Dundas West is becoming the home to many eclectic and unique restaurants, bars and shops. Some even say it’s becoming the new Queen West and with every beginning comes a fresh start.  We got the chance to chat with shop owner, Nicole Manek, who has opened a store where vintage meets new and good designer finds aren’t a foot and an arm’s price to purchase. Say goodbye to the life of copycats, frumpy vintage finds and disinterested shop workers. Say hello to a life of rare finds, designer vintage, and friendly faces. Say hello to Life of Manek.

Located at the heart of Dufferin and Dundas lies a haven of vintage cowboy boots, independent designer sequin dresses, hard-to-find swimwear and more. The shop, Life of Manek may be new to the streets but some may recognize Manek from television show, Make me Over, Make me Under or her work as a costume designer. To add to her notable portfolio, Manek has also mentored costume designer, Michael Brown, who helped pave the path towards Life of Manek. “A lot of what I learned working with him over the years is the high-low, how to mix vintage with new. So when I decided that I wanted to have vintage pieces [in the store], I wanted to have really good, strong new items that could blend with the vintage and stand up next to the vintage pieces.”

J-Brand, G-Lish, SkarGorn and MC fragrances (the latter of the two are exclusive to Life of Manek in Canada) are a few of the brands they carry. So what’s Manek’s philosophy on what she curates in her shop? “If you stay focused on a look you like and believe in, then other people will like and believe in it too…If I don’t like something, I don’t bring it in, because I can’t stand behind it.”

If everything you’ve read isn’t enough to draw you in, the shop also carries a collection of one-of-a-kind, never been worn, vintage designer sunglasses from the 60’s to early 90’s. Balenciaga, Playboy, Dior, and Pucci are a few names that grace the medley of shades. Whether you’re on the lookout for unique eyewear, a great pair of denim, party dress or an electrify zebra striped Supreme jacket (which Grayson Miller of StyleDemocracy couldn’t help but swoon over) be sure to check out Life of Manek located at 1504 Dundas St. West. You’re sure to receive the stylist treatment that Manek and shop manager, Clara Gold are used to dishing. “We love to spend time with our customers and figure out what’s good for their bodies, their colors and play with them…I’ve also got a great knowledge from costume designing with alterations and how to play with your proportions to make things look right.” With knowledge on styling, vintage and alterations, the Life of Manek, is a life you’ll surely want to be apart of.

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