Markus Uran marks the first boy inducted into the Favourites section yet. Why do we love him because his line Metsa is possibly one of the best lines in Toronto. Still under the radar, but Uran’s style and handcrafting technique wont stay quiet for much longer. Every item is hand stitched, hand-dyed, even the buttons are made by hand, cut from ceramic and then filed down for no sharp edges. Now that is love.
What truly sets Uran apart is his scientific approach to design. Uran looks at all facets of his work, from researching new organic dyes for shirts to casting cement pearl earrings to melting beeswax to treat cotton for his new line of “Paper Bags“. Uran likes to see each item as a conversation between designer and customer, creating a unique item by hand that will then find it’s own new life with each individual client. The back to basics approach.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for housewares from Metsa. I can tell you there are quite a few pieces I’ve got my name on the waiting list for already.
1.What do you do?
Owner/Designer for Metsa.
2. When did you fall in love with fashion? precisely ;)
I have a very strong memory of watching Fashion Television at my dads place when I was a kid while playing with an old train set and lego. I cant remember even being overly interested in the runway couture though. Now, when I think about it a lot has to do with my interest in creating/building a “life style.” E-commerce didn’t really exist when I was growing up much beyond eBay. So, the idea of coveted items that you had to travel in order to get has always been exciting to me.
3. Your work is hand made, which is the cornerstone of Metsa Design. What does being hand made, with natural products mean to you? To your customers?
What I hope comes across is that there is clearly a person and a thought process behind every item. It is the idea of leaving a “fingerprint” behind on everything and that there is value in these process and they take time to develop and need to be learned. I try to explain the processes used on every hang tags so if I am not there to describe the item those who are looking for something with that extra element of consideration can learn about it and understand the story behind each piece.
4. I love that you focus on the imperfections of each piece, what’s the ethos behind the “imperfection”?
Again, embracing the imperfections is a way to show that there is a person behind each item. When things are made to be so perfect they can lack personality. It is really challenging to design/consider the imperfections into what you create without having it looking like an accident or blemish. To me it shows an understanding of the materials someone is working with.
5. What is your favourite part of the creative process?
Being able to look at a finished piece. It is great to see something come to life that at one point only existed in your head. Also, happy accidents and what comes out of them is always really exciting!
6. You have some ceramics and housewares that are slated to come out soon, tell us about that collaboration.
Yes, I am working towards more houseware pieces to support the aesthetic or life style of Metsa. My mom is a potter and her and I have been spending some time in her studio working with porcelain. It is a really nice collaboration because as you get older you inevitably spend less time with your parents so working with my mom is really nice because it lets us hang out.
7. If you were reincarnated and could do anything you wanted, what would it be?
I would probably be a surfer. Or Larry David.
8. Favorite Canadian designers?
Hoi Bo bags are incredible she is working on more clothes now as well. Dana Lee is great as well.
9. Favorite Toronto boutiques?
Mjolk is great. They bring in such lovely Scandinavian and Japanese items.
I can’t remember the last time I went out to dinner in Toronto, so I am taking suggestions.
I can’t remember the last time I went to brunch in Toronto, again, I am taking suggestions.
Parks I can bike to. Also Bar Volo.
Spots with rap.
14. Favourite spot, period.
Thats a secret! Thats why its my favourite spot! It is a good bike ride away. Its absolutely deserted, except for the people you bike over with, and right on the water.