Tiger of Sweden
Tiger of Sweden opened on Ossington last week as the latest addition to the influx of new luxe designer boutiques along what's quickly become one of the city's most covetable strips. Steps away from higher end shops like Jonathan and Olivia, and Gravity Pope, the Scandinavian brand, best known for its finely tailored off-the-rack suiting has taken over the palatial space that was once home to much loved galleries XPAC and TPW. Oh, Ossington, change is your regular state, isn't it?
I make my way into the store to meet with the company's Brand Manager Laurence Slavin of wholesale agency Slavin Raphael and am immediately taken aback by the sheer breadth of the space. On a street heavily populated by narrow, tightly packed restaurants and recently arrived boutiques, the wide and open warehouse-style space is impressive.
"When we'd secured the floor plans for the space, we sent them to our head office in Sweden where they came up with the design-concept for the store." Slavin explains. And yes, the aesthetic of the space screams Scandinavian. It ain't IKEA, but sparse merchandising, monochromatic color schemes and warehouse-style scaffolding counter the bright color palette (dusty roses, warm tangerines and vibrant blues) of the line's newest Spring collections.
At first glance, the selection of women and men's suiting and casuals screams uptown Yorkville, but Slavin is quick to assure me that "young, fresh and cool" is in the DNA of the near-century old brand. And yes, in Europe and Montreal (where the brand launched its first Canadian flagship), this sleek men's suiting and office-appropriate women's wear is chic and in demand.
But on a block that houses boutiques carrying the likes of contemporary labels like Alexander Wang, Acne and Comme des Garçons, I'm skeptical as to whether the fashionistas and well-to-do clothes horses that frequent neighboring J+O or Gravity Pope, or the thrifting 20-somethings hoping to find a lost treasure will embrace the store with open pocket books or simply walk on by.
With men's suits sitting in the $800-900 range, men's dress shirts starting at a semi-reasonable $120 and women's separates coming in just under at around $399 to $499 a piece, the Tiger's part of an upward fashion trend on Ossington. Only time will tell if this is the right home for Tiger of Sweden, but I assure you this: fine tailoring and craftsmanship runs through the veins of this brand.
Perhaps if the Ossington folk take the time to try on the Italian-fabricated pieces, helped of course by the store's modelesque sales reps, they might be convinced to take a break from their Rick Owens and Rachel Comey for something a bit more...Swedish.
Hours of operation: Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday to Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Photos by Morris Lum