TYTE LIDS – Interview with Brian Liu

Brian Liu of Tyte Lids

“My life is always surrounded by ideas and possibilities for creation. All I have to do is notice them.”

Brian Liu is the creator of Tyte Lids which is a local Vancouver business specializing in unique, hand painted hats. Both of Brian’s parents are creative directors in advertising and much of his family is involved in a similar industry. Brian grew up lounging in offices of creative environments and, needless to say, he cultivated his imagination in the right environment. and started expressing his ideas with art and design. Brian’s interests include faith, running, painting, movies, skiing and fashion. He is currently wrapping up his Bachelors of Design degree at Emily Carr University.

MMV: How did Tyte Lids start?

Actually it’s funny you should ask how it all started. I never really wore hats. Mostly because I never really could find one that I liked. All the hats look the same and so do the people who wear them. Not to mention the low quality of design and uniqueness. It’s boring. So I decided to design my own hat and paint it too. Not long after that, people started asking for custom hats. Orders started to pile up. On top of that, stores like El Kartel, Shop Cocoon, Royce, and Complex started approaching me for hats. Tyte Lids started from the basement upwards and it has continued to grow in spirit ever since. Four years have past and it is just the beginning.

MMV: What is the meaning behind the name “Tyte Lids”?

One thing you’ll learn about the hats is that I try not to take it too seriously. I hope to never sacrifice creativity and soul in my work for the sake of business. So, when I came up with the name, I wasn’t thinking about what sells. Tyte Lids basically translates to “Cool Hats”. Just keeping it real. Nothing else.

Photograph by Grace Lau Photography
Photograph by Grace Lau Photography

MMV: Where do you get the inspiration for your Tyte Lids collections?

Inspirations come from life. We wake up everyday to be inspired. How else will you find the motivation to live on your days? So I try my best to live curiously. Learn more. Laugh more. Slow life down to each taste, sound and emotion and you will find the pure form of inspiration- your friends, your passions, your pains, your loves, life itself. I choose colors and subject matters that relate to me and my surrounding world. I talk about God, child poverty, homelessness, nature, etc because I believe that these things important. It’s when I see the fragility of the world and the potentials of people that cause me to use my gifts to the fullest.

MMV: What defines a Tyte Lids guy? What about a Tyte Lids girl?

A Tyte Lids guy or girl are sick and tired of buying poorly produced hats like ‘Ed Hardy’ for $150 or more. A Tyte Lids wearer knows that they are buying something of significance and not ‘just a hat’. That’s because Tyte Lids is about challenging the way people think about art, fashion and the world around us. It’s for people who are not satisfied with the way society’s status quo. Tyte Lids represents the discovery of our very own passion and purpose. It is an invitation to choose a life of influence and significance. By wearing Tyte Lids, we choose to standout and be extraordinary.

MMV: Who are your favorite designers?

I have many favorite designers/brands . Just to name a few: 123Klan, Burton, Stussy, Jeremy Fish, Alphonse Mucha, Philip Stark, and many legends.

Photograph by Grace Lau Photography

MMV: What is your greatest accomplishment with Tyte Lids?

First of all, I want to give God all the glory for all my accomplishments because it’s really Him that made all this possible. I am very proud of how far I have gone as an independent designer brand on the side of full time school and extra curricular activities. So, the greatest accomplishment really is simply the privilege of having the freedom to create and enjoy what I do without giving up my values and principles. I am happy to have such great friends and fans. They are what encourages me to design line after line of fresh material.

MMV: What’s in store for the future with Tyte Lids?

Tyte Lids will be more involved with other local artists, coming up with whole new forms of artwork. I have already been starting to working with Hip Hop Singers, dancers, graffiti artists, illustrator and I hope to continue collaborating with creative minds in exploring new areas of fashion. I believe fashion reflects a way of life, a culture. I want my work to reflect the culture of my own life and the things I care about. So be prepared for some surprises, folks! You can also expect Tyte Lids to reach out to communities and the less fortunate in the hopes of using art/fashion to change the world, one heart at a time.

MMV: What advice would you give to aspiring artistic entrepreneurs?

Dream Big! Don’t do it for the money. Do it for your passion and purpose. Of course, the money is important but don’t let that drive you. Be driven to create something that is your own and not to conform the market. “Love what you do and others will not be able to resist loving it too.”

MMV: Anything else you want to say to Modern Mix Vancouver readers?
I want to thank the fine people at Modern Mix Vancouver and their readers. You are what makes this city unique. I hope to continue inspiring and sharing in your search for what’s new and exciting. There are still many hidden treasures here. Keep reading Modern Mix Vancouver, I know I will.

Photograph by Grace Lau Photography
Photograph by Grace Lau Photography

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