Long story short, I take photos, design stuff, run multiple small brands, and drink a ton of coffee.
My name is Allan Glanfield
Words by: Eric Buron
In 1995, after seventy years of absence, fourteen wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Despite this small number, the impact of these wolves has transformed the park’s natural ecosystem and physical geography. Over the course of twenty years, the rampant deer population has come under control, vegetation has regenerated, valleys have become forests, and migratory birds have returned. Most astonishing has been the behavior of the waterways: regenerated forests have stabilized river banks, erosion has reduced, channels have narrowed, fixed their course, and pools have formed. These changes have reestablished niche habitats suitable for the rebound of countless species such as beavers, fish, hawks, foxes, otters, muskrats, ducks, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, mice, ravens, bald eagles, weasels, badgers, and bears. Often misperceived, wolves and their packs are intricately interwoven into the fabric of an environment that depends on their presence and contribution to thrive.
The same year these wolves were being reintroduced to Yellowstone, an eight-year-old Allan Glanfield was sketching their likeness during long car rides with his family in Canada. Drawing was Allan’s entertainment before the introduction of pocket technology and wolves were his primary subject of choice. His adolescent years of putting pen to paper and hobby photography would pay off down the road when sketching menswear designs while studying at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
After FIT and during a short stint with Marc Jacobs, Allan teamed up with Chris Logsdon, the founder of The GodSpeed Co. to design the Shop Rag Shirt- a shirt that redefines our relationship with an iconic material and what we choose to wear. Due to visas and sponsorship, Allan moved back to Toronto where he got picked up by the national leather outerwear brand, Danier Leather, as their menswear and men’s accessories designer. In his spare time, he began pioneering his own line of dog products using natural ingredients that are safe and healthy for dogs as well as humans. Allan finds intermittent income with his photography including his annual commission to shoot The Race of Gentlemen.
A multi-hyphenate maker, Allan’s reach is only limited to his willingness to learn and his commitment to resourcefulness in the face of uncertain survival. He is part of a generational wave forging their own paths and seeking a sustainable livelihood through independent work that is both personally fulfilling and communally significant. Entrepreneurs are the wolves in our modern day work force, revitalizing our concepts of how to make a living and how we interact with everyday objects. Allan approaches the precariousness and difficulties of this path with a determined and unassuming resilience and in his wake he has already moved the dial on a variety of industries.
Allan is a prime example of how our individual level of greatness is not only measured by who we are and what we do but by the breadth of our impact on our environment. In light of turbulent times, we all may dependent on independent makers like Allan to lead us into a new kind of human experience. When I met with Allan in New York, we talked about his first make, his design inspiration for the Shop Rag Shirt, some of the hurdles he’s encountered, and the importance of finding your pack.
Blackburn and Foster are the surnames of my grandparents, Kathleen Blackburn and Anthony Foster. Their entrepreneurial spirit, dedication, and kindness is an inspiration.