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Best of Toronto

The Best New Fashion Stores in Toronto, 2012

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / January 3, 2013

fashion stores torontoThe best new fashion stores in Toronto in 2012 reflect a wide variety of tastes, styles, and budgets, with reworked vintage seeing a spike in popularity. There are shops with a tight focus on local, hard-to-find brands, while others cast their net far and wide to source international lines.

Shoe addicts will be pleased to see their vice of choice well represented, while those with an appreciation for the past will find haute labels and no-name brands alike nipped, snipped and otherwise updated into modern silhouettes. And although fashion's long been considered a woman's game, most of the entries below have a generous helping of menswear.

Here's the list of the best new fashion stores in Toronto in 2012.

See also:

The best new fashion stores in Toronto, 2011
The best new fashion stores in Toronto, 2010
The best new fashion stores in Toronto, 2009

Bridge + Bardot

Bridge + Bardot

Popular pop-up shop Bridge + Bardot settled down on Dundas West earlier this year, giving its line of vintage clothing and hyper-local designers a permanent home in a small, minimalist shop. From colourful Cuchara chokers, to the scholarly style of Varsity Brown, new designs are well-paired with Bridge + Bardot's tailored and re-worked vintage pieces. More »

Canon Blanc

Canon Blanc

Canon Blanc on Queen West is dedicated to the creme de la creme of wearable fashion, direct from Paris. The interior is styled with sconces and other European accents, while the stock consists of up-and-coming men and women's fashion brands handmade in France (think Charlotte Sometime and Florian Wernert), all expressing a general aura of understated elegance and, well, je ne sais quoi. More »

Philip Sparks

Philip Sparks

Philip Sparks, long a favourite of the Toronto pop-up circuit, finally set down roots on Ossington, with a two-level shop that showcases his line of well-tailored, colourful, and beautifully designed coats, dresses and accessories for men and women on the ground level, while also offering a spacious layout for his collection of shoes and bags downstairs. More »

Contraband

Contraband

Contraband's name is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to Yorkville's storied past, but the stock is definitely of the moment. Modern streetwear, sportswear, and high fashion menswear brands such as Brooklyn Circus, Thom Browne and Nike clamour for attention in the barebones space that also sports a flat-screen and video game console (for bored female companions). You'll find everything from coats, to pants, to shoes; and even an accessory or two for the ladies in your life. More »

Sauvage

Sauvage

Sauvage began as a pop-up in the Burroughes Building, but recently opened up a minimally-decorated permanent spot on Queen West, flaunting women's clothing and accessories from across the globe, with a special focus on unique shoes. Expect far-flung brands such as Senso and Miista, all upholding the shop's style thesis of mixing hard and soft looks. More »

Gravitypope

Gravitypope

Gravitypope might be best-known for its shoes, but its large new two-floor location at the foot of Ossington on West Queen West houses men's and women's footwear, accessories and clothing, all available at a variety of price points. Shoes run the gamut from Comme de Garcons to Vans, to its eponymous and affordable house brand, and you'll also find fragrances and an array of upper-tier (i.e. pricey) label pieces. More »

Life of Manek

Life of Manek

Life of Manek is helmed by a legitimate veteran of the fashion industry, and owner Nicole Manek's experienced eye is evident in each of the hand-picked vintage pieces. From recognizable brands, to pieces with current trend appeal, the shop's stock includes some Yorkville-appropriate lines such as J-Brand and GLish, alongside timeless, never-been-worn pieces from Versace and Dior. More »

Discussion

14 Comments

matts / January 3, 2013 at 10:52 am
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On a related note, 2013 brings the promise of Suit Supply opening in Toronto, which is good news for those of us required to wear business attire... Any idea when and where this might happen, exactly?
Michelle / January 3, 2013 at 11:00 am
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I really really love Sauvage, I just wish their stock turned over more. They don't have a lot, and what they do have I love, but I'd love some more variety.
Stephen replying to a comment from matts / January 3, 2013 at 11:40 am
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I've searched everywhere trying to find any further details regarding the opening of Suit Supply in Toronto and haven't been able to find a thing.
Michael / January 3, 2013 at 11:54 am
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At first when I read this list I thought 2012 must have been the worst year for Torontonian/Canadian fashion since the Beijing Olympics with our Asian inspired track suits. But then I remember that this is the same person that wrote a 500 word article about a question that has been on everyone’s mind this holiday season, titled “where to get coffee-based fire logs in Toronto”. Alexandra, I don’t know about you but I like to drink my coffee not set it on fire. Haven should not only be on this list it should be at the top. They brought brands to this city that we only used to dream about in fairly tails and they gave away free Sapporo for the grand opening! Contraband? The moment I walked in that place all I could think about was leaving it. Philip Sparks pop-up!? And a thrift clothing store is number one!!? I’m no fashion expert but is this really the best? Come on Alexandra Grigorescu!!! Can anyone add some other shops to this list please and thank you.
Countess Suzanne / January 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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FYI: Only stores that give Michael free beer are allowed on this list. The customer is always right, though, what exactly are "fairly tails"?
Michael / January 3, 2013 at 01:07 pm
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Typo Suzanne! I'm pretending to work at work over here! Fairy tale would be what I meant! On a serious note, short story long, Haven actually did bring in several brands to the city that have never been here before. They have 3 locations nationwide and they carry a few Canadian brands too. Canadian brands that actually make their stuff in Canada with Canadian labor and material! That is something I appreciate to the fullest and so should any Canadian. Who needs another shop that carries the same brands as different shops down the street Suzanne? Contraband has 2 pairs of shoes and 5 FUCT shirts for sale right now and that’s about it. Alexandra should have got some guys advice on this list for the men’s shops. I may be a customer Suzanne and not an owner like you but I’m a very, very, VERY good one……very, not at your shop.
matts replying to a comment from Stephen / January 3, 2013 at 02:16 pm
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...all I know is that their website says so....
Spencer Ricecake / January 3, 2013 at 02:32 pm
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DOWNTOWN BIAS DOWNTOWN BIAS
Hey Michael replying to a comment from Michael / January 3, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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You do know that these stores were voted on by readers, and not personally handpicked by Alexandra Grigorescu, right?
Jayrock / January 3, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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LOL @ Haven. When I went in, the 'employees' were huddled over a hypebeast magazine in the corner. They didnt even aknowledge us when we walked by them...Over priced Japanese clothing where the brand stands more than the detail. Reigning Champ F/W 12 line was solid, but the rest were eh. Contraband is a newer store with fewer selection, but hopefully that changes soon. And their employees at least said hi!. LOL. Order from ssense.com....Canadian and way more selection. hola.
Robert replying to a comment from Spencer Ricecake / January 3, 2013 at 06:32 pm
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If you have been following any list on BlogTO the bias is always west end DT.
Michael / January 3, 2013 at 09:20 pm
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Voted by the readers!! what the hell do we know? looks like it may have been a bit of a popularity contest in some cases no? My apologies Alexandra!

JayRock: When I shop I'm not looking for a friend to say whats up to me. I just want what I want in my size and then get the hell out because I hate shopping unless its online. RC has never impressed me much, Wings + Horns had one nice jacket a very long time ago and that's about it. Homespun (homespunknitwear.com) is a great Canadian brand you can find at Lost and Found shop on Dundas. Rooney is a very nice shop in Montreal that offers free shipping in Canada. And yes I totally agree with the overpriced Japanese clothes. Better start making friends in Japan that can ship for you. for real, or you can try Rakuten which now ships to Canada. SSENSE does not have the brands I'm looking for, its a bit too high-end fashion for me.
lol / January 4, 2013 at 12:47 am
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Dudes spending wayyyyyy to much time worrying about what they look like and brand whoring.... This city is filled with superficial people its sad.... Just open an Uniqlo already
Mikey replying to a comment from lol / January 4, 2013 at 10:21 am
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It is casual Friday and my outfit currently consists of pieces I have accumulated over the years from the flagship Uniqlo SoHo NY AND the global flagship in Ginza, Tokyo.

#thecoolestguyoverhere

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