9/21: BTS: THECloset YVR Launches with Thanks to VIPs & Friends

THECloset YVR Interior

On Friday night (August 21st) Vlassis and I proudly opened the door and many bottles of wine, to a small gathering of our VIPs. ‘Very Important People‘ who helped us either emotionally, financially or physically along our journey of opening Vancouver’s first ecoluxury lifestyle boutique (possibly Canada’s?). It was an intimate evening of hugs and smiles followed by a second party Saturday afternoon to which we invited all our fashion industry friends.

The concept of opening a niche retail boutique that sells only curated luxury at an affordable price point – be it new or vintage – alongside BC artisan pieces with a strong focus on value-added customer service, was met with a lot of skepticism and trepidation. But we did it anyways!

Collage 7

BC Artisan vendor products: Reclaimed Print Co and our exclusive nautical screened pieces, Basic Design, Me&YouBody vegan personal grooming products, and an array of Gianfranco Ferre vintage ties.

We want to first thank Vancity Credit Unions Hormus Karat (Branch #4 Manager) and Josh Ludgate from Small Business BC for taking a chance on us. The process was months long but together we pulled it off and Hormus and his lovely wife Berndette joined us and it really made our evening!

Our mentor Craig Patterson of Retail-Insider and Winston Collective was traveling and unable to make the VIP party but we know how proud he is. We cannot express how valuable lawyer Ritchie Po is to our business. Not only is he a fantastic friend but his Knotwerk By Ritchie Po is gaining momentum and the highest read content on our FB and website! Conceptualizing and shooting the weekly style column is always so much fun.

The Closet YVR, Ritchie Po, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, YVR, Vancity, Luxury, Resellers

THECloset YVR: Style Writer Ritchie Po of #KnotwerkByRitchiePo (Lanvin tie, Varvatos vest & Fluevog shoes), co-founders Vlassis Xanthopoulos (PhatFarm shirt) and Helen Siwak (Armani dress and Bulgari pendant from Modaselle).

mary quant, soap rebel, basic design, reclaimed print

L: Collectible vintage Mary Quant and soft blue gemstone Cartier scarf. R: La Cigale: Senteurs Provencales shaving and gift boxes, Tracey Tomtene custom necklaces that say “Like a Boss, Girl Boss, Do Epic Shit, EcoLuxLuv”.

Even though I have known Dominique Hanke and Joshua Langston for a long time, it is only recently that we have really come together as close friends. Both have been incredibly supportive over the past year and always have a ‘chin up’ approach to any of the seemingly unsolvable and/or insane situations we find ourselves in.

Left to Right: Helen Siwak, Lead In-House Stylist Dominique Hanke of HankeStyle, Joshua Langston of The Social Life.

Left to Right: The Triumvirate: Helen Siwak, with Lead In-House Stylist Dominique Hanke of HankeStyle in Graeme Black gown, Joshua Langston of The Social Life wearing head to toe thrifted! This is how you do it: shirt by Religion, bag by Alexander Wang, belt by Versace Jeans Couture, pants by DSquared2 & footwear by Louis Vuitton.

Jaralin Detienne is a new friend and supporter. I met a woman in the puppy park late one night and she took my card for a friend of a friend who wanted to do consignment. Jaralin came into the boutique with the most beautiful runway collection consignment and literally never went home! She offered to help immediately with the set-up of the boutique, the party, everything we needed until the party was over and we closed the doors. Amazing! She is a singer – click her name for her youtube channel.

Dr. Jeff Matthews is a physicist turned animal rights activist and President of Sea Shepherd Canada. As proud he is of us, we are equally as proud of him. His encouragement and availability as a sounding board for our ecofriendly business strategies was invaluable. THECloset YVR is honoured to be named the exclusive distributor of Sea Shepherd Canada merchandise. Await the announcement and come visit for t-shirts and beanies in a month or so.

Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith was our hostess and lent her shining personality to welcoming everyone. She is hitting Vancouver like a hurricane with her vibrant force. THECloset YVR provided her a two piece Gianni Versace Couture vintage set to stand-out in her important role.

Left to Right: Entertainer Jaralin Detienne, Sea Shepherd's Jeff Matthews, Hostess Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith, Edmond Lee of Jo Malone / Estee Lauder

Left to Right: Singer Songwriter Jaralin Detienne (Alexander McQueen dress), Sea Shepherd’s Jeff Matthews / Hostess Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith, Edmond Lee of Jo Malone & Estee Lauder in amazing Miu Miu kicks.

Art afficienado Wesley Yuen and husband Patrick Prinster

Ritchie’s guests: Wesley Yuen of Artistrun Collective holding DSquared2 Top Banana belt with husband Patrick Prinster.

amanda harris, ritchie po, thecloset yvr, helen siwak

Ritchie’s friend Amanda Harris snapping pics and chatting about knotty things.

Rebecca Rachel, Helen Siwak, Jason Pillay

Left to Right: Rebecca Rachel of Serendipity Boutique (Chanel bag & Valentino rockstuds), Helen Siwak and her former intern, stylist & dancer Jason Pillay.

Aaron Thul, Edmond Lee, Matthew Saunders, Jason Pillay and Rebecca Rachel

Matthew Saunders of Holt Renfrew, Edmond Lee, Aaron Thul VP of EMOL / Jason and Rebecca.

Aaron Thul, Ritchie Po, Matt O'Grady

Aaron, Ritchie and Matt O’Grady of BC Business looking cool in casual chic.

Rebecca Rachel, Nyalem, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, Wesley Yuen, Orianna Lacey

Clockwise: Rebecca, Model Nyalem Wan / Nyalem, Helen Siwak & Vlassis Xanthopoulos / Wesley and Orianna.

Bling, modaselle, bulgari, tahari, louis vuitton, miu miu, hermes

Clockwise: Helen’s decolletage, fancy footwear including Josh’s vintage Louis Vuitton two-tones, Edmond’s Miu Miu and style blogger Tahmina of Alouve.com and her Hermes handbag.

Before photographer Kuna Lu arrived some of our invitee’s stopped by and we were so excited that we forgot to get pictures – apologies to Sue RandhawaBritta Bisig, Myriam Laroche, and Randa Salloum.

Our La Biosthetique gal, Michelle Phaneuf was on a well deserved cruise and did not attend but we made sure everyone received a sponsored giftbag complete with La Bios products and other goodies from our sponsors and vendors.

Gift bags sponsored by La Biosthetique

Gift bags sponsored by La Biosthetique.

We dined on Plantbase Food & Natural Products vegan appetizers that blew everyone away! Thank you chef David Isbister for the amazing food, incredible pricing and convenient delivery.

Plantbase, natural, foods, david isbister

Documenting the deliciousness: 1. Chocolate-enrobed Paleo Cookie Dough Truffle, 2. BBQ “Pork” Style Jackfruit with Arugula and crisped onion, 3. Cashew Cheddar, Sweet Pickled Beet Root on a raw flax seed/tomato/onion cracker – topped with a pinch of raw probiotic cultured cabbage, 4. Fried Chinese Eggplant strip with fresh Coconut Sesame Slaw.

Thank you to everyone! We’ve got a great group of people supporting us and we are grateful.

Helen & Vlassis

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