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Fashion Stores

Of A Kind

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on January 24, 2012

Of Kind Vintage TorontoOf A Kind is a vintage and vinyl shop run by a group of four friends and their expanded social network. Kyle Turner, one of the owners, tells me it was the vacancy of the space at College and Dufferin that generated the idea for the shop—not the other way around, as is usually the case.

"This used to be Marquee Video," he tells me after I'm sufficiently welcomed by Of A Kind's four-legged greater. "I saw the space was available and called up some like-minded friends, and we got to it."

Of Kind VintageThe group lucked out with the bones of the shop—clean white walls, exposed brick, great floors — so the question became one of what to put inside. The initial thought was to go simply with vinyl since the group, as a whole, has a special appreciation, but they decided that they needed another element.

"A record store would be great," Kyle says, "but we wanted this to be a place where we could bring culture and lifestyle together."

"In a way, what we offer are collectibles," friend Matt H. chimes in. "Vintage clothing and records; these are things people collect and cherish."

Of Kind Vintage TorontoStorm Luu and Tamara Salpeter, the female half of the quartet, run the clothing part of the shop, while Kyle and Rob Moseley curate the vinyl collection. I can't help but take cheeky jab at where the team has drawn its gender line (way to go against the grain, guys), but after exploring the collections, it's pretty clear they know what they're doing.

Of Kind Vintage TorontoOnce you enter Of A Kind you're hit with vinyl (in a visual sense, and via Jackson Five through the sound system), so I start there. There are lots of "new" options including Wilco's "The Whole Love" ($26.99), Amy Winehouse's "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" ($16.99), and lots of other rock/alternative/funk records, and even more not-yet-priced vintage finds. I discover more Hall & Oates albums among those shelves than any reasonable person should own (Matt says the shop is going for a world record), lots of soundtrack albums (everything from The Sound of Music to The Jungle Book and The Big Easy), any many more miscellaneous such as Herbie Hancock, The Who, and Tina Turner, just to name a few.

Pricing, Matt says, is based on a variety of factors including age, condition, how many records you're buying, and, of course, the album itself. And Of A Kind doesn't really stick to a particular genre or creed; "anything that sounds good," is what I'm told.

Of Kind VintageI move to the back of the store and am pleased to find it split almost 50/50 in terms of men's and women's clothes. (So many vintage stores boast meagre men's collections.) Much like the vinyl, the clothing curation is unconcerned with eras, styles, or trends. "We don't really have staples; basic white tees, or anything like that," Kyle offers. But other than that, it's pretty much anything goes. I'm surprised (re: pleased) with the prices, which list a women's maroon leather motorcycle jacket for $40, red satin peep-toe heels for $20, and a gold skirt with lace overlay for $35.

"We're not on Queen West," Kyle says, "so we don't have that sort of enormous overhead, and we can keep our prices down."

Of Kind VintageI'm especially taken by the men's collection, which includes the somewhat predictable denim shirts ($24) and Levi's jeans ($50), but also offers a few gems at incredible prices. Among my favourites were a Lake Placid sweater from the 1980 Winter Olympics ($54) and a tweet blazer with bona fide elbow patches and wooden buttons on the cuffs ($40). A Lake Placid sweater and a little Hall & Oates rock, rhythm, and blues—now I totally see it.

Vintage Kind TorontoOf Kind Vintage TorontoOf Kind Vintage TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns



lol / January 24, 2012 at 02:05 pm
go to value village and buy a pair of used levis for 7.99..... resell them for 50$ =profit

bunch of wankers
Jesse / January 24, 2012 at 02:15 pm
Are they related to www.ofakind.com ?
Tina replying to a comment from Jesse / January 24, 2012 at 02:19 pm
I was wondering the same thing.
Steph replying to a comment from lol / January 24, 2012 at 02:38 pm
Actually I was just in there the other day and their used Levi's jeans were $25 (that, in the vintage boutique world, is much lower than usual). Also, have you even been to a Value Village in the last two years? If so, please let me know at which location you're finding name-brand jeans for $7.99.
ife replying to a comment from lol / January 24, 2012 at 03:21 pm
That's how business works, dear.

Levi probably originally manufactures it's clothes in some factory or sweatshop into China for a couple cents or very few dollars.

You later find them at the Bay for $100.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather support a local business than a big department store (a.k.a. sweatshop paradise). And also vintage is better for the environment.
Erin / January 24, 2012 at 03:25 pm
I popped in when they first opened on Jan 20th, and was able to speak with a few of the owners. The seem terribly nice, and are looking forward to do more dance events in the space.

It's a good addition to the neighbourhood. The vintage prices seem reasonable for a nice, curated collection, $20 for a lace shirt and $15 for a corduroy skirt. I mostly look forward grabbing some records though.
Devon / January 24, 2012 at 03:46 pm
They should change their address on their website. There is no College St W., it's just called College St. East of Yonge it's Carlton.
Chris replying to a comment from Erin / January 24, 2012 at 03:51 pm
Curated collection? Really? Curated? Wow, just wow. It's not an art gallery.
Becky replying to a comment from Tina / January 24, 2012 at 05:14 pm
www.ofakind.ca, not www.ofakind.com
Becky replying to a comment from lol / January 24, 2012 at 05:15 pm
Which Value Village?
ryan / January 24, 2012 at 07:47 pm
Store looks and sounds fabulous!! Great selection of vinyl
Steve replying to a comment from Devon / January 24, 2012 at 07:59 pm
You're correct their address is wrong. Maybe they are new to downtown? Sound like suburbanites.
Matt / January 24, 2012 at 08:26 pm
Went there on the 20th. Such nice guys and love their selection of clothes/vinyl. One of the guys even suggested a few places to grab a coffee in the area.
Robby replying to a comment from Chris / January 24, 2012 at 09:01 pm
Many things can be curated. Film, art, music, even clothes. Some folks do see their clothing as a form of artistic expression. Curation tends to mean organized and picked specifically. Do learn to use the English language before you attempt to find fault with it, hmm?
Robby / January 24, 2012 at 09:02 pm
Also, great store. Solid prices, nice atmosphere, and a silly cute dog running around the whole time. How could one ask for anything more?
Erin replying to a comment from Chris / January 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm
Curate. To manage, administer or organize a collection. It's nicely organized. Things other than an art gallery may be nicely organized.

While I welcome criticism, and encourage debate in comments, this is an example of how poor the criticism has become here. Someone complains that they can find a better deal at Value Village, and another on incorrect semantics.

That being said, why am I even responding to your comment? I'm now also at fault for adding nothing to the discussion.
Neighbour / January 25, 2012 at 01:02 am
Finding a neat space and then deciding what to sell in it seems like a unusual circumstance to go into business. And by unusual I mean crazy.
Rachface / January 25, 2012 at 07:19 am
Anyone who has the balls to start up their own business deserves credit! It's a great idea, filled with creative potential. Who knows, maybe they could do open mic nights there? It IS great for the community. And people love to thrift (I know I do). There's something special about finding something previously loved and giving it a home. And the fact that they're doing it as a team? Fantastic. Kudos guys, don't listen to the haters!
Phil / January 25, 2012 at 10:32 am
Cuarte was 2011s buzzword just like the year before it was "to reach out". I used to email a client, now I meant to "reach out to him".

Use it in a sentence: Your Facebook page is where you curate content, and create conversation.
What’s the matter with just saying: Your Facebook page is where you post interesting stuff that’s relevant to your promotion/business/whatever, and talk to people about it.
Why it’s lame: curating is something that people who work in museums do when they pick and choose what mummies to put out for the mummy exhibit, or what artwork to display to emphasize certain characteristics in a body of work. Those are heady associations. Is sharing stuff on Facebook really about curating? Why do we need to elevate the activity to something like CURATION for crying out loud? It’s like calling an expert a guru—the elevation by association is just absurd.
Jamie replying to a comment from Robby / January 25, 2012 at 10:34 am
I'm writing this on my Ipad as I'm standing at a salad bar curating a nice assortment of vegetables. I'm not a douche at all.
Chris replying to a comment from Robby / January 25, 2012 at 10:36 am
Where's College St W.? LOL!
Jasmine / January 25, 2012 at 01:38 pm
Nice looking store. I can't wait to go shopping for cool shit that's not on Queen West!
Milw replying to a comment from lol / January 25, 2012 at 01:41 pm
Zed / January 25, 2012 at 03:33 pm
fucking loser blogto haters always have to be negative towards every fucking thing posted on her. at least the profiles on here are of individuals who try and do something positive in their life instead of typing snide remarks of hate without even setting foot on the premises to give it a real chance...go fuck yourselves haters!
Jeff / January 25, 2012 at 05:15 pm
Just left the store. Great experience, great threads. And I loved having the stores four-legged personal shopper running around. Keep it up!
Ed / January 25, 2012 at 07:52 pm
I was there on opening day. It's a great store and excellent vibe. This is exactly what the neighbourhood needs. Hope they do well.
Mani / January 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm
"shop run by a group of four friends and their expanded social network."

So this is run by what 30, 40 people? Is it some sort of commune?

And please change your website. You're not on College St W.
Steve replying to a comment from Phil / January 26, 2012 at 01:21 pm
Right on brother. "Curate" is the most pretentious term to come out of the hipster era. Self-satisfied hooey. And frankly, in a retail store, the term that has been used forever is merchandising. Carefully selecting and arranging goods for sale is merchandising. Merchandising. "Curating" is an example of trying to overstate the value of a standard task. Pretentious clap-trap.
Sofie / January 26, 2012 at 01:45 pm
Forget the loser haters, let them shop at value village! I can't wait to visit his new shop as I collect vinyl!
Jake / January 29, 2012 at 05:06 pm
This place looks beautiful, and I'm glad it had a good sized men's collection.
Jelena / February 6, 2012 at 01:17 am
Are you aware your site says you're on College St W.?
Jim replying to a comment from Jelena / February 6, 2012 at 08:06 pm
That's because this place is run by suburban 905ers.
tim replying to a comment from lol / February 22, 2012 at 11:28 am
I am so amazed by the number of people who suck balls……it's a store, relax.

It's about as west as you can go on college street hence: college west.

Curate is a word. People can use it. Go jerk off with your english degree from York U.

And the owners are Local. Not 905…..maybe….just maybe, you should all be banned from speaking? maybe?
Of a Kind / February 12, 2013 at 04:49 pm
We at Of a Kind are amazed and delighted by this controversial Blog T.O. write up……clearly there has been a heated debate about word choice, location description, and so much more.
Keep the debate going….you are all winners!

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