Gravitypope is a 4,000 square foot vision for shoe-lovers. The west coast import just opened at the foot (ahem) of Ossington at Queen, offering a Candy Land of chunky pumps, fur-lined moccasins, and block heel ankle boots. You can almost feel the resistance loosen on your purse strings as you walk into the shiny new two-floor boutique.
This is Gravitypope's first foray into eastern Canada. It was initially established in Edmonton back in 1990, and has since expanded into Calgary and Vancouver. But this Toronto store, however, is its first "department store" of sorts, offering both clothing and footwear all under one roof.
The space here at Queen and Ossington was ideal, says manager Jody Kirk, since the building was unbuilt when Gravitypope came across the availability. "We could take the room we needed," she says. "And we needed a lot of it."
Not your modest little footwear boutique, Gravitypope is stocked with everything from T & F Slack to Isabel Marant, Comme des Garcons and its house brand, Gravity Pope. You'll find omnipresent brands such as Vans, Camper, and Marc by Marc Jacobs, along with harder-to-find Colico, Canadian-made labels such as Manitobah Mukluks, and far too many others to list. The shop, in other words, is stocked.
"We try to carry a really good representation of each brand," Jody says, touring me around the store. "Whereas you might find six styles of Trippen at some other store, we have ... 40." She confirms the number by counting up the Trippen shoes on a couple of racks. "But if it's a new brand [for Gravitypope], we'll start with a smaller sample," she continues. "And slowly, we'll grow the brand."
The sheer volume of shapes and styles for both men and women makes it tough to characterize a Gravitypope "style," though that is, perhaps, precisely the point. "It's sort of cliche, but there really is something for everyone," Jody says. "My dad shops here, my brother shops here, even my baba shops here."
The variety of price points certainly helps, since the $365 teal gathered t-strap Colicos aren't exactly universally accessible (though they do occupy my attention for quite some time.) The Gravitypope label certainly offers the best value, with a pair of men's lace-up wingtip loafers for $175, and women's stacked-heel ankle boots for $225.
Male shoppers and bow tie-lovers of all creeds will find clothing to match their new shoes on the first floor, with options such as Comme de Garcon v-neck sweaters $380 and Paul Smith bow ties among the other offerings. Up the golden staircase (formerly belonging to an old theatre), women can explore clothing indulgences such as a gorgeous Cedric Charlier rose gold and wool dress ($1135) and a stunning Gary Graham silk sleeveless v-neck ($639). Too pricey? For something, uh, under $100, there's always the handmade Mad et Len candles for $85.
Needless to say, you can easily drop a penny or two (or a few hundred thousand pennies) during a spree at Toronto's new Gravitypope, but there's certainly something about a pair of T&F Slack ankle boot wedges that will help to fill the void in your savings account.
Photos by Morris Lum