all about pony and basketball with gabrielle
I have to admit I've never been a huge fan of basketball, but after seeing the iverson documentary on netflix, I became very interested in the sport... like gabrielle laïla tittley. "what! that's how I started too! it's so funny you're saying that!" (add girly high pitch excitement from both of us here) "I watched like five documentaries about basketball after that!"
but today, we're not here to talk about the nba, cause we're exploring the playground of gabrielle aka the pony pop up shop!
open until july 31, the shop gives a fun glimpse into the colorful world of pony. the montreal brand was about to launch its new collection when the mural festival team offered an exhibition space to gabrielle on st-laurent boulevard. "I saw it as an opportunity for my launch party - it was a crazy good timing!" she recalls. "the space was insane, so it became my playground."
meanwhile, gabrielle was also working on a collab with sid lee collective - the creative incubator - to capture her latest collection in cray-cray surrealist pictures (which are so awesome btw). with the pop up shop coming to life, they became part of the exhibition space and now add a cool mood to the place. "since the series is called 'still optimist', the images kinda show what hope looks like in hard times, against all odds."
against all odds, like the underdog winning first place. chatting with gabrielle, it struck me how that doggie was pretty much pony in many ways. inspired by subculture, she used illustration differently and created a dope brand that opened the doors to many others - started from the bottom, now here, in her own shop downtown. "this new collection was really about pushing my limits. when I started my brand, I felt like I really stood apart... in the last year though, I started noticing that I wasn't alone anymore... so I wanted to prove myself that I could still defy the norm."
and yup, she does stand out! gabrielle always has new design ideas that make you smile and go "why didn't think about this before" - much of it thanks to the rap lyrics she listens to on the daily. "I'm obsessive with music, I'll listen to an album until I just can't anymore. for the last two months it's been 'life of pablo'," she says. "it's the same thing with every kanye album, it takes a little while for me to get used to it cause he reinvents himself all the time." sitting there, in her pop up shop, looking at the basketball net hung on the wall, I think it's safe to say that gabrielle is yeezy-status in terms of reinventing herself all day, every day.
3770 st-laurent boulevard, montreal
words by elisabeth labelle
photos by beatrice munn