Kevin Allwood is a Canadian-Jamaican fashion designer, art director and photographer, highly regarded for his avant-garde creations, sharp tailoring and couture gowns. He studied at the University of Ottawa in Computer Hardware Engineering, only to finally decide to divert into fashion at the age of 20. In 1986, he launched his brand NEVIK, selling at first in a kiosk at the Byward Market in Ottawa. He grew the NEVIK brand out of it’s initial humble kiosk and relocated to Montreal to open a shop on Laurier street in 1988. Fast track 15 years, and the brand was a top destination in Canada with 5 stores in Montreal, including the very first independent Canadian designer brand to open a boutique in Ogilvy’s on St. Catherine and de la Montagne, as well as a stunning storefront on St Laurent Blvd and 2nd floor Atelier making evening and wedding gowns. Since the very beginning of NEVIK, Kevin Allwood made it his mandate to produce his entire collections in Canada, supporting the local fashion industry and creating jobs within his private sewing atelier.
In 2008, Kevin Allwood decided to take a sabbatical from the fashion industry, production and retail, to instead dedicate his time and energy to truly finding the meaning of “design your life”. Through this time, which he considers a “personal evolution”, he continued to practice Buddhism and became a devout vegetarian. He became increasingly concerned for the environment, animal welfare, and children’s causes - which has been motivating his work since. In 2009, he received the inspiration to create and publish the very first issue of KA MAGAZINE, a Holistic Luxury publication focusing on ethical brands and creatives worldwide, sustainability and charity. KA is now regarded as a top Fashion, Design, Travel, Architecture and Lifestyle magazine meets art book hybrid - in North America, also winning the prestigious Gold Gutenberg award for print excellence and design. Kevin Allwood is the editor in chief and founder of KA, and continues to publish one 200+ page issue per year. Through the creation of the KA Magazine brand, also came the start of ALLWOOD AGENCY, where Kevin Allwood oversees the art direction of many branding projects, photography, print and web design for a select group of curated clients.
In 2015, after a 7 year sabbatical from the fashion industry, he has decided launch the brand KEVIN ALLWOOD, a high-end label that puts transparency, ethical sourcing and organic materials at its core. The creative atelier and design studio is now located in Toronto and the entire collection is produced in Canada. The KEVIN ALLWOOD brand is comprised of a women’s Ready to Wear collection, a children’s capsule line, a 100% natural skincare collection, and vegan cruelty-free handbags. Under the KEVIN ALLWOOD ATELIER collection, he creates his Couture Evening Gowns and Bespoke Menswear, which is made by hand in the Kevin Allwood private Atelier in Toronto.
Kevin Allwood is also collaborating with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a joint agency of the United Nations, which works with marginalized artisans in East Africa, West Africa and Haiti. In this first 2016 collaboration, Kevin Allwood has designed a collection of accessories which will be produced by artisans in Haiti and available in spring 2016. Everything E.F.I. does 100% ethical and is a completely sustainable operation; the artisans earn a fare wage and the power to earn and provide for their families.
In December 2015, Kevin Allwood opened KASPACE, a creative retail space that seamlessly marries all of his ambitions into one conceptual reality; ethical fashion, design, photography art, magazines, art books, as well as a health conscious cafe - all focused on an overall wellness experience. KASPACE is located at 185 Carlaw Avenue in Leslieville, Toronto.