The Best New Fashion Stores in Toronto, 2009
When it comes to the Toronto fashion scene, 2009 was the year of the homegrown designer - almost half the stores on this list are mainly stocked with Canadian lines.
The demand is there for local talent, and designers are obliging--the stores on this list have everything from vintage fabric earrings (Coal Miner's Daughter) and recycled leather purses (Imelda and Black Daffodil) to handmade tees (Shared) and Lundstrom LaParkas (eleven).
Many boutiques are also carrying beautiful contemporary lines that can hold their own among American and European brands - look for Label at Chasse Gardee, Dace at Vocado, Sui Generis at Coal Miner's Daughter, and Joeffer Caoc at eleven.
Canadian designers can compete with the best of 'em, and it's wonderful to see that Toronto's shopowners trust that our city's fashion fiends are finally buying local and loving it.
Here are the 15 best new fashion stores to open in Toronto during 2009, as voted by readers of this site.
Mirvish Village is a somewhat unlikely spot for a new clothing store, but Coal Miner’s Daughter has doubly bucked the odds by opening a shop that offers handmade pieces that are both stylish and very affordable. Favorite brands include reworked cheesy nature shirts from Clementine & Tweed ($35), Sui Generis rompers and cocktail dresses ($100), and Biko jewelry ($25-$70). More »
This addition to hopping West Queen West brings a Vancouver vibe with its buying - think Bodkin sweatshirt tops ($240), Sunshine & Shadow tie-dye scarves ($130), Built By Wendy silk dresses ($355), and Chain Chain Chained bullet-crystal necklaces ($85). Keep an eye out for ultra-hot Australian line Lovers, too. More »
Streetwear labels like Something Else, Full Circle, and Free People crowd the racks at Queen's Leigh & Harlow, which also stocks plenty of high-end denim from the likes of William Rast, Joe, J Brand, True Religion, and Paige Premium Denim ($98-$279). The shop also carries a lot of Mink Pink, one of the best budget-friendly lines out there. More »
Yonge and Eglinton might have your next party frock. Poor Little Rich Girl is dress-obsessed. Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, and BCBG by Max Azria numbers sit prettily alongside more edgy offerings by Voom and Dolce Vita. I also dig 442 McAdam’s bags and clutches ($260-$440). More »
Frock owner Cathryn Dajka opened a shoe store on Roncesvalles, bringing together fashion and function in the sensible footwear from brands like Miz Mooz, Fly London, Bos & Co., and El Naturalista. You’ll look cute strolling down Roncy in Irregular Choice wedges or Hunter wellies. More »
West Queen West’s Love of Mine is sure to make many shoppers fall head over heels with its treasure trove of pretty things. City exclusives include Swallow, Pade Vivra, St. Kilda, and Heather Benjamin, but it’s the one-stop-shop vibe that is so appealing. Where else can you find Rebecca Minkoff purses, Akiko blouses, ceramic unicorn heads from De Casa all under one roof? More »
Up-and-coming Canuck brands are the ones to watch at this new Junction store that specializes in simple streetwear and retro-inspired dresses. If you want to buy local, seek out NaMoDa’s handpainted scarves ($35), recycled leather purses from Baggage ($240), everyday tops by Hypercube ($69-$98). More »
Tucked away in the labyrinthine Liberty Village is Vocado, one of the better-edited stores in the city. Showing a real dedication to this country’s talent, the clothes here are dead chic but easy to wear - this is where you’ll find lne, Dace, Lily & Jae, and Mackage. More »
For those who want some kick-ass clothes, Yorkville seems an unlikely destination, but the boys at Serpentine are determined to bring a little rock-and-roll to this fair city, courtesy of jewelry lines like Lazaro and Luke Satoru, and clothing from Damir Doma, Diet Butcher Slim Skin, Tuesday Night Band Practice, Wolverine and Passarella Death Squad. More »
You won’t be spoiled for choice at this teeny-tiny Dundas shop - there is only a handful of pieces in-store at any time, but those who like simple, high-end accessories with edge are sure to find something they like. Favorites we found include M.A. † boots ($2095), Nico Uytterhaegen suede-and-leather weekenders ($895), and ribbed henleys from DRKSHDW by Rick Owens ($295). More »
Silver Falls on Ossington is one of those refreshingly unpretentious vintage stores that make me grin with their laidback service and surprise gems. Many keepers have been found here, from leather drawstring ankle booties ($60) and a Kelly-green Valentino crossover sweater with gold buttons ($124) to a hunting pattern Ralph Lauren skirt ($32) and a massive hammered-copper belt ($60). Pssst - don’t forget to check out the $5 and $10 bins! More »