Introducing: Sara Duke Factory Store, the new Bloordale location for the designer’s creations
The place: Sara Duke’s Factory Store is a sight for sore sartorial eyes along the quietly gentrifying section of Bloor Street West between Lansdowne and Dufferin (“gentlemen’s club” House of Lancaster notwithstanding). Some vintage retail shops offer kin company—namely furniture–meets–fashion store Lost and Found and 69 Vintage—but it’s been a while since this ’hood has welcomed a new clothing hub, and a bespoke one at that.
The stuff: A 2007 graduate of Ryerson University’s fashion design program, Duke crafts made-to-measure clothing in her studio, located in the basement of the store. Delicately beaded bodices, fox fur–lined dresses and dainty little creations are all made on request. Other selections include her heather green cotton blend tunic dresses ($88), wool felt Red Riding Hood capes ($108), granddad sweaters with a woodland creature pattern ($68) and silky culottes (on sale for $38). Look out, too, for the stark-but-cute Impossible Speed T-shirt line by Sam Johnstone.
The shoppers: Bloordale nosy neighbours (grandmas and new moms) checking out the new kid on the block. Weekends bring in hipsters sick of digging through the racks at the nearby Value Village. Duke aims for a $100 price point so as to draw in fashion hounds, not deter them.
The find: The pull necklace ($48) made of brass gladiator-inspired gilt hardware on green and brown deerskin straps is a weighty piece of jewellery that looks great accenting any basic outfit.
Sara Duke Factory Store, 1244 Bloor St. W. (at Margueretta St.), imadethisforyou.ca.