Introducing: Stacey Zhang, Queen West’s newest indie retailer
The place: Independent retailers have struggled to stay in business on Queen Street east of Spadina, as most have been left cowering in the shadow of retail giants like French Connection and Zara. In a long-vacant space along this stretch, Montreal designer Stacey Zhang has opened a new location, hoping to lure her Toronto online customers and new fans with the shop’s airy high ceilings and Sex and the City colour palette.
The stuff: Budget-friendly, Canadian-made nine-to-five garb with a twist and day-to-night pieces are Zhang’s specialty. A plaid Peter Pan-collared button-up shirt-dress ($165), a graphic-print jacket with an oversize belt ($175), a sheer black short-sleeved button-up blouse ($125) and a gathered white Oxford ($125) all seemed perfect for spring.
The shoppers: Precocious and professional 20-something and adventurous 40-something women looking for work-appropriate clothing that’s neither boring nor typical of a chain store.
Our favourite things: We think the standard work uniform of skirt and blazer can be quite boring, which is why we like that Zhang is bringing some sass to separates and standard-issue frocks. We recommend taking a risk with purple and beige linen harem pants ($145), a convertible dress altered by a nautical-rope pulley system ($148), a dramatic gingham-print raincoat ($215) or a black cropped jacket with zip-off sleeves ($175). Finally, it seems there’s a new remedy to ward off the matronly siren song of a local Talbots.
Stacey Zhang, 292 Queen Street West, 647.346.2889, staceyzhang.com