2015

Founder & CEO
WINNER: Alex MacLean

Background

Not too long ago, Alex MacLean was selling hoodies out of the trunk of his car on the Acadia University campus. Now, his East Coast Lifestyle label is a runaway success that’s set to follow in the footsteps of Canadian clothing companies like Herschel and Westbeach. The brand now has a staff of 25 and its apparel is available at 80 retail locations across Canada. To date, the company has sold more than 650,000 products to customers in 35 countries. Not bad for what started as a class project. The DNA of East Coast Lifestyle is simple: it’s about being proud of where you’re from. For the 23-year-old MacLean, a surfer, wakeboarder and sailor, that’s the Maritimes; which serves as the inspiration for the brand’s logo – an anchor – and its subsequent limited-edition collections that feature lighthouses, sharks and other nautical symbols. Beyond the celebrity realm, MacLean partnered with another east coast favourite, Alexander Keith’s, on a capsule collection of T-shirts to give away in cases of beer in 2014. The cases sold so well Keith’s signed on for a second collaboration this year, increasing the run by 1,800 tees. MacLean also spearheaded branded collections for Wounded Warriors and the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, donating partial proceeds to the charities.  East Coast Lifestyle has attracted attention from all over the globe. MacLean says there has been interest from retailers in the U.S. and he’s currently in talks with potential partners in Japan and Australia. As MacLean puts it: there are east coasts all over, and consumers in other countries are eager to use the brand to shout out their own version of the east coast lifestyle.  As the shepherd of two brands, MacLean now has a world of lifestyles to rep.

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