Five menswear-friendly brands we wish would open up flagships in Toronto but, for whatever reason, are not
Given the tremendous support Topman has received as it slowly joins Toronto’s fashion market, we thought we’d talk about brands for the fellas that we wish would dress our streets, perhaps knocking out any given Tim Hortons, McDonald’s or Starbucks (and we’ll keep the Toronto Public Library, thank you). Since Toronto menswear accessibility is only growing at a snail’s pace, we’ve dared to dream, so here’s our list of dude-worthy dud-makers that we hope might open up shop very soon.
This is a unisex shop, but a pretty darn good one. Guys can buy a decent pair of slim-fit denim, a tightly woven Oxford shirt and dress shirts for every nine-to-five scenario, all for under $100. Thousands of pieces coat the walls of this Japanese-turned-international retailer, and if a Saturday at their New York City location is any indication, there is a huge demand for waiting in line for inexpensive basics.
Closest competition: It’d certainly give Joe Fresh and H&M a run for their money.
Online store: No. Get thee to New York (or Japan).
There are denim geeks across the globe who are excited by Denham’s unique approach to jeans which, broken down to bare bones, is destroying and then creating new ways to think about the go-to pant of nearly every man. Think welt pockets, tarp lining, rivets, coating of all types and every sort of jean permutation that can be seen on blogs, but almost nowhere in Toronto.
Closest competition: Dutil Denim, the new denim head on the block, might take a hit from the U.K. hype brand
Online store : Yep.
Some people like Uniqlo, others like A.P.C. and many fall somewhere in between (call it high-low dressing), but there’s a reason this French company is so successful — it makes basic clothing into something kind of luxurious. The jeans will fit fairly tight, but feel good (they will stretch, so it is only a matter of sucking it in for a week or so), and the cost of plaid shirts may seem a tad exorbitant, but these clothes have never meant to be throwaways. We’d throw away an H&M golf shirt that shrinks to a unusually small size after a week, but with A.P.C., the expectation is that “smug Frenchman” will always be in style.
Closest competition: Even though Nomad on Queen Street West carries the brand, we think a flagship (if it ever happens) would leech a lot of Parkdale traffic.
Online store: You betcha.
We think Acne has the brand recognition to pull off a flagship store, considering it has a publication, a thriving jean-making business and a seasonal collection that covers the gamut of everything a Euro-leaning gentleman requires from his wardrobe.
Closest competition: Either Ossington’s Jonathan and Olivia will make Acne head for the hills, or Toronto will want to see a full collection instead of picking over one person’s definition of curated.
Online store: There is one.
This Danish brand has developed a bit of a reputation for offering simple, on-the-preppy-side basics (no logos anywhere, just uncomplicated shirts, pants and shorts—and yes, even sweatpants) for men, and amorphous and architecturally interesting pieces for women. We figure the normal, suit-by-day broker would be very into Won Hundred for his cottage weekends or park picnics, and his gallerist girlfriend wouldn’t mind it either.
Closest competition: Move over, new-kid-on-the-block Woodlawn, because Won Hundred’s cult-like following could be the Dark Horse to your Starbucks (or maybe they’ll work harmoniously? Who can say, really?).
Online store: Of course they have one.