Toronto Fashion News

This Week in Fashion: Joe Fresh store openings, Urban Contemporary Africana, Caitlin Power comes to Toronto, hot dogs and heels at Chasse Gardee

Joe Fresh announces more store openings with first one next week
Build it, and they will come. I'm guessing that's the motto employed by Joe Fresh mastermind Joe Mimran and his team. The (almost) H&M-killing clothing line, once known as "oh yeah, that Loblaws brand" is taking a giant leap forward with the announcement of three new store openings in the GTA throughout the rest of 2011. There's already an outpost in Vancouver (pictured) and another one set to open in Quebec in September, not to mention the much-hyped plans for a store on New York City's Fifth Avenue. The first ribbon cutting goes down next week at the 9,500-square-foot Golden Mile (1880 Eglinton Avenue East). A smaller store is slated to open this fall at Carlton & Church in The Gardens and another big one at Queen W. & Portland, both, I assume, within earshot of new Loblaws locations. As a bonus, each new store will also offer a 20 per cent off all purchases on opening day.

"Urban Contemporary Africana" hits Kensington Market this weekend in a new pop-up
New concepts in pop-up shopping just keep, well, popping up. Starting this Friday, Hotshot Gallery in Kensington Market is playing host to Supafrik, an experimental shop that will aim to blend culture (legit, not "culture"), fashion and art. Curated and crafted by Toronto designer Chinedu Ukabam (who has traveled extensively in search of unique goods), the Supafrik shop will showcase artists, designers and photographers whose work has been heavily influenced by the African continent. As it was put to me, Ukabam wants to "re-contextualize and re-imagine traditional African aesthetics and traditions with a post-modernist eye." Look for his own designs to be on sale, as well decor and textiles by Cape Town's Shine Shine and graphic t-shirts that read like works of art by Brooklyn's JunkPrints. CDs and vinyl will also be on sale from Slinky Music, as well as a book reading, a silkscreen workshop, interactive photo exhibits and more. By the way, Friday's opening jam also features a free performance by the electronic-afrobeat band Bend Down Boutique. Go already. Until July 31, 181 Augusta Ave.

Caitlin Power leaves Calgary to become the new girl in town
Just what Toronto needs - a serious new designer. People come, and people go, and people fade into obscurity. But when you've already launched your business in one place, it takes a brave soul to uproot and reboot. Calgary native Caitlin Power is taking the plunge and now calls Toronto home, officially. From sporadic shows at The Drake Hotel to losing out for cash money at the TFI New Labels Competition earlier this year, Power finally realized she spends way too much money on airfare. Expect to see her fresh blood rise in blog hits and a rumored showing at LG Fashion Week come fall. And why? She's got the skills to probably pull it all off. I just hope she keeps moving on; this is only the beginning.

Hotdogs and heels: something for everyone this weekend at Chasse Gardee
On Saturday, shoe haven Chasse Gardee is teaming up with the designers behind LABEL to celebrate a sale in style. The entire store is on deep discount, with the entire spring 2011 collection from LABEL and others on offer. There's even a buy one, get one promo thing happening on select styles. Better yet, it's a trailer park-inspired summer cookout 'round back with macaroni salad, vodka Kool Aids and - the selling point - hot dogs on Wonder Bread. 1084 Queen St. W., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Odds & Ends
Canadian designer Nada Shepard continues her liquidation sale after calling it quits last month. In other words, save up to 80 per cent on anything and everything. Until July 18, 51 Bulwer Street, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., click here for more details.

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