimes you run into snags when you’re manipulating garments with fits and resizing, and it’s like, ‘Is it going to work out?’ I mean, half the time, you could make a completely new garment easier than you could rework one.”
Not to mention all the hand-studding that goes into FAIF MC pieces.
“Honestly, I think every one of my employees right now can’t feel their thumbs from putting so many studs through denim and leather,” Heifetz says. “So there’s a lot of steps involved, and to make each piece really interesting and unique, it takes time and it takes a lot of love and care.”
And don’t worry about showing up at your local clubhouse in the same FAIF piece as someone else: only 50 pairs of shorts in total were made—25 for the Vancouver store and 25 for the F as in Frank store in Toronto. The same goes for the ladies’ western denim sleeveless shirts ($78), which go through the same processes as the shorts, only they have a more eclectic mix of outlaw appliqués on the back. Then there are the 10 denim club vests ($148), which are a little more badass, with a skull-and-crossbones leather appliqué on the back. And no Dennis Hopper–indebted collection would be complete without the quintessential heavily decorated, black leather jacket. The team only produced one for each city, so the one in the Vancouver store is a West Coast original.
So far, the response has been strong, so you can bet this first kick at the capsule-collection can won’t be FAIF’s last.
“Well, we haven’t planned another capsule for fall yet,” he says, “but I’m sure we’ll come up with something.”