Free People opened on Yorkville Avenue in early August, already fully stocked with fall merchandise, but it’s only now that the weather is cooling that we’re ready to contemplate the chunky cardigans and vegan leather jackets on offer. The company’s first stand-alone store outside the U.S. is located in the former home of Salon Daniel in Yorkville, a space the company chose for its eclectic, cozy vibe (since amplified with new homespun decor). A lower-level space in the same building now houses the brand’s first attached lingerie shop—which we suppose makes sense, since many of the sheer and crocheted pieces upstairs look best worn with colourful underthings or lacy slips.
Those familiar with the brand from The Bay and smaller retailers across the city will find more of the boho vintage-inspired garments catering to women in their mid-to-late 20s, though there is the odd edgier or preppier piece mixed in. (The idea, it would seem, is to capture shoppers who are maturing out of the aesthetic and price point of sister brand Urban Outfitters but perhaps aren’t quite ready for Anthropologie, which is also owned by Urban Outfitter, Inc.) The Toronto store has a particular focus on denim, and Blank NYC jeans are among the few non-house-brand items (the others are Wildfox sweatshirts and the occasional pair of shoes).
Free People, 79 Yorkville Avenue, 416–515–1555 freepeople.com