Wild Eyes is a celebration of the freedom, creativity, magic and limitless energy that children possess. Inspired by vintage denim, 60's and 70's counterculture, mysticism and cosmic energy, every Wild Eyes denim jacket is made with love, a little magic and is completely unique, just like the cosmic kid who wears it.
So how did we get here? Everyone has a story, here's mine. My name is Mike Gabel and I am the designer maker behind Wild Eyes. I was born on Vancouver Island in Canada spent my childhood playing on the beach, running through the forest behind my house and enjoying the sort of free spirited childhood we as parents often yearn to give our own children.
But as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side so in my early twenties, I wanted to see what the other side of the world had to offer and decided to move to London, England to "make it" (whatever that meant to me at the time). To fund this adventure I had a street party to sell all my belongings. I had 2 bands play, a DJ, a cocktail bar and someone selling grilled cheese sandwiches (I actually sold 100!), all of it running off a single extension cord from my apartment. Most importantly it got me a plane ticket, and taught me that it's possible to make your own rules and follow your passions.
It was here that I met my wife, Jennifer and started a long career as an artist, performer, and bon vivant. Together we built what would become The House of Hot Breath, a multi-faceted, creative production studio. Our work thrives on interaction, community, and the magic that happens when you bring people together to have fun. We have built giant burgers, mini golf courses, hosted karaoke at Tate Modern, sold dream catchers necklaces in Colette Paris, and performed puppet shows from a 20ft hand painted advent calendar. We have worked on projects with some of the world biggest brands such as MTV, Nike and Google, and never stop looking for new avenues for our creativity.
We now have two incredible daughters, Story aged 5 and Novi aged 3 who are a constant inspiration to us. We were very lucky in London to be able to devote a lot of our time to them and make their earliest memories filled with art, culture and creative expression. But unfortunately for us (and a lot of other artists) London has become an incredibly difficult place to survive as a creative so when the property developers came knocking on the door, we decided to change our mantra to "thrive not survive" and go full circle by selling everything again and leaping into the unknown, just as I had done almost 20 years before.
We left London with 5 suitcases and ended up on the side of a volcano in the Canary Islands.
After months of much needed rest, relaxation, rioja and self reflection, we moved to back to Canada, tried to remember how to be Canadian again and started to re-lay the foundations for The House of Hot Breath in Toronto. The move back to Canada has also given me the time to really develop Wild Eyes. I made Story her first customized denim jacket back in 2014 and it had always been a project that I wanted to do, to make a gang of cosmic kids around the world. We plan to grow the brand beyond clothing, to include events, a web series and eventually a WILD EYES WORLD where kids and parents can create and play together.
Thanks for stopping by and stay cosmic.