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Fashion Stores


Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on April 24, 2011

Magwood TorontoMagwood on Dundas West is offering luxury vintage pieces draped in history. Each piece, hand selected by owner Sarah Magwood, seems to tell a little story about where it came from and the time it was first made to be worn.

Magwood TorontoThere's the Victorian petticoat ($285), probably made sometime in the late 1800s, detailed with eyelet lace and hand-stitched design. Fast forward, oh, 75 years or so, when it was all about freedom and love, embodied by an orange hand crocheted overlay ($135). Then, about 20 years after that, when love turned to punk and grunge, a soft-as-butter red leather jacket ($150) would've certainly made the scene.

Magwood TorontoSarah opened Magwood just two weeks ago, unable to resist the hardwood floors and exposed brick walls she encountered when she first saw the space was available for lease. Since then, she's added little touches here and there to up the vintage feel, including a massive mirror salvaged from the original Creeds.

Magwood TorontoSarah started a design series in 2009 called Make Sale, which ran for six months at the Drake Hotel. During that time, she kept making connections, growing her network, and--of course--visiting estate sales.

Magwood Toronto"I just couldn't help but buy the beautiful things I would find," she tells me when I drop by Magwood one afternoon. "Even if they weren't in my size, I would still buy them." So she new she needed to expand. Always comfortable in a retail environment, especially since her mom owns a d├ęcor shop in the city, Sarah began to create Magwood as a company, finally opening on March 30.

Magwood TorontoMagwood the store has a number of simply exquisite pieces. The jewelry (starts at $20), housed in a vintage case doubling as the cash, is chunky and gold, especially the earrings which all seem to hang and dangle. A sucker for boots, I'm drawn to a pair of black Versace cowboys, complete with a classic--almost gaudy--Medusa head front and centre (($395). And then there are the bags, each gracefully detailed, notably the 1940s beaded wicker purse ($85).

Magwood TorontoFor now, Sarah is sticking with fashion and accessories, but she's considering opening up the basement to eventually sell antiques.

"I want to do everything," she says. "That's sort of my problem. I just love the pursuit of beautiful things."

Magwood TorontoMagwood TorontoMagwood TorontoMagwood TorontoMagwood TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



perplexed / April 27, 2011 at 08:22 am
Ahh yes...the ever popular "new" vintage.
Carly / May 19, 2011 at 05:40 pm
$109 for a Levi's jacket?
$60 for a Levi's denim shirt?
ummm.... what's going on?!?
Megan / March 13, 2012 at 09:50 pm
Went in there once, not only was everything really expensive compared to other vintage stores that carry high-end labels, but the owner wasn't very friendly and was busy talking to one of her friends. Felt like I was intruding on something when I walked in, not welcoming at all.
Lacy / May 12, 2012 at 07:00 pm
The service was horrible, the owner of this store is snobby and unwelcoming. I do not recommend going into this store if you want to have a good shopping experience.
Not only is she no nice at all, she has extreme attitude. Not impressed at all.
The fashion critic replying to a comment from Carly / May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am
She probably buys it at retail price and resells them. A lot of these trust-fundies turn vintage shucksters have no sense in securing product and just deliver you inflated retrail prices.
Sarah Magwood / August 5, 2012 at 01:23 pm
It saddens and surprises me to hear that people have had a less that pleasurable experience in my space. I'm not sure if it was myself or someone else that you dealt with, but I apologize and encourage you to visit us again.

I have built fantastic relationships with my clients, several of whom are now good friends. I wouldn't be able to pursue my passion, if it wasn't for the amazing people who love and support my boutique.

As for the cost of Levi's, I can't speak to that point, because I only sold casualwear for the first few months I was open. I remember prices being less than what Carly mentions. In either case, my clients come to me because they appreciate my curated aesthetic. Everything I sell is pristine and it's all true vintage, other than the secondhand designer goods that - I have been told by collectors from around the world - are fairly priced.

I don't pick. I have private appointments and that means that it takes me a lot longer to find unique pieces, especially because I'm relatively new to the business and don't have nearly as many contacts as veteran dealers. It also means that I pay more for my stock than many, but in return I meet the people behind the clothes and I get to hear their stories.

If I did things differently, I would have never known that 1950s gold etched clutch I sold was the first present Ms. B. got from her husband after immigrating from Iran; I wouldn't have been able to tell my client that the dress she just purchased got a woman into Studio 54.

Terri / August 23, 2012 at 02:31 pm
I'm glad that I did not pay attention to these comments and decided to visit Magwood anyway. I was looking for a antique piece of jewelry for my best friends 30th birthday.
Sarah was extremely helpful, pulling out lots of pieces that I loved, I walked away with a beautiful pendant and earrings at extremely reasonable prices.

It takes time for her to find great pieces and rent on Dundas isn't cheap. I feel that the previous comments did not take into account how much it takes to run a business. If you want a cheap deal....go to yard sales and hope you actually find something that is not junk. If your time is important to you, go to Magwood and walk about with something you will love.
Tali / March 17, 2013 at 04:14 pm
the owner and staff are rude, unfriendly and the product is way over priced. there are a thousand other 'new' vintage stores to shop, and nothing about this one stands out to me.
Laura / May 23, 2013 at 09:47 am
The new store is lovely and I found many beautiful items in there. As to the price, well, it is on the higher end for sure, but whether or not it's over-priced is for each individual to decide for him/herself.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with the previous (more negative) comments about the staff. When I went there after work, I was given a once over by the person working there, and I guess I wasn't deemed important(-looking?) enough for a nod of acknowledgement as she quickly went back to looking at her iPhone. Perhaps it's one of those places you need to dress up to visit (aka snobby).
Sam / August 18, 2013 at 11:23 am
I'm going to have to disagree with the previous comments on this message board. I am frequently around the Queen West/Trinity Bellwoods area and have gotten the chance to visit this boutique on several occasions. Every time I enter the store I am greeted and have never gone in without acknowledgement of my presence. I am able to browse around the store at my own pace and personally, I prefer when employees don't breathe down my neck when I'm shopping. However, when I do need help, the owner of the store seems very knowledgeable on her product and in turn I have walked away with quite a few good pieces from Magwood. Being a Fashion Student and having a keen interest in vintage, I can attest that the prices are on par for what you are getting. I recommend this place for anyone else who shares the same same love of vintage as I do.
Alexis / January 25, 2014 at 02:03 pm
this store is horrible and so is the owner. she eyeballed me and as soon as i saw that i left. people in the customer service industry should know to never judge a book by its cover. plus, i don't want to dress like i'm 95 years old, and that's the vibe of the store. she a trust-fund baby, so thank goodness mommy and daddy hooked her up with there money and their rich friends, or else i'm not sure she's be able to ever get a job in retail with her shitty attitude. Magwood you MagSUCK!

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