Toronto shop goes from dorm room beginnings to major department store shelves
From humble beginnings working out of a university dorm room, one local vintage clothing shop has now landed on the shelves of one of Canada's biggest department stores.
Icy, a store known for its hand-curated vintage selection, pop culture prints, and social media antics, can be found across all 16 Simons locations.
The brand was founded by Manik Kundra in 2018. Kundra was a student at Wilfred Laurier University and felt the need to start flipping some of his vintage clothing in order to afford textbooks.
"I turned my dorm room closet into a mini store," says Kundra.
"I was booking appointments out of my room and it got to the point where I had an account set up, and people from my building were literally coming to shop out of my closet."
During his second year at Laurier, Kundra opted to take a leave of absence, choosing to focus fully on developing Icy.
@wearicy just getting started 🙏 #wearicy #vintageclothing #toronto #clothingbrand #businessowner #fyp ♬ original sound - Jazzy Fizzle
The pandemic struck soon after, sparking bigger and brighter ideas for the brand.
"Through COVID, I was building a website and the brand online," he says. "Then come 2021, COVID wrapped up, and we opened our first warehouse in Scarborough."
Their Scarborough location doubles as a warehouse to support the online store and a mini showroom which is run by the duo and their team of stylists.
Kundra did what he knew best in order to market the brand. He took to local malls, asking shoppers to answer pop culture questions in exchange for an original Icy printed shirt.
@wearicy Giving away tees at STC Mall! #wearicy #toronto #clothingbrand #6ixbuzz #fyp ♬ original sound - MSZ®
These interactions were filmed for TikTok, which is how Simons discovered the brand.
"They said their buyers had been watching our TikTok's and the rest of our content online," recalls Kundra. "Mr. Richard Simon came to our warehouse to introduce himself and the relationship developed from there."
@wearicy Proud to announce our newest collaboration with Simons! Coming to 16 stores across Canada 🇨🇦 #wearicy #toronto #clothingbrand #simons #mississauga #6ixbuzz #vintageclothing #streetwear #fyp ♬ BankDontClose - Unreleased 🔥
Icy's apparel has been moving into Simons stores over the last few weeks.
Currently, eight locations carry vintage selections from the brand, including Square One.
The brand plans on having its vintage in every location by July and you can already find Icy's own original prints at every location right now.
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