Toronto Life - The Goods

A compendium of the latest store openings, hottest parties and runway shows and all the buzzy fashion gossip. Sign up for the Style newsletter for weekly updates

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Pop-Up Pick: eBay partners with local shops Crywolf and This Little Piggy

bay-popup

In an effort to connect eBay fanatics with local boutiques across Canada, the website has launched Boutiques on eBay, a virtual space that carries small capsule collections from select shops for short periods of time (its spring collaboration was with popular Queen West boutique Coal Miner’s Daughter). For the month of September, eBay will be peddling merchandise from Ossington boutique Crywolf and Queen West baby store This Little Piggy. Crywolf’s online inventory will include a selection of silk-screened shirts, including a baseball top depicting the shop’s signature cheeky fox. From This Little Piggy, parents can pick up adorable handmade Ollie Jones leggings and graphic tees from Mini Souls (some of which also feature a fox, for those who’d like to match their offspring). In the true bargain-hunting spirit of eBay, all products will be priced under $40.

Sept. 2-Sept. 30., ebay.ca/boutiquess14

The Goods

Stores

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Holt Renfrew is closing outlets in Ottawa and Quebec in favour of Toronto expansion

HR1While Holt Renfrew fans in Toronto have been enjoying the store’s flashy new Yorkdale renovation (and anticipating a soon-to-open menswear boutique), well-to-do shoppers have been less fortunate in Ottawa and Quebec City, where the upscale retailer has decided to shut down two of its smaller stores, according to the Star. Apparently, the brand wants to focus resources on expanding within key luxury markets. (With increased competition from incoming Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, Toronto certainly makes the cut.) Case in point: the company has revealed plans to completely re-do its Bloor Street flagship (à la Yorkdale reno) by 2017, including adding an entirely new façade and private shopping suites.

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Luxury furniture destination Elte is opening a massive, market-style store aimed at younger shoppers

(Image: Elte/Facebook)

(Image: Elte/Facebook)

Toronto-based furniture store Elte, purveyor of $5,000 wing chairs, is bringing in a new brand to compete with its existing high-end locations, which currently include the original Elte home furnishings store near Dufferin and Eglinton, and nearby bath-and-kitchen spin-off, Ginger’(both extremely popular among well-to-do Toronto moms). Come October, the family-owned company will open Elte Mkt, a market-style store aimed at a “younger, more contemporary” crowd—a.k.a those who aren’t ready to spend over a grand on an end table. Located at the corner of Castlefield Road and Caledonia (just west of the other Elte locations), the 40,000-square-foot space was designed by local interior decorators Burdifilek to resemble a refined factory, with stylish rugs, furniture, bedding and accessories (sourced from countries like India, Turkey and Belgium) laid out in an enormous open-concept space. And, unlike Elte, most products will be available on the spot. Shoppers can expect prices to be a notch or two below Elte or Ginger’s, but it still won’t be cheap—according to the owners, they’re looking to appeal to “first or second time home buyers” (which, in Toronto, is a pretty exclusive group of young people).

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Polish makeup chain Inglot, creator of Freedom Systems, is coming to Toronto
(Image: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr)

(Image: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr)

Inglot Cosmetics, a Polish makeup chain with an extensive colour collection (the range boasts over 1,500 different shades), is opening its first Toronto shop at Yonge and Dundas, according to BlogTO. The brand is largely known for launching Freedom Systems, which let customers create completely personalized lip, eye or face palettes. (It also carries a breathable, “halal certified” nail polish that’s popular among Muslim women.) The cosmetics purveyor is affordable, and will be a welcome addition to the downtown neighbourhood—particularly for anyone tired of shelling out $20 (or more!) at Sephora or MAC for a single lipstick or blush.

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: a glam take on a practical fall tote

OPELLEOpelle is a brand of beautifully handcrafted leather purses and totes by Toronto native Amy Malcolm. After five years of peddling her work online, the designer has opened a sleek white showroom at College and Lansdowne, filled with a great selection of chic carryalls, delicate chained clutches and practical weekend bags. Of all the options for fall, we’re particularly enchanted by this silvery shopper, which is handmade in Toronto from an Italian pebbled cowhide. Featuring an of-the-moment metallic sheen and a cotton-lined interior large enough to haul around a laptop and a few notebooks, the bag will elevate any back-to-school look (it would look especially stylish with a pair of overalls and white kicks). Plus, there are three zippered pockets inside, which should keep the tote from turning into a black hole for keys and lip balms. $324

1234 College St. W., opellecreative.com

The Goods

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Muji’s Toronto location is confirmed
(Image: Ralf Smallkaa/Flickr)

(Image: Ralf Smallkaa/Flickr)

Japanese retailer Muji has decided on the location for its first Canadian store, according to Retail Insider—and no, it’s not Yorkdale. True to form, the unbranded lifestyle shop is avoiding setting up shop in a super-high-rent area, instead choosing the Atrium at Dundas and Bay (which also houses a Red Lobster, an LCBO and dozens of other shops and restaurants). It’s a smart choice: a stone’s throw from the Eaton Centre, it’ll be a chic, affordable alternative for shoppers used to picking up home accessories at nearby Williams-Sonoma or Indigo.

The Goods

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Pop-Up Pick: score conceptual shoes and chic sportswear at Y-3’s temporary Holt Renfrew shop

pop-up-pick-y3

Following chic Parisian label Maison Kitsuné’s summer pop-up, Holt Renfrew’s Yorkdale location has landed another international import for fall: Y-3, iconic Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto’s clothing line for Adidas (the “Y” stands for Yohji and the “3” represents Adidas’s classic three-stripe logo), which will be holding court inside the department store until the end of September. Known for its conceptual footwear (the brand has collaborated with designers like Rick Owens and Raf Simons for some seriously out-there kicks), the label’s Toronto pop-up is showcasing a variety of popular styles, including the sleek Qasa high-top and the colourful Riyal sneaker. It’s also selling some pieces of stylish sportswear, like hybrid hoodies and comfy track pants, plus a few hats and travel bags. Shoppers should prepare to see more than a few edgy takes on Adidas’s signature three stripes—our favourite is this bold graphic top.

Until Sep. 30. Holt Renfrew Yorkdale, 3401 Dufferin St., y-3.com

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Q&A: Nateka Pitter, the Muslim designer who’s making “modest fashion” happen

(Image: Claire Foster)

(Image: Claire Foster)

Toronto’s first International Muslim Fashion and Design Festival, a two-day event dedicated to empowering Muslim women through “modest fashion,” is happening this weekend. Its founder is Nateka Pitter, a 26-year-old convert to Islam who designs a local clothing label called Victorious Me. (“Fashionable expression without exposure” is its slogan.) We spoke with Pitter about the upcoming event, how she came around to the hijab, and what “modest fashion” really means, anyway.

How did you end up converting to Islam?
For years I was a Christian and after that I was an atheist. I knew there was a higher being, but I didn’t believe in anything. A lot of my friends were Muslim, and I would debate religion with them. When I really sat down and took a look at Islam, I realized it made a lot of sense to me. I was a club-goer and I loved going out, but the more I got into Islam the more I started stepping away from that.

And how did you get into fashion?
I was always interested in fashion, but when I became Muslim, I found that there wasn’t really anything available for that community. That was one of my struggles: I was into Western fashion, like many other Muslim girls who were born in North America, but found that we weren’t being catered to. There was nothing for us.

Did you have any preconceived notions about what fashion in the Muslim world was like? How did you feel about the hijab?
The hijab was a struggle, because it wasn’t something I was born with. I still struggle with it, especially when I go out to places and people point at me or tell me to take it off. Of course it’s more appealing to have your hair out, but at the same time, you’re doing it for your faith. It’s a struggle I think a lot of Muslim women have.

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Shopping

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The Find: 13 pairs of sweatpants you’ll be proud to sport in public

The Find: stylish sweatpants you'll be proud to sport in public (and maybe even to work)

When summer draws to a close, it can be tough to transition from comfortable cottage wear to high-powered city attire. Luckily, fall’s sweatpants are much more stylish than the baggy Roots joggers in your closet. They’re also versatile, so choosing comfort doesn’t have to mean staying cooped up at home; instead, wear a tapered grey pant to lunch with tough booties, or pair one of the fancier styles (we’re looking at you, Balmain lounge pants) with pumps and a button-down for a work-appropriate look. Here, 13 of our favourite fashionable sweatpants, including affordable chambray cargos and perfectly patterned Philip Lim bottoms.

See all 13 pairs »

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Street Style

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Street Style: locavores hit up the Annex farmers’ market for in-season corn and blueberries

Street Style: Torontonians hit their local farmer's markets for a mid-week veggie haul

(Images: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Sure, Toronto boasts large-scale farmers’ markets like the St. Lawrence Market or Evergreen Brick Works. But come summer, smaller versions start popping up on neighbourhood street corners and in church parking lots, peddling perfectly in-season corn, crisp lettuce and fresh cheeses from local vendors. We stopped by the thriving Borden Street bazaar in the Annex to chat with market-goers about the natural high you get from smelling fresh fruits and veggies and the romance of it all (thanks, Joe Cressy).

See all 13 shots »

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Shenae Grimes and her husband launched a clothing line that’ll be available in Toronto next week

(Image: Two Halves/Facebook)

(Image: Two Halves/Facebook)

Toronto-born actress Shenae Grimes-Beech, former teen queen of dramas like Degrassi and 90210, has launched a clothing line with her husband of one year, musician and model Josh Beech. Dubbed Two Halves, the collection makes its Canadian debut next week (that is, Thursday, August 28) at Ossington boutique Jonathan and Olivia. The casual west-coast wear is designed to reflect both Shenae’s bohemian style and Josh’s punk rock roots. (The most literal interpretation of the boho-slash-rocker partnership: a line of graphic tees depicting a skull wearing a native headdress). The brand’s warrior-themed jewellery—think arrow pendants and snake-charmer ear cuffs—will also be available. Unlike some celebrity-backed collections, shoppers won’t have to break the bank to nab the look: all pieces clock in at less than $100.

The Goods

Designers

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The seven best looks presented at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

Toronto Men’s Fashion Week launched last Tuesday with a flurry of media buzz (thanks in part to reports that one designer’s collection had been banned for being “too femme” and then reinstated at the last minute.) Of the runway shows, which ranged in style from bold and colourful to preppy and put-together, our favourite looks combined crisp tailoring with a touch of the unexpected, like the floral moto jackets at Sons of Odin and asymmetrical graphics at Noel Crisostomo.

See all 7 looks »

The Goods

Stores

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Muji’s first Toronto store is slated to open by Christmas
(Image: Ralf Smallkaa/Flickr)

(Image: Ralf Smallkaa/Flickr)

The Japanese retailer will open shop near Toronto Eaton Centre by mid-December, reports the Globe. The minimalist lifestyle brand, which keeps prices affordable by spending nothing on advertising, will peddle over 3,000 well-designed products, including comfortable pyjamas, sleek two-seater sofas and efficient storage units. With the heavily branded nature of Toronto’s shopping scene, Muji is set to be a refreshingly simple new destination for living essentials.

The Goods

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Store Guide: Goodfolk, a charming vintage shop in South Riverdale packed with one-of-a-kind finds

Click to  view gallery (Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani)

Click to view gallery (Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani)

Name: Goodfolk
Sells: Vintage furniture, knick-knacks and handmade crafts
Contact Info: 253 Broadview Ave, 416-465-0002, goodfolk.ca
Hours: W-F 11-7, Sa 11-5

Goodfolk, a new shop in South Riverdale, sells an expertly curated selection of handmade crafts and vintage curios. Owners Emilie and Matt bought the building over a year ago. Since then, they’ve completely renovated the space and packed it with the type of furniture and knick-knacks they’d use to decorate their own apartment. “We love folksy stuff, colour and anything that’s like, whoa, I’ve never seen that before,” says Emilie.

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Designers

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Preview: browse the entire lookbook for Target’s new collaboration with Joseph Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra is the latest high-profile designer to create a covetable, affordable collection for Target. (He follows in the footsteps of Philip Lim and Peter Pilotto.) The new collaboration plays up Altuzarra’s signature sultry look with long slinky dresses, a faux-fur cropped jacket and over-the-knee boots. Prices range from $30 for a thick croc-embossed belt to $90 for a black jacquard trench. Our favourite item? A chic ankle strap stiletto for $40. The collection hits stores on September 14, but those who’d rather avoid the fray can shop select pieces at Net-A-Porter.

See all 19 looks »

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