Permission Toronto


Permission Clothing is owned by a sister-duo who combined their professional backgrounds to create a store with inclusive sizes for people leading active lifestyles. 

Owners Laura and Amanda Santino were always close growing up, but never imagined they'd be owning a clothing store together. Prior to this, Laura was working at a public relations firm downtown and Amanda had just finished school for an interior design program. 

permission torontoThe Santino's were pretty active in their spare time, they both loved going to spin classes, or lifting weights. 

The girls wanted to find clothes to work out in that also showed their personal styles. However, they found that  mainstream clothing didn't offer this, and the sizing was always hard to pin point. 

permission torontoTheir love for movement and wanting to make a change led the two sisters to leave their industries.

They combined their skills to create their own business plan from scratch, and opened up a store in November 2020, with the hope of filling the gap in mainstream activewear stores. 

The Santino's say their goal with opening up Permission was to disrupt the activewear industry and be an example of showing everyday people modelling their clothing. 

permission toronto"We want you to see the girl who walks by you in the street, in a cute workout outfit, that's the type of people we wanted to see modelling our clothing," said Laura. 

The name of the store "Permission" is meant to symbolize owning your you in whatever you wear, and whoever you are, without seeking permission from others to live your authentic life. 

permission torontoThe best way to describe the style at Permission is activewear, that's fashionable, yet incredibly comfortable. All the outfits have dual purposes, so you can feel comfortable to go out for lunch in the same clothes you worked out in. 

permission torontoThere's a variety of brands you can choose from at Permission, some are Toronto-based and female-owned, such as Lesley Hampton and Glo Organic, others are from brands that you can't find in Canada.

permission torontoThe interior of Permission is split into two sections that meet on either side, to unite the entire space. Walking into this makes you feel less intimidated because it feels like you're having one big shopping experience with the owners and other customers. 

permission torontoThe colour scheme inside is stunning, beige, pinks and whites, make for a clean cut feel, along with an aesthetically pleasing set of lit up arches that extend to the change rooms. 

permission torontoPermission is one of two brick and mortar stores in Canada that carries the brand Year of Ours. The top is called the Rib 54 Bra ($88.00) and the bottoms, the Veronica leggings, are sold separately at ($150.00).

The material of each piece feels like butter on the skin, which is super helpful when working out, as annoying clothing mishaps can ruin an entire workout, especially when it makes you uncomfortable. 

No need to worry about that with this set, the one-sided shoulder and the v-neck on the waist, adds some flattery, no matter what your body type is, and gives off the same effect as shapewear. 

permission torontoThe Techloom Wave shoes from the brand APL ($328.00) are on the pricier side, but it's worth investing into a quality pair of running shoes. It comes down to foot health, especially if you're spending a lot of time being active. 

permission torontoAPL dropped a basketball shoe in 2011, and it was actually banned from the NBA for giving players too much of an advantage when jumping and running across the court. 

The shoes themselves are super lightweight, making it easy to move around in, you don't feel bogged down whatsoever with these on your feet, the laces remain tucked into the shoe itself, so they won't get loose. 

permission torontoAlong with clothing, Permission has a series of accessories sold in-store that are meant to complement any outfit you purchase. 

Closca makes activewear accessories like these stainless steel water bottles, that keep water cold for up to 24 hours. They're engineered to connect to an app, that finds the nearest place around you to fill up, it also measures the quality of water, depending on where you get it from.

The bottles are meant to be hands-free, the strap on the top, can be used to attach it to backpacks, gym bags, bikes, and even baby strollers. 

permission torontoThe plain grey exterior of Permission contrasts with its colourful interior, the store sits on a corner spot, right at Ossington Avenue and Argyle Street

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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