We’re getting close to the end of 2014 and as we wrap up the year, we’re rounding up all of the ‘Best Ofs”! While we saw retailers like Jacob, Smart Set, Costa Blanca and Mexx close, a number of new Canadian and international retailers expanded into Toronto. From beauty and bridal to high-end and homegrown, here’s what we think the best new Toronto stores of 2014 are:
The Vancouver-based retailer Oak+Fort is known for their minimalist designs and affordable prices. The brand came to Toronto in the summer of 2014 with a pop-up location on Queen Street West and now has four different permanent locations across the GTA: Don Mills, Queen St. West, Yorkdale Mall and Square One Mall. The retailer is a blogger favourite and has even attracted the likes of Blake Lively with their neutral-hued basics and plain-yet-edgy ensembles – most priced under $200.
The Montreal-based online menswear retailer (which surprisingly has no connection to Oak + Fort) opened their first Toronto location mid-November. With a coffee shop up front and a barber shop in the back, the store is more than just a place to pick up new duds. The retailer has managed to replicate the online experience that contributed to the brand’s success on site. Instead of live chats like they have online, customers can make appointments with in-store advisors who will preselect clothing and accessories for customers based on their existing profiles. Almost everything in the shop is under $300.
Parloque opened early in the summer of 2014 and is a treasure trove for street style lovers. The shop stocks menswear and womenswear by international cult labels like UNIF, Whitney Eve, Haley Elsaesser, Kye, Miista and Toronto labels like Untitled and Co., Vitaly, Cuchara and many more. They define themselves as a mix of streetwear and high fashion – prices range from $25 to $900. The shop also doubles as a creative space, playing host to events and pop-up shops.
Holt Renfrew‘s first free-standing menswear store opened October. 1, 2014 at 100 Bloor Street West, in the heart of Toronto’s ‘Mink Mile’. The 16,500 square foot space offers a variety of upscale services. Sartorial options are provided, including made-to-measure suiting and a bespoke tailoring space. Luxurious shopping suites offer a personalized experience, and enhanced levels of service include complimentary alterations, valet service, shoe shine, a cobbler for shoe repairs and on-site monograming. Bespoke tailoring will be provided by Toronto-based Walter Beauchamp Tailors. Read more about Holt Renfrew Men here.
May 1, 2014 marked the grand opening of Kleinfeld Bridal‘s first Canadian location, which is on the seventh floor of Toronto’s flagship Hudson’s Bay store. The first of its kind in the world, the 20,000+ square foot Kleinfeld also features a Maison Birks jewellery shop-in-store, specializing in diamond rings. Kleinfeld carries some of the world’s priciest designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Naeem Khan,Dennis Baso, and Alberta Ferretti. Read more about Kleinfeld Bridal here.
Situated in the beautiful Yorkville district at 9-11 Hazelton Lanes, Suitsupply carters to the fashionable man looking to get runway quality suits at a quarter of the price. With suits starting at $499 Canadian in fabrics you just won’t see at the price, Suitsupply will surely be a go-to shopping destination for stylish men. Get suiting tips from the Vice President of SuitSupply here.
Though Victoire is still fresh to Toronto (they opened in March 2014), the shop has been an Ottawa favourite since 2006 and was recently named one of the top 6 boutiques to visit in Canada by Elle magazine. The boutique primarily focuses on Canadian design and stocks womenswear by Canadian designers such as Eve Gravel, Valerie Dumaine,Dace, Betina Lou, and Birds of North America. The apparel is expressive, yet feminine and typically ranges between $100 and $300. Read our full spotlight on Victoire Boutique here.
WANT Apothecary opened their first Toronto location in the spring of 2014 after 3 successful years in Montreal. Located in Rosedale, the boutique was designed to feel like a 19th century pharmacy and the name comes from the leather goods collection created by co-owners and twins Bryon and Dexter Peart, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie. Aside from the luxurious bags, the boutique carries high-end clothing brands like Maison Kitsune, Filippa K, Swims Footwear, Acne Studios, Nudie Jeans and grooming products from brands like Aesop and Stop The Water While Using Me!
Known for their sleek designs, and natural looking concepts, MUJI opened their first Canadian location in the Atrium on Bay at the end of November. The store is 4400 square-feet and carries men and women’s clothing, luggage, stationary and organization solutions and homewares like bedroom linens, kitchenware and toiletries. The location carrie approximately 2,800 products, including 800 garments and accessory items, and about 2,000 household products. View more photos of MUJI’s first Canadian location here.
Inglot made it’s first debut in Toronto at the Canadian Place, but closed down in 2008. The new space opened in the fall of 2014 and is just a few doors down the Hard Rock Cafe at the southern edge of Yonge and Dundas Square. All Inglot cosmetics are produced in Europe and can be found in over 1500 colours including 450 lip colours, 600 eye colours, and 300 face colours. The company is best know for their reasonable prices (most items fall under $20) and O2M Breathable Nail Enamel (an enamel that allows water to permeate the varnish and touch the nail.) Read more about Inglot here.