Five womenswear-friendly brands we wish would open up flagships in Toronto but, for whatever reason, are not
We took care of the gents yesterday, but certainly haven’t forgotten about women’s needs—just like menswear, a range of womenswear options (especially mid-range options) aren’t as available in Toronto as in cities like New York, London and Paris. We decided to put our thinking caps on to uncover which outside-of-Canada shops we’d like to see open up flagships for Toronto’s fashionable ladies.
This is one of the freshest brands to come out of Australia (or anywhere) in years, and we would gladly battle with ravenous dingoes if it meant better access to their lines. Not only is there no flagship store in Australia, but they don’t even ship anywhere outside of Oz. They’re carried by Rac and Robber here in town, but even they only get a couple of pieces. Where else can we get such exquisite leather shorts, nude silk smocks, bizarre rompers and the perfect pair of white summer trousers? Nowhere.
Closest competition: Carte Blanche, because Tania Martins currently has the tough/cool girl look pegged with her brand Pink Cobra (and there’s very little local competition).
Online store: Womp womp. That means no.
Want to pick up a piece from this contemporary French brand in person? Well, sorry, it isn’t readily available in Toronto. Sure, we’ve seen her pieces around town, but who knows how to find ’em again in the meantime? Bruno’s website is without a list of stockists (and most pieces were likely acquired on summer trips to Paris). Her collections, however, are filled with achingly beautiful ruffled pastel floral mini-frocks, sassy cream bralets and eye-popping purple silk skirts. How come France has all the fun (i.e. six bloody stores alone)?
Online store: Non.
Marc Jacobs has amassed an insane empire, from his namesake brand, diffusion line and now bookstore to his mountains of accessories and ephemera (how many people do you know who have the Marc Jacobs key chain?) to moonlighting for giants like Louis Vuitton. But while he has two-dozen stores in North America (including seven in New York alone), the man has yet to expand his reach northwards. Currently, rabid Jacobites can only raid the shelves of Holt Renfrew when they need a little MJ in their life. But we want more—much more.
Closest competition: None. Both Marc by Marc Jacobs and Marc Jacobs would sell like gangbusters.
Online store: Sorry, the brand only sells and ships to American customers.
Roughly 80 per cent (this is a made-up figure, but it seems accurate) of people who have opened a store in the last few years have cited the “curatorial” approach of Colette as an inspiration, so it makes sense that we’ve been hankering for a Colette of our very own for a long time. We make do in the meanwhile with the brand’s extensive online shop, which carries everything from Azzaro jumpsuits and somewhat silly niche magazines to retro Vespa helmets and Junya Watanabe seperates. We namedrop only because we desperately want our own Colette. This one is admittedly a stretch, since it is unlikely that Colette will ever leave France (thanks, snobs).
It might be a bit of a pipe dream for Tom Ford to open up a flagship store in Canada based solely on the fact that he barely has any stores anywhere. His New York man’s-man enclave is a paean to glam days gone by, but otherwise, we’ll have to head to Seoul, Lebanon or Bazu, Azerbaijan (oh, okay…) for a piece by He-Who-Shall-Be-Called-Mr.-Ford. We dream big at The Goods.
Closest competition: Holt Renfrew, since they have an exclusive on the very, very hyped spring/summer 2011 collection.
Online store: Only for eyewear and beauty, apparently.