The Serpentine: no girls allowed for fall/winter 2011-12
Yorkville’s The Serpentine is shedding its inventory. No, it won’t be having a massive liquidation sale, but as of the fall/winter season, the once all-for-one shop will cater to men exclusively. Sorry, ladies. “It’s no surprise that a lot more women are shopping during the day in Yorkville, and it made sense to have enough stock to fulfill that demand,” says Serpentine co-owner Paul Mailing, but there haven’t been enough leisure ladies buying for themselves to justify continued purchase of women’s wear. Mailing notes that of the women shopping during the day over the last 18 months, most are purchasing for their husbands.
Serpentine won’t stock anything that is carried by more than two Canadian stores, and every piece is purchased directly from the vendor (a lot of their product comes from Japan). It’s a loose model that has cost the partners a lot of money, but it promotes obscure brands and one-offs that are actually, at least for Toronto, one-offs. “For our higher-end exclusives, we’ll only carry one or two of each size,” says Mailing. The stock will include Rick Owens’ main line, Julius, Chronicles of Never, Diet Butcher Slim Skin, David Lindwall, A1923 and more brands that most consumers have never heard of. But that’s the point: to be choked by the serpent grip of exclusivity.