Dan & Julia

Style at home with the family behind fashion/lifestyle label 18 Waits

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

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If you’re up on what’s good in menswear, then you’ll know Canadian brand, 18 Waits. Creative Director and Founder, Daniel Torjman, has created a rugged, detailed fashion line that rolls effortlessly from the cabin to the urban street–with all sorts of parties in between. Needless to say, the home he shares with his wife, Julia, is equally cool in its effortless attention to detail. This space blends together a wealth of perfectly considered items – a vintage Canadian flag, a stellar record collection, a well-stocked music room, and salvaged, turn-of-the-century weaponry, to name but a few – to create a home that’s incredibly fun and hip, while also endlessly welcoming and warm.

Their dog, Alice Cooper, is the most introspective Husky we’ve ever met. She’s friendly and protective of her family at the same time – the most endearing combination. When we show up for our shoot, she posts up without any urging to get her photo taken alongside Dan, Julia, and their 6-month-old son, Hopper – a heart-melter to say the least. Together, Hopper and Alice convey the most eager curiosity a dog and baby could respectively yield. They’re so present in the moment and earnestly attentive to what’s happening that our photographer’s job couldn’t have been easier.

Julia and Dan graciously narrate their own story for us below:

Tell us about yourself:

Dan
I’m the Creative Director and Founder of the lifestyle brand, 18 Waits. I love all aspects of it — it’s such a great project. I get to work with so many amazing, creative people and do and make so many great things. It’s nice to do things and make things that people really enjoy. There’s nothing better. I don’t really have a work routine. Every single day is different. There are so many “fires” to put out on a daily basis — it’s just the nature of the industry. There are so many moving parts so keeping everything organized and on track is the biggest challenge. But it makes the days exciting and the weeks fly by — too quickly actually!

Julia
I’m a school teacher but currently on mat leave. Being a mother entails many favorite moments, but the one that stands out in my mind is seeing my son smile, laugh, and watch his personality coming in.

My routine is very spontaneous. It’s never quite the same as I’m always looking to try and do what I want in the moment rather than planning everything ahead of time in my head. It’s what keeps me on my toes. Although having a baby can change that quickly, since they eventually need a routine. We still keep it exciting though! We love being around people and trying new things around the city. I like to incorporate a lot of stuff in my day with inspiration from my childhood. For example, I play my son tapes of my late grandmother telling make believe stories or I get inspired by childhood photos to do fun photo shoots around our home.

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What’s your ideal weekend?

Dan
Spending as much time as possible with our new son, Hopper (he’s 6 months). He’s changing every day and it’s amazing to witness and be a part of. Getting out of Toronto and into the nature is also pretty ideal. Getting away to the country for a weekend of nature and less technology is pretty much my favorite thing to do.

Julia
Snuggling in bed with our son, Hopper, in the morning. Going out for a delicious brunch in the city and going for a big walk with our dog, Alice, while popping by friends places for quick afternoon visits. Ending the night with a good conversation over our favorite take out.

About your pet:

Dan
Our dog is named Alice Cooper. Her markings reminded me of Alice Cooper’s makeup so I thought it was appropriate (I’m also a big fan). We’re not sure exactly what her breed is, because we got her from Toronto Animal Services and they weren’t exactly sure either. They think she’s a Siberian husky. I think she’s a wolf. She’s got such a great disposition and loves people and children. She always needs to be in the middle of the action. When we leave the house she sits up on the windowsill in the large window we have at the front of our house so she can watch the world passing by. We see people taking pictures of her up on that sill every week. I’m sure they’re all over Instagram…

Julia
Alice Cooper. Husky. Alice has amazing intuition. She feels people out really well. When Dan goes away for work, Alice cuddles a little more than usual as if she’s watching over us. When I was pregnant with Hopper she would lay her head on my belly and give off so much happy energy and love. She made the experience that much better. This may sound strange but I love the smell of her paws (they smell like popcorn!). She is loved by so many people and what makes me smile most is when I see her in the window of our house when I arrive home.

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How would you describe your personal style?

Dan
Elegantly disheveled.

Julia
Bohemian.

What inspires you?

Dan
So much. There’s not really one thing. I draw inspiration from music, photography, nature, art, architecture, so many things. It kind of hits at all times and places. Which is why I always carry a Field Notes notebook in my back left pocket and a pen in my front left pocket. You’ll never see me without one of these notebooks. I keep them all once they’re full. It will be interesting to go through them in 20 years and wonder what the hell I was thinking…

Julia
I find inspiration in the everyday. I am fascinated by relationships of all types: happy ones, complicated ones, unusual ones.
I’m most inspired by stepping away from the screen. I do some of my best thinking when I’m travelling on a train. I also love to live by the quote: “The happiness of life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

An anecdote about your relationship with your pet:

Dan
Toronto Animal Services because a friend told me that this dog (Alice) had puppies and that I should check them out and adopt one of them. So I went — and the puppies were super cute — but I was immediately drawn to Alice for some reason. I knew right away that she was my dog (prior to that I’ve never owned a pet — other than a goldfish I had in University). I took her home for the weekend for a “test drive” and we’ve been best friends ever since!

Julia
I met Alice when I met Danny and it was love at first sight. She has been through so many exciting times in our life with us (travelling, getting married, having a baby, moving into our new home) and it’s exciting to think that she’ll be running around with our son in the backyard one day. Especially because she loves kids. Bringing another relationship into Alice’s life has made her happier than ever. That and having a backyard to play in. My father calls it her ‘retirement’.

Browse the Fall/Winter 2014 18 Waits collection (oh what’s up, holiday shopping?) at 18Waits.com

And be sure to follow Hopper, Alice Cooper, and of course 18Waits on Instagram.