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Fashion Stores


Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on September 24, 2011

Hide Leather TorontoHide is a new Dundas West shop specializing in leather accessories. The name is perhaps a bit literal for my taste, but the style is totally up my alley. That is; clean, structured, and classic. At Dundas and Palmerston, sisters Sandra (who handles the business) and Suzanna (creative) decided to open up their own shop after years of filling wholesale orders out of a Queen West studio space.

Hide Toronto Leather"Moving around to trade shows, not being sure when the next order will come in, it can be tiresome," Sandra explains when I ask why they decided to look for a storefront.

"My sister," she continues, "has been a designer for 10 years. She's mostly self-taught."

Hide Toronto LeatherWhile self-taught might evoke thoughts of broken seams and rough edges, you won't find any of that here. Hide's bags and belts look impeccably constructed, and with little variation between like pieces, you'd think they were stamped from a machine rather than cut in the studio at the back of the store.

"A lot of what she works with is vegetable tan leather," Sandra says.

"The process to make this kind of leather has been around since the Renaissance."

Hide Leather TorontoSandra goes on to explain that the leather is tanned using vegetable matter, which results in a matte, dry finish. The sisters source their hide from a specialty distributor out of Tuscany, eventually turning them into purses, belts, and bags.

Hide Leather TorontoThe green carrier displayed in a vintage wooden crate by the front of the store is the showstopper by far, cut in a classic, structured, unisex design. Priced at $450, it's certainly an investment piece, and Sandra tells me customers can order it in their choice of available colours. Many of the belts are made from the same type of leather, fixed with clasps and other hardware imported from Italy. The exceptions are the super-soft women's lambskin wrap belts, available in a variety of colours for $145.

Hide LeatherAs I inspect the goods, Suzanna comes out from the back studio holding a newly minted gold chain necklace with petals of vegetable tan leather floating from the ends ($140). I'm enamored immediately, and she adds it the glass case of other jewellery, some of which is made here and others are imported from Italy.

Leather Hide Toronto"See here?" she says, lifting one of the petals. Then she points to a set of cutout handbags displayed on the opposite shelf. "These are the pieces I took out of there. We like to make sure that nothing goes to waste." Hide also plans to introduce clothing--with or without leather scrap adornment--in the next few weeks.

Hide LeatherHide Leather Hide LeatherPhotos by Jesse Milns



Michele / September 24, 2011 at 02:06 pm
In the photo with the wheel there's a hand that doesn't look like the hand of a young sister. So, is the real talent who actually makes the items?
Merci / September 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm
The hand in the picture belongs to Susana and Sandra's aunt, a talented seamstress in her own right and perhaps even an inspiration to Susana's desire to persue fashion design.
Susana is definetly the creative heart of HIDE.
Susana and Sandra have done a great job of putting the store together.
It's well worth a visit.
Congratulations ladies well done.
Canadian Hunk / September 27, 2011 at 01:27 am
The hand you mentioned also threw me back a bit and was wondering who that was.Great concept but they can add more effort on the entrance to the store.It lacks flavour and needs to be more attractive and magnetizing.I like the tree trunks,very good concept.
shakura / December 3, 2011 at 07:33 pm
a friend and i were driving along dundas west today on my way to kensington today and suddenly saw this beautiful storefront window on the southside of the street....i made my friend pullover and ran inside of the store to see more the treasures that i had had a quick glimpse of while driving past. the store is wonderfully warm and susanna and carolina were a pleasure to meet-they showed us how various knitted & leather pieces worked without hardselling and really made us feel comfortable....great place-bought a great xmas gift and will definitely go back again and again!!
Annabelle / January 17, 2013 at 03:23 pm
I've been to the store many times and I love their products ;) The owners are super friendly and they showed us the studio where they produce these amazing designs.
Johnny Lim / July 10, 2013 at 03:22 am
Great stuffs!
I have been knowing Susanna for longtime since she started design fashion back 17 years ago ..
Being creative is her nature when we meet we always have thing in comments ...creativity.
I am a hair specialist for 30 years now base in Bangkok, every summer I came home to Toronto for a visit and now is time again...tomorrow I will flight Korea air back to Toronto for three weeks seeing family and old friends and cutting a lot of people's hair.
Johnny Lim / July 10, 2013 at 03:23 am
See you all soon !

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