Matt Dajer and D’Arcy Williams are the co-founders of Heart City Apparel, a clothing company that uses work from artists around the globe to support an important cause: homelessness. Formed in Montreal just this year, Heart City has already garnered much well-deserved attention for its original art, fashionable clothing, and contributions to communities around the world. We spoke with Matt and D’Arcy to learn more about their project.
This apparel is not your average streetwear. Heart City offers sweaters, tees and tanks for both men and women, all made from 100% US Organic Cotton. The project started in collaboration with prominent Montreal street artist Waxhead, and quickly expanded. All of their designs are created by various artists around the globe, the sales from which support charities in the artists’ countries. So far, they have partnered with artists and organizations from places like Vancouver, Montreal, Barcelona and New Delhi to create incredibly stylish and striking pieces.
Matt recently graduated from McGill, having studied International Development and History. D’Arcy is in his fourth year, working towards a degree in International Development with minors in Political Science and Environment. The two met at a Unicef conference on malnutrition a few years ago and kept in touch. Matt told us, “We’ve always had similar interests, and people even say we look like brothers. Maybe it’s because we’re both always dancing and singing.”
The duo is very passionate about the causes they support. “We’re looking at our movement as a two-pronged approach to giving back,” D’Arcy said, “By supporting local artists from around the world and allowing their art to be exposed on the global level, as well as allowing them to give back in their own unique and creative way to their home cities.” Also important is the fact that their accessible clothing line encourages anyone, from the poor college student to the young working professional, to give back. “It is a way in which people can do a lot of good in their own backyards, and a way to raise awareness about the dehumanized problem of homelessness.”
“We’re looking at our movement as a two-pronged approach to giving back.”
Living in Montreal certainly impacted the idea behind the project. Matt told us, “Montreal is gradually becoming known for its street art, but at the same time, its homelessness is also pretty infamous. We wanted to use that burgeoning art to help the growing problem we saw every day on the streets.”
“Becoming more engaged with the homeless community in MTL has been a real eye opener and has continued to fuel our motivation,” D’Arcy added. The city’s creative scene itself has also supported them, with young artists and entrepreneurs that are all enthusiastic to collaborate, give advice, and spread the word.
With the considerable amount of buzz surrounding Heart City, including a feature on CBC News, we’re looking forward to what the future has in store for the brand. D’Arcy gave us a hint about what we can look forward to: “We are releasing a new design from a new continent soon! We also have huge plans for local Montreal partnerships in the near future, and cannot wait to share them with the MTL community.” Matt also told us, “We’ve got one design lined up per month, for the upcoming year. And they’re so sick. Our coolest upcoming event is the January 10th fundraiser concert we’re throwing with Busty and the Bass and some other great local groups.”