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Muttonhead, a Toronto-based unisex lifestyle brand best known for its premium fabrics and sharp, athletic-inspired designs, has opened a flagship retail store in the heart of Roncesvalles Village.
"This store gives us an amazing opportunity to tell our story," says brand manager Paige Greene. "We wanted to be in Roncesvalles because it's a great community with good traffic that really suits the lifestyle we promote. Everyone has been so nice."
Nestled between a tailor and a soon-to-be woman's vintage clothing shop, the 1500-square-foot location officially opened last week. The former flooring store underwent a massive renovation to achieve its new, crisp and clean showroom look. Up front, customers can browse the shop's many offerings while owners Meg and Mel Sinclair and Paige Greene take care of business - designing, marketing, et cetera - in an open-concept workshop in the back.
The shop's primary focus will be on Muttonhead's collections, but it will also carry a wide assortment of other like-minded brands. At present, there are Freedom Fighter bucket hats and skateboard decks, reflective 3M Nocturnal Workshop backpacks, printed Norblack Norwhite button-up shirts, women's leather handbags from The Stowe , and a few non-fashion items like pillows, grooming products, mugs, records, coffee and chocolate. Montreal's Naked and Famous denim and womenswear label Dace will also be joining the roster soon.
"This is a space where we can help elevate and support other small brands," explains Greene. "Not to say we'll only be carrying small brands, but it's definitely a major focus of ours."
Plenty of items caught my attention, including Muttonhead's reversible, quilted, ripstop vest ($166), the brand's comfortable and casual khaki baseball pant ($128), and a Freedom Fighter bucket hat ($80) in a water-resistant navy oilcloth.
It should also be noted that 50% of Muttonhead's fabrics are developed by them, for them - and it's really quite outstanding. For those who are particular when it comes to their T-shirts, check out the reverse drifter tee. It's unbelievably soft and well worth the $58 price tag.
Due to the success of the bi-weekly 'open studio' events at the company's old warehouse on Sterling Road, the space is also designed with events and parties in mind. All of the fixtures are on wheels so that things can be moved around to accommodate whatever whim they might have. (Expect invites.)
One thing that's evident at Muttonhead is the founders' enthusiasm. It's palpable. A brick and mortar store is a big step, one that requires creativity and flexibility, but they're equipped with good ideas and the right attitude. "In fashion, people can be pretty pretentious, and that's not us," offers Greene. "Everything we do, everything about our brand is chill and everyone is welcome."
Writing by Shayne Stephens. Photos by Andrew Williamson.