Menswear Business Pays Tribute To Charitable Mother


Waterloo Region Record

By Gordon Paul

WATERLOO — Daniel Byrne’s mother, Kathy Shane, always gave back to the community. She donated to the Anselma House women’s shelter, helped out at the local soup kitchen and wrapped Christmas presents for underprivileged children.

She died in June after her car was hit by a transport truck on Homer Watson Boulevard in Kitchener. She was 56.

When Byrne and two friends came up with a plan to launch an online menswear business with funding through Kickstarter, they wanted to remember Byrne’s mother.

They decided their business would support Keep a Child Alive, a charity that provides treatment, care, food and support services to children and families affected by HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India. Byrne, 26, said his mother often told him he was fortunate to be born in a first-world country and he should do his part to help people who weren’t so lucky.

“I wanted to do something in memory of her and really push a cause that can help not just a community but globally.” The business founders are Byrne, of Waterloo, Julian Corredor, 20, of Waterloo, and Christopher Norkett, 27, of Kitchener.

For every suit sold, their business — Gentlemen of York — will contribute $30 to Keep a Child Alive.

As of Tuesday afternoon, $12,257 had been raised through Kickstarter, a popular crowdfunding website. The campaign began a week ago. The business will launch if $80,000 is raised by Nov. 3.

The trio think contributions will pick up now that Keep a Child Alive is starting to mention them on social media.

Gentlemen of York will get more publicity on Saturday when the trio does a Reddit “ask me anything” session with Keep a Child Alive chief executive Peter Twyman.

“I think it’s feasible,” Corredor said of the chance of hitting the $80,000 target.

Their campaign is listed on Kickstarter as a “staff pick.”

Rewards for giving to the campaign range from three pens and a shout-out on Twitter for a $5 pledge to a suit, jeans, dress shirts and T-shirts for a $999 pledge.

Gentlemen of York lists on Kickstarter what it will do if it reaches certain benchmarks.

If it raises $250,000, the business will create a scholarship fund for children in orphanages.

At $500,000, it will open a showroom in Toronto.

If $1 million is raised, it will be an adrenalin rush in more ways than one.

“This would be incredible,” the business owners wrote. “We would be able to help thousands of lives and provide you with the best suit you’ve ever worn. If we cross this goal, we will jump out of a helicopter in our first promotional video. The goal is to raise awareness of our brand and the cause that we are driving.”

Gentlemen of York will sell suits, dress shirts and jeans made in Europe.

“We have that slim fit that nobody has — only in Europe — and I want to bring that over here,” said Corredor, who worked for three years at Stars Men’s Shops.

Can Buying A Suit Save A Life? – We Believe It Can


3 young entrepreneurs need your help to fund their “Gentlemen of York” project

WATERLOO, Ontario, Oct. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Raising $80,000 in 30 days can seem like a challenge but 3 gentlemen from Waterloo think that it might just be worth the risk.

 Gentlemen of York / Co-Founders Left to right, Chris Norkett, Julian Corredor and Daniel Byrne (PRNewsFoto/Gentlemen of York)

Julian Corredor (20), the Creative Director behind Gentlemen of York has designed what they’re calling the “The Madison.”  A refreshed look of the modern man’s suit. A slim fit design that you can’t find in stores.

“Designing a new suit wasn’t enough. We really wanted to start a company that can make a global impact.” says Daniel Byrne (27), the Executive Director behind Gentlemen of York, “This is why we’ve partnered with Keep a Child Alive foundation.” With each suit sold Gentlemen of York also abbreviated “Go York” will donate to the Keep a Child Alive organization. With each donation they will be able to provide a month’s worth of HIV treatment for a child in need.

After months of prototyping and working with their manufacturer in Europe. Go York is now ready to travel to Europe to finalize the design and begin production. “It’s been a long process of phone calls and e-mails but the quality of our product was certainly worth the wait.” says Christopher Norkett (27), Director of Operations of Gentlemen of York. The founders behind Go York have been using personal funds to get to this stage of the project. They have decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the funds needed to lower the cost of materials and production. With stronger buying power they can lower cost while maintaining a high quality product.

Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model so if the Gentlemen of York project doesn’t reach its goal at the end of 30 days then Byrne, Corredor and Norkett go home empty-handed. Be sure to follow them on Twitter (@GentsOfYork) and Facebook to follow their progress and make sure to spread the word to your social media networks.  Consider donating as little as $1 to help their project come to life.  If you decide to donate more, you might be among the first in the world to wear the Madison with the Gentlemen of York.

If you’d like more information about the Gentlemen of York Project, or to schedule an interview with Daniel, Julian or Chris please email or send them a Tweet@GentsOfYork.

Kickstarter page:

About Gentlemen of York

Daniel Byrne studied Business Marketing at Conestoga College and currently works as a Corporate Store Manager in Waterloo, ON. Christopher Norkett studied Business Marketing at St. Lawrence College and Business Analysis at Seneca College and is currently working as a Corporate Store Manager in Cambridge, ON.  Julian Corredor has been in the menswear industry for over 4 years and has been designing apparel for the past year. Their diverse range of skills and experience makes them a great team to tackle the challenge of bringing a new style to the fashion industry.

About Keep a Child Alive

Keep a Child Alive (KCA) was founded in 2003 by long-time AIDS activist Leigh Blake and 15-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys. The organization began as an emergency response to the HIV epidemic, raising global awareness about the urgent and unmet need for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, and granting funds to community-based organizations to provide free, life-saving treatment to keep people living with HIV from needlessly dying. KCA’s work has since grown to include the critical components necessary to support successful, life-long HIV treatment: comprehensive clinical care, psychosocial support, and nutritious food. The organization provides financial and programmatic support to nine innovative, grass-roots partners in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India to fight the physical, social and economic impact of HIV on children, their families and communities. KCA and its partners are currently providing services to over 40,000 people, and their work has directly impacted the lives of over 300,000 people. With the help of its supporters, KCA continues to use its voice to raise awareness, mobilize people to take action, and rally resources in the global response to HIV.