Haus is a semi-discovered concept boutique on Bloor near Lansdowne where everything is one-of-a-kind, vintage, eco-friendly or upcycled.
It's not on the trendiest strip of Bloor, though, which is why it's still being discovered by local designers and vintage enthusiasts more than a year after its opening. Ami Rose, who works at the boutique, explains, "You don't think, 'Ooh, shopping!' when you think of Lansdowne and Bloor. So we don't get a whole lot of walk-bys. We're still getting the word out."
Haus was started by the forward-thinking trio of Rachel Beauparlant, William Ashman, and Maurizio Flammini who wanted to create a space where both new and established designers could showcase their work. The result is a boutique with an eclectic mix of clothes, furniture, jewelry and accessories.
Jool is a big name at Haus, a label created by local designer Julie Phelps consisting of bright colours and unusual cuts. "It's all upcycled and redesigned vintage pieces," Ami explains as she leads me to a rack holding an oversized grey sweater with shoulder pads ($65) and red silky button-up shirts ($65). Sadly, the gorgeous vintage suitcases stacked underneath were not for sale.
"Most everything else is, though" Ami says as she motions towards the Free My Interior chain link hanging lamp ($180) near the entrance. The new items for sale include Cheap Monday jeans ($74), which Ami swears are the "best bum jeans," and TOMS shoes ($55) with its "One for One" policy whereby a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need every time a new pair is purchased.
While everything in Haus seemed remarkable in one way or another, a few pieces caught my eye. One was the Haus-made grey vest with Pink Panther patch ($37.50 on sale), along with the sophisticated throwback hairpieces by Josette Cacnio ($16), which, in retrospect, I don't think I could pull off.
But according to Ami, the right customer is simply someone who appreciates local art and is looking for original pieces made with love. "It sounds weird," she says. "But every item here is built from a concept and by designers who really love what they do. When you find that perfect piece, you know."
Photos by Dennis Marciniak