Many of today’s youth want clothing from streetwear brands such as Off-White, Supreme and Bape, but some of these kids also wish to create their own brand and become successful fashion icons like Virgil Abloh and Nigo. This was the dream of 14-year-old Ryan Nelson.
The teen started his streetwear brand Crash Vancouver in early 2019, focusing the brand on comfort, design, and affordability. From the high points of earning thousands, to the low points of a shipping scandal, this is how Crash went from a company only being known by a couple friends and school, to a brand being known by thousands.
Nelson’s intention behind choosing the name was that it would be iconic, and memorable. “Just mainly wanted something that sounded catchy, and would look good on clothes.” Nelson had experience within the clothing industry creating designs for Worldwide Youth, a clothing brand created by his friend Dylan Grails in 2018. Crash quickly gained notoriety on Instagram through various postings.
Their first drop, the “Canine Collection” was announced in late April via Instagram and scheduled for release in June. The first collection would feature shirts with an aggressive design and inverted colors, with the look of the shirts being heavily inspired by an album cover.
It was also announced that each collection would never be restocked and that the price of the shirts would be 30 dollars. The posts featured B.C. Instagram models @vito.bianco and @rari_kari, which exposed their over 20 000 followers to the up and coming streetwear brand.
Crash Vancouver’s first collection sold out in only a day. “I like how it reminds me of the album Without Warning,” Mantaj, a Burnaby student said. “I also like how they made a different version of the same shirt which was inverted, and I have never seen that before.”
Shortly after this first drop, Crash began planning a second drop. In early August, they announced their second collection, the “Summer Capsule.”
The release was scheduled for August. Crash Vancouver switched to a different supplier, which increased the quality and comfort of their clothing. The brand also decided to make a comment giveaway under their post, with whoever commented the most winning a free pair of shorts. Mantaj ended up being the winner of the giveaway, with over 1900 comments.
That post and two more promotional posts combined received thousands of likes and comments, a big jump over the Canine Collection. On launch day, both the shirt and shorts sold out in under 24 hours, the same as the first drop. Crash Vancouver switched to a different supplier, which increased the quality and comfort of their clothing.
“Personally, I did not like the placement of the logo, and the sizing of the shorts were too small,” Mantaj said. “However, the quality was better than I expected from a new brand.”
With October approaching, Nelson decided to create a Halloween themed clothing drop. In early October, a post detailed the upcoming “Halloween Drop”, which would be shipping from California for the first time; this meant that Crash would no longer deliver clothing through local meetup.
Hype for the drop was building, and 3 hours before the drop a post featured Ryan’s associate Dylan Grails. Ryan’s design process for this drop was more The drop sold out in a day, as with all the previous drops.
Up until the Halloween drop, Crash Vancouver was known to be a reliable brand that delivered high-quality clothing on time. However, the brand ran into a problem due to the shipping delays of the current drop. Burnaby student Ethan, experienced these delays first hand. “I bought a longsleeve shirt on October 11. It shipped January 2, and I got it around January 18.”
After feedback from customers associated with the shipping delays, Nelson made sure to correct the shipping issues, and both of their next drops arrived in an acceptable time frame. Crash Vancouver’s New Years Drop featured their cheapest shirt yet, and their following Valentine’s Day Drop included their first jacket. In Late April, Crash also dropped their new spring collection which included an airbrush design for the first time.
Though there has highs and lows throughout creating Crash, Nelson is optimistic of his streetwear brand’s future. “I feel extremely hopeful, as I’ve got a lot of big things planned for the future of the business.”
Cover Image: Needpix
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