When you think of the clothing brand Roots, assuming you know of it, the first thing that likely comes to mind is “Canadian.” If we were to say, “Douglas Coupland“, the first thing would likely be “author.” But shortly thereafter, probably following “Generation X”, would also be “Canadian.” What we’re taking our sweet time arriving at is that these two “Canadian” things, as fate would inevitably have it (and apologies to Mr. Coupland for calling him a thing), have finally wound up together. The clothing company has just today released Roots x Douglas Coupland, a line designed by the author himself. Our pal Steven Heller got a chance to talk to him for this interview about the line, starting with the question we had immediately after hearing about it (as you probably did too):
Heller: I suppose the most obvious question to ask is, why have you started a fashion line?
Coupland: It’s not so much a line as an art/design experiment. I’ve been doing art, design and book projects since 2000 that explore new ways of perceiving “being Canadian.” Roots, a large Canadian clothing company, has been doing it since 1973. A friend in common said, “You two really ought to be doing something together.” It was a good idea, and wonderfully free of cynicism.
Heller and Coupland go on from there, trying to get to the bottom of this odd combination that, weirdly, seems to work pretty well at times (we’d wear his “Glowing Matrix Beaver” shirt).