A look back on 2019

A look back on 2019

December 30th, 2019

Another year has come and gone, and we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of our favourite memories from 2019. Each year we look back in awe at how fortunate we are to spend our time doing what we love with such inspiring people. 

Take a look at a few of the highlights from 2019 at The Helm. 

Interviewing Brunello Cucinelli in Italy

Chad Helm and Brunello Cucinelli talking at Pitti UomoTalk about a bucket list item. We have carried Brunello Cucinelli’s beautiful products for just over five years, and we have always admired his dedication not only to impeccable craftsmanship, but also to community building and human dignity. 

What was supposed to be a five-minute interview turned into a 20+ minute conversation about life, business, and philosophy. It was an honour to chat with him, and to be able to bring his wisdom back to our customers right here in Edmonton. 

Attending Brunello Cucinelli’s lavish dinner party

The Helm at Brunello Cucinelli's Florence dinnerBrunello Cucinelli's Pitti Uomo Dinner Party - Crowd photo

As if sitting down with Brunello Cucinelli for a one-on-one chat wasn’t special enough, we also received an invite to his iconic dinner party in Florence. It was a perfect evening, punctuated by wonderful conversation, delicious food, and a stunning atmosphere. 

Learning about grooming and cocktail etiquette from local experts 

Andre Bober at Baijiu speaking to Chad HelmCraig Boa and Chad Helm chatting while Craig cuts hair at Weekly

Edmonton is home to some incredibly talented folks, so we reached out to a couple of them to share their knowledge. Early in 2019 we got to chat with Andre Bober, the bar manager at Baijiu, about proper cocktail bar etiquette. From what to order to where to sit, he covered everything we wanted to know and more. 

As the holidays approached, we figured it was a good time to talk about grooming, so we reached out to one of the best in the biz, Craig Boa, owner of Weekly. He walked us through tricks, tips, and taboos while he cut Zach’s hair. 

Exploring the trends at Pitti Uomo in Italy

Group of men and women dressed in tailored clothing at Pitti UomoChad and Alana buying knitwear at Pitti Uomo

Our team headed to Florence in the summer to check out the biggest and best men’s fashion trade show, Pitti Uomo. There’s no shortage of inspiration at this show, from the impeccably designed booths to the over-the-top fashion you see walking around. 

Getting the inside scoop on food and footwear with Justin Der

Justin Der and Chad Helm standing together in FooshJustin Der, owner of Foosh standing against concrete wall

As part of our Helmsmen series, we interviewed Justin Der, owner of Foosh, The Common, 9910, and Grandin Fish and Chips. He’s a true champion for Edmonton, working to build community around food, fashion, and music. We had a ton of fun spending the day with Justin and getting to know what drives him to continue building in Edmonton. 

Launching Ermenegildo Zegna 

Ermenegildo Zegna - The Helm 2019 campaign - Joey in sweater standing by clothing rackErmenegildo Zegna - The Helm 2019 campaign - Joey in navy quilted jacket standing by brick wall

One of the most exciting new brands we brought to the Helm this year is Ermenegildo Zegna. They’ve always been on our radar, from their fashion-forward style to their innovative approach to production. 

In preparation for the launch, we headed to their mill in Biella, Italy, to do some research, and then we shot the campaign right here in Edmonton. The product is beautiful, and we are thrilled to be able to offer it to our audience.

Exploring New York 

NYC Project/Market show 2019NYC sunset overlooking water

We fly down to New York a few times each year for our regular buying trips, and it never gets old. Each trip we hand-pick each item that we will bring back to The Helm, so it really is an exhilarating few days when we are there. Plus, we always leave a little bit of time to soak up the views. 

Hosting an art show with Dallas LaRose

Dallas LaRose in studioDallas LaRose art show at The Helm

We love being a gathering space for friends, so hosting collaborative events in our store comes second nature to us. This year we had the chance to hold an art show in collaboration with local artist Dallas LaRose, and it was a delightful evening full of charm and conversation. 

Transforming the store into an Umbrian-inspired dinner party

Long table Brunello Cucinelli dinner at the HelmGuests talking and interacting at The Helm's long table dinner

Every once in awhile we like to do something extra special, and this year we hosted a few of our friends for an Italian long-table dinner, inspired by Brunello Cucinelli’s beautiful dinner that we attended in Florence. It was an intimate affair, and surely something we’ll remember for years to come.


It really was a year to remember, and we couldn't do it alone. A huge thank you to Aaron Pedersen, Mode Models, Eluvier Acosta, and Yu-Chen Tseng for being great partners and helping us to look so good all year long. And of course, thank you to our in-house team, our vendors, and our incredible clients for making 2019 so memorable. 

Here's to you, friends, and to an even better 2020. 

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