Elevator, the latest shop to pop up near Queen and Dufferin, opened its doors to the neighborhood this past month, offering a dose of Savile Row-lite for the Parkdale set. The ethos of the store, as explained by the charmingly infectious store owner Niko Downie, is simple but fresh: strictly accessories, but never basic.
Simple and chic, the store is meant to give the impression of a hotel lobby (I couldn't help but feel as though I was in an episode of BBC's The Hour, though perhaps that could be chalked up more to Downie's soothing English accent). A beautiful wooden light fixture, originally hanging in the lobby of a Chicago hotel in the 1920s, shines over a round table of spring-tinted ties (bow and otherwise) from U.K. label Charles Olive ($45+) and classic New York neck wear manufacturer Mountain & Sackett ($45 for bow ties, $60 for silk ties).
Growing up in London, Downie was always inspired by the unique flourishes that adorned the classic suits of the men he would see heading to work in the morning. A pink sock tucked under a slick pant-leg, a bold lining on a tailored suit jacket. A colorful pocket square elevating an otherwise simple look. Elevator aims to bring that same experimental joie de vivre to men and women in Toronto with a wide range of accessories, handbags and personal care products hand-picked by Downie himself.
Though it may appear at first glance to be all about the men, there's plenty to be found for the ladies. Jewelry, handbags, scarves and skin care (from Toronto brand Leaves of Trees) further illustrate the marriage between practicality and style at reasonable prices. I had my eye on a buttery leather metallic tote bag that would fit all my summer essentials from Berlin-based brand Liebesking ($375) and a sleek arrow cuff ($89) from Kris Nations jewelry out of California that would be a welcome addition to my wrist.
It's clear that Downie puts a heavy amount of thought and consideration into every product he brings into his store. Hearing him wax poetic over fine leather belts from Italian label Anderson's ($130-150) or the aromatic Tobacco Beard Oil ($14) from Portland General Store makes you want to return over and over again. And this summer, I'm pretty sure I will.
I suppose the message of Elevator is this: why wear a t-shirt when you can wear an oxford with a casual tie, cufflinks and even a pocket square? Stop in to Elevator to experience the finer things in life without breaking the bank.
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Photos by Morris Lum