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Fashion Stores

Dutil Denim

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on May 25, 2011

Dutil TorontoDutil Denim is denim floor to ceiling, quite literally. With stacks of jeans, shorts, overalls, shirts, and remnants rolled up near the ceiling, you won't find anything of another creed in this West Queen West boutique.

"We wanted to be exclusively denim," co-owner Darrin Kenigsberg tells me as I check out the space a day before it's set to open. "It's a commodity no one focuses on exclusively, so we wanted to do that."

Dutil TorontoDarrin and his business partner, Eric Dickstein, opened the first Dutil Denim in Vancouver in 2006. Focusing initially on selling and building brands such as Domino, Acne, and Naked & Famous, the pair later decided to develop their own brand, named "The Quintessential Series" in 2010. Now, the entire collection is available at Dutil's second location on Queen St. in Toronto.

Dutil Toronto"This was the only place I wanted to open," Darrin says, referring to West Queen West. And having lived in Toronto, he knows the area. "There's a good mix of traffic; we're right by Dufflet, and lots of other really great places." Of course, he makes one distinction. "We want to be a friendly place, though," he says. "We're totally against stores where they don't even say 'hi' when you walk in the door."

Dutil TorontoThe shop does have a very relaxed feel, with scuffed-up plywood floors ("If the painters spilled on it, we were like 'whatever.'"), hanging rope shelves, and barn door dressing rooms. It's also a sea of dark denim, with little fade to be found.

Dutil Toronto"We wanted our jeans to be natural, simple, and well-constructed," Darrin says. So, thankfully, there are no rhinestone apples or any other sort of decals found here. The Quintessential Series is the signature collection sold here, right now offering two styles of men's ($258) and two styles of women's ($238), which includes the "Quintessential Slim-Straight" for men and the "Quintessential Skinny" for women, designed in Vancouver and constructed in L.A.

Dutil TorontoDarrin then shows me that some of the Quintessential men's (and soon to be women's) jeans are outfitted with a sterling silver hoop, dubbed the "halo." "It's great," he says, "because it's a place to keep your glasses when you're not wearing them." The Halo does tack an extra $40 onto the price tag, so I'd personally be more inclined to just using my head.

Speaking of which, no denim hats yet, but we'll see what a little persuasion can do.

Dutil TorontoDutil TorontoDutil TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



Greg / May 25, 2011 at 02:15 pm
Finally! It's sad that Vancouver had better denim than Toronto, and that Vancouver had to come to the rescue with Dutil and J+O. Pure Blue Japan! Hopefully Toronto retailers will step they game up. And lastly, this may be wishful thinking, but just maybe there will be a place to get a decent chainstitch in the city.
mike in parkdale / May 25, 2011 at 02:18 pm
is Blog TO and Toronto Life sharing reviews these days? I could see them writing about $250 pants....
skeeter / May 25, 2011 at 02:24 pm
jeans that cost 250 dollars? why? is it an ego thing? do people feel that much better knowing they're wearing 250 dollar jeans? if that's the case then i'm sorry but you're a tool.
Mr. Poopy Pants / May 25, 2011 at 02:35 pm
Don't be fooled mike in parkdale and skeeter, you need $250.00 pants in order to dress like a proper douche. If you're only dropping $80 or so for a pair at the Bay, you have 0 douche cred and 905er girls at the Bier Market won't wish to have intercourse with you.
simuls / May 25, 2011 at 02:41 pm
Denim has become the defacto ripoff of the last 20 years. Anyone who thinks there is a difference in build quality, fabric quality or any other quantifiable element of a jean is a fool. Case in point - Levi's - $50 buck pair here sells for $250 in Europe. Are they better in Europe - nope, just a marketing thing and the reverse happens here with "Japanese" denim, etc.. When will people stop being complete fools with their money. Sad.
Khristopher / May 25, 2011 at 02:51 pm
Never would I spend that much money on jeans. Well maybe if I was a millionaire...
Bubba / May 25, 2011 at 02:58 pm
only poser's would pay these prices!
James / May 25, 2011 at 03:07 pm
Anyone who says there isn't a difference in quality, fit and construction in denim obviously has never owned good denim.
Greg / May 25, 2011 at 03:24 pm
I thought there would be more denim n3rds on BlogTO than myself.

I could discuss the difference between a pair of Japanese repro brands and some celebrity endorsed, artificially distressed piece of garbage, but feel it would be in vain.

When you refer to the Bay as not being a ripoff, you lose all credibility in my mind.
Denis replying to a comment from James / May 25, 2011 at 03:27 pm
I fully agree with James
I have quite a few pairs of premium denim that I've had for 10 years. They still look, feel, and fit as good as they did the day that I bought them.

Unfortunately $50 pairs of jeans are usually constructed for generic body types. Due to my "measurements" I do not fall into that group. Premium denim offer me more selection in sizes to fit my body. I'd rather have one pair of $250 jeans that fit me the way I want and will last, rather than 5 pairs of $50 jeans that don't fit.
emmzee / May 25, 2011 at 03:38 pm
My $20 jeans (on sale, normally a pricey $30) from Zellers seem to serve me fine ... of course I've never had the opportunity to wear $250 jeans, so they MAY be over 12x as good, but I'm thinking they're not.
richie / May 25, 2011 at 04:14 pm
Yes my $300 jean DO make me feel better, so does my $70,000 bmw, my 1.4mil loft and my hot gold digging gf. SO WHAT? To many damn haters on blogto.
nix / May 25, 2011 at 05:27 pm
I want to know how much the clothing costs to produce and then compare the price tag. If they are marked up by a massive percentage then you are tool for paying $250 (regardless if they are the best pair of jeans you have ever worn).
If it costs pennies to make this clothing and they are marking up by 2000% then people buying these products aren't helping anyone except the greedy
Leroy / May 25, 2011 at 05:40 pm
Also, consider that the price isn't always directly quantifiable to the quality of the denim material itself. There are endless styles and cuts of pants out there, and we can really only find what is in style now (low rise, with either tapered straight hems) in stores like The Levi's store, The Bay etc.

For me, since cut is king, I will spend this much on jeans because the exact cut I like can only be found in men's boutiques like this one. That's not to say the boutiques don't also carry what is popular, but the selection is far better. And of course, the quality of the denim is superior.

The type of raw denim, minimally branded jeans that this store sells usually do not display a big logo allowing you to declare your loyalty to an expensive brand. These jeans are for the discerning man (or woman) who cares about the subtleties in the cut and fabric of denim pants.

Also, as I mentioned, most of the jeans are raw denim. As in not washed. Common care instructions for raw denim is to not wash and to wear without washing for as long as possible. Many people wear them everyday for many months without washing and will spot clean when necessary. There's no way I could have gotten that much use out of the pre-washed 501s I used to wear.

Finally, I don't like the blatant bias in the title of this article. Including the price of the jeans to define them is a clear slam on this establishment. Are you trying to drive people away from a new store?

W-Hat / May 25, 2011 at 05:49 pm
If you're making 40k a year and buy $250 jeans, you're a tool.

If you're making 140k a year and want to buy a pair of $250 jeans because you like them and they make you feel good, then do what you like, assuming your finances are in order otherwise.

Nax replying to a comment from nix / May 25, 2011 at 06:55 pm
This is such a ridiculous question. When does that ever matter?

It's like going out for dinner at a high end restaurant and completely dismissing it because of the price of ingredients.

Things are created. There is Labour and Craft involved that should be valued. Plus, I am not sure if you have ever owned a pair of higher priced denim, but it truly is a different game altogether.

Do you know how much everything you own cost to make? You would be in serious trouble if you followed your own logic.
MORGA / May 25, 2011 at 07:30 pm
Somehow I doubt they have sizes for real men.
hellebelle / May 25, 2011 at 08:16 pm
if you can afford to shop here, good for you!
Adam / May 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm
Plenty of jeans they sell aren't $250. The title of that headline is pretty stupid - there are about 15 other places on West Queen West that also sell jeans in the $250+ range.
ivor / May 26, 2011 at 01:08 am
how about we all try out a pair of denim and then let people here know how it fits?? if theres a difference at all from normal jeans i.e levis/bay/gap etc.
Stra / May 26, 2011 at 08:14 am
a few times every year, 501's can indeed be bought at the Bay for under $40.
dude replying to a comment from MORGA / May 26, 2011 at 10:56 am
roflcopter... yea none with calve diameters larger than a couple of inches
jam / May 26, 2011 at 10:57 am
I don't see why people are all in a huff about this. If someone wants to spend $250 on jeans, so be it. I don't see anyone here complaining about people wanting to buy a BMW over a Toyota. Just because jeans are accessible to everyone, those who decide to not buy, or can't afford a $250 pair feel the need to make a stink about it.

I have $300 jeans and I have $50 jeans and can say that I'd rather invest in a pair of $300 jeans, but am perfectly comfortable wearing $50 jeans.
Darwin / May 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm
I stopped into dutil after reading this article and i must say there are so many of your comments that are totally incorrect. Your research is out of wack. dutil offers jeans from $88 Levis, $145 brands like Naked and Famous, average pricing at $200, there own brand at $258 which is cone denim, made in LA, up to $600. They are an only denim store and offer every price.

Quality is quality. There are brands that you pay $80 for that are a rip off and brands that charge $200 which are a steal for what you get.

Anyone who only shops for cheap pricing will have to redo they're wardrobe every 3 months.
Sean / May 26, 2011 at 03:41 pm
Actually, there is a huge difference between $258 jeans and $80 jeans (cuts, quality of denim, etc.).

If you prefer to buy $80 jeans that is great but, do not try to fool yourself into thinking there is not a difference.

Also, I am infinitely more willing to pay $258 for a pair of jeans than I am to pay $325 for a white t-shirt (
mike in parkdale / May 27, 2011 at 09:46 am
I could never wear $250 jeans for one simple reason - I do stuff that *might* involve falling down, or somehow interacting with the world I'm in.

If I was wearing $250 jeans, I'd never sit on a park bench - be afraid to sit on the TTC - be terrified of smokers - never step off paved sidewalks....

I think you get the point.

Jeans were working pants, and now it's gone so far to the other direction that you couldn't even wear them out.
Starfry / May 27, 2011 at 09:58 am
The ignorance of some posters here is shocking. This is a boutique, which specializes in a specific product, and therefore is targeted at a discerning clientele. Yes, you can get denim at the Bay, just as you can buy all sorts of things at a department store. But you sacrifice quality, and product knowledge when you do so. If you dont understand this, then dont bother going to Dutil. I went there last week, and was impressed by the look and feel of the outlet, and the quality and diversity, including price points, of the goods.
hahahah replying to a comment from Mr. Poopy Pants / May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am
mike in parkdale replying to a comment from Starfry / May 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm
it's not that we are 'ignorant' that this is a boutique selling a niche product.... it's the absurdity of the product and the prices that we're mocking.

Saying that you're "sacrificing quality" by shopping for denim at a department store is the ignorant statement. Sure a Toyota is a "sacrificing quality" when it's compared to a Porsche, but compared to K-Mart, you're doing just fine.

and I guess 'discerning clientele' is code for 'yuppies with more money than sense'.
denym replying to a comment from MORGA / May 31, 2011 at 04:57 pm
i'm pretty sure they carry sizes from 27-38 for men and if you're under or above those sizes you are not a real man.
D.C. / June 8, 2011 at 05:35 pm
A store review that turned into a debate on premium denim vs. price point denim. As someone whose studied, sold and even made his own jeans, I can tell you there IS a genuine difference. But this isn't the place for that discussion though. This is a great store run by knowledgeable denim people. So I encourage you to check it out. Support local talent.

For those who REALLY want to know the difference, here is a link that can give you a little insight into what goes into making premium jeans the price they are:

Good luck Darrin, Eric & Kaitlin...sincerely your neighbourhood denim comrade...
Vancouver Erik / June 10, 2011 at 11:19 am
I agree, People are ignorant.

Saying there is no difference in jean or denim quality with places like The Bay, Zellers, Walmart, compared to quality denim shops is absolutely mind blowing.

Think of any hobby you have be it fishing, gaming, hockey, music, cars, etc. Would you buy your gear at a dollar store or trust quality? 1990 Toyota Tercel or 1990 VW Golf? I've owned both by the way.

Price will always be an issue. If you wear jeans everyday like me then 200 dollars for a pair is worth it knowing that I can wear them for years and they wont disintegrate off my body. If you don't care, then go to Walmart and buy your Lee's.

Having moved to Toronto I'm stoked there is finally an amazing store that specializes in denim and denim only.

For all you haters... just shut up and pinch those pennies.
HAL 9000 / August 16, 2011 at 03:29 pm
Not sure why some people are complaining about the price. If you can't afford it or if you don't want to afford it, then why post at all? What people do with their money is none of your concern at all. It is absolutely absurd to claim that there is no quality difference between a pair of APCs and a pair at Wal-Mart. Do they function the same? Yes, but don't all things? You can drive a Toyota like a BMW, but its quite obvious that the BMW is higher in degrees of quality.

Anyways. I wanted to find a pair of raws. Certain brand of raws are pretty rare in Toronto. I found this place, went inside, and found a variety of selection. Its amazing to have a store specialize in denim and have varieties of brands, cuts, and sizes offered. Its a good place to find high quality denim.
Decency replying to a comment from Mr. Poopy Pants / June 6, 2012 at 09:38 pm
I do not know why you are hating on the store prices so deeply. It is an option to buy a pair of jeans for $250, it is not mandatory. No one would forcefully take your money and make you buy these pair of jeans. Therefore you should not be hating on the store and stereotyping their customers. Amiable people in society who live in premium life styles are willing to buy jeans at a premium price. You should not be calling people "proper douche" just because you see yourself as the lower common denominator, which can be seen by the way your comment was written. Do not make other people feel miserable just because you feel miserable. Misery does not need company, it needs someone to talk to about its problem.

Have some Decency.
jmb replying to a comment from nix / October 16, 2012 at 01:50 pm
Your $20 jeans were made by orphaned children in some unknown country in asia, and they were paid about 15 cents an hour. The people making these jeans live here and make a good wage doing it, as does everyone down the supply chain to the cotton growers and farmers. If you feel like supporting what amounts to child slave labour, go nuts.

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