It all began with a burning desire to start a business that would stand the test of time within the fashion industry, which founder Wally Iwanciw has worked in for almost 40 years. The brand began as a jean-centric project with the intention of reinforcing the idea that denim can also be dressed up. It was at that very moment that the core concept of “functional funware” was born. Whether you’re dressing up or dressing down, the clothing is always "fun to wear" and accessorize with, hence the “funware” play on words. Crafted with an attitude of light (color), joy (happiness) and peace (comfort). Ease, comfort, and durability became the other objectives that needed to be met to complete of the "functional” piece of the puzzle. The conscious decision to spell "wear" as "ware” is used as a mantra to inspire the inevitable expansion of the brand, with specific aspirations to include: housewares, bedding/bathware, petwear, and beyond.
We have developed a strategy to offer the best tops that are domestically made and still
fit the functional funware merchandising concept of casual meets dress up. We looked to the activewear/athletics industry for inspiration and help in pursuing different branding options. The conscious decision to chose cotton as a yarn instead of silk and wool was intended to more cohesively align the functional funware ideology of wash and wear. Next, we took a look at the local sweater knit industry, which provided us with an excellent alternative for the sweatshirt business in activewear, as well as an alternative to a quality knit garment which could accompany the gigantic t-shirt/jean industry. This insight provided us with the opportunity to design a basic, signature stitch sweater that could be a standout piece in their jean wardrobe. "The Signature Sweater" is our key piece that was created with rib construction which quickly became a best seller in well-respected fashion catalogs and festivals. The Signature Sweater remains a staple of our functional funware collection and continues to be updated every 7 years since our inception in 1987.
Our studies in color design inspired us to emulate the stone-washed style commonly found on denim that remains prominent in the fashion industry. This process disperses the original garment’s color to have a comfortably worn in look and feel, which is referred to as “sueding", showcasing the randomness of the highs/lows of a particular single color. Later we developed a system of creating graphics in dyeing that depict the beauty of the sky, hence the term "sky-dye". It's a freehand dye process that allows us to not only control the dye properties, but also set them permanently in desired places/colors. In discovering this type of colorization, we have been able to duplicate a multitude of sky graphics from ombre to static cloud formations.
Inspired by the last name of it’s founder, the name IWANCIW, pronounced anywhere from "I want you" to “I want to see you”, is intended to personify fun, love, and stand out in the mind. The logo, a pair of red lips with a beauty mark, was implemented to further distinguish the face of the company: a face that is demure, healthy, and lovely. The combination is unmistakable to the eye of the beholder, eliciting a feeling of confidence as well as assurance of quality and style.