The Best New Fashion Stores in Toronto, 2012
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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