Luxury Legend Chanel Set to Expand from Concession to Flagship

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Holt Renfrew as seen from Granville & Dunsmuir Streets.

The speculation is true and the chic European themed hoarding within Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew confirms that the legendary luxury brand Chanel (LMVH) will expand by relocating its concession to a larger, ground-floor ‘flagship’ location.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Main floor European themed hoarding, announcing Chanel, where the salon and spa once were.

According to Retail-Insider, the move is the latest within Holt Renfrew, as it continues to expand and renovate its CF Pacific Centre store to address competition from the mall’s recently-opened and wildly successful Nordstrom flagship.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Chanel beauty concession on corner of Granville and Dunsmuir Streets. Focal point of walk/drive-by traffic.

Chanel will vacate its current 1,900 square foot, third-level Holt Renfrew concession space for a larger street-front location within Holt’s, in space formerly occupied by Holt’s salon and spa. The new Chanel store is under construction, and sources say that it will open mid-2016. A separate source in Holt’s menswear department implied a café component will be included with frontage on Dunsmuir Street, and that Chanel may gain a dedicated Howe Street entrance as part of the expansion.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Holt Renfrew entrance on Howe Street next to currently unoccupied space formerly housing SportChek / Atmosphere.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Potential Howe Street entrance of Chanel expansion.

When Holt Renfrew relocated its Pacific Centre flagship in the spring of 2007, Chanel opened an accessories-only concession on the store’s third floor. The concession expanded in 2010 to include ready-to-wear.

Holt Renfrew is in the process of spending millions to renovate its Vancouver flagship. Currently, Holt’s is 147,000 square feet and the store will annex an additional 40,000 square feet formerly occupied by Sport Chek/Atmosphere, with renovations expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Image credit: Holt Renfrew via Retail-Insider

This past September, Nordstrom opened a 230,000 square foot luxury designer-heavy flagship a block south of Holt’s and industry insiders questioned whether Vancouver could sustain luxury level boutiques. The ‘Luxury Zone’ at Alberni and Thurlow Streets are at commercial capacity and 2015 saw newcomer CICINO opening in the ‘The Heritage District on West Hastings’ possibly with hopes that the ‘Luxury Zone’ would spill over. One cannot help but feel as 2016 approaches, there is no doubt that there is a steady influx of discretionary income from affluent locals and tourists interested in and purchasing luxury items and this luxury shopping trend is going to continue.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Menswear department in the lower level of Holt’s will be reorganized. The Paul Smith concession to be relocated to accommodate Chanel expansion.

Chanel has a long history in Vancouver, and the mere mention of its prestigious name brings anecdotes of first purchases and, ultimately, its inability to gain a foothold in Vancouver. Chanel began with the first freestanding location, measuring 1,300 square feet, which opened in 1991 at 755 Burrard Street (now occupied by Coach). Several years later, it relocated to a 5,000 square foot, two-level store at 900 West Hastings Street, which closed in the summer of 2010, apparently due to poor sales.

Who else is counting the days until we can relax in the café, enjoy an strong espresso, French petit fours, and people watch on a revitalized Howe Street devoid of ‘For Lease’ signs?

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Snowflake Furs on Howe street on the move again most likely due to industry decline and weekly protests against animal cruelty.

(This article and photographs by Helen Siwak was originally published in a shorter version in VancityBuzz).

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Prada Prepares to Launch in ‘Luxury Zone’

Prada, the luxury zone, helen siwak, fashion, blogger, stylist, made in italy

As reported earlier this year, and the topic of much haute speculation, Vancouver’s soon-to-launch Prada flagship is coming to the corner retail space of The Carlyle – a luxury complex at the southeast corner of Alberni Street and Thurlow Street.

The construction hoarding on the new Prada reflects the European elegance of this legendary brand and is perfectly situated across from the newly launched cashmere-centric Brunello Cucinelli and Medusa branded Versace. The legendary brand will also locate next to upscale brands Tory Burch and De Beers, as well as a number of other luxury brands which are associated with Vancouver’s “Luxury Zone.”

Prada, Luxury Zone, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, ecoluxluv, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist

Prada, Luxury Zone, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, ecoluxluv, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist

On the south side of Prada is a 2 storey space which is completely unbranded. An insider source puts Saint Laurent there in the future.

The immediate area features luxury stores, including the newly opened 7,000 square foot Dior and Dior Homme, Burberry, Escada, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Montblanc, and jewellers Lao Feng Xiang.

The Vancouver store is designed by Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi and will feature men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, as well as footwear and accessories. Prada has declined to provide official comments regarding this store, except to say that more information will be revealed closer to the Vancouver store’s opening date.

Best wishes to all and ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Moncler Launches Luxury Ski Wear as the First Snowflakes Fall Downtown

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

Moncler is a brand originally established at high altitude which now boasts a presence in all of the world’s most important cities, and most exclusive ski resorts. Vancouver is a city known for it’s skiing, lodge and spa culture, and for those who insist on taking it to the extremes, Moncler is the label you source.

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

It is without a doubt that such a gorgeous invitation to a private opening sets the tone for the evening.

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

A large window marks the entrance to the new store on Thurlow Street, also known as the ‘Luxury Zone‘ of Vancouver, a first-class destination for luxury shopping in the city. The premises are true to the Moncler code of sourcing the highest quality materials and we were stunned with the detailing of the embossing within the womens collectionand the creativity with the Thom Browne line of outerwear in grey wool.

The result is a unique interior, with elegant French wood panelling in chêne fumé wood and grigio carnico marble inserts used for the floors and walls which adds movement to the space. The interior has once again been entrusted to Gilles & Boissier, an architecture studio which has worked alongside the brand for many years.

A complete range of product is offered in the new boutique, with the Moncler Gamme Bleu and Moncler Gamme Rouge collections featured alongside the men’s and women’s Moncler and Moncler Grenoble ready-to-wear and accessory collections.

Moncler is located at 743 Thurlow Street and regular hours are available through their website.

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All photography by Joshua Langston.

Vancouver Artisans Build Versace Legacy

Growing up in central Alberta, as the daughter of a carpenter renowned for his finishing work, I am drawn to the scent of freshly shorn pine, the olfactory sharpness of arborite glue and the soft tap tap tap of a rubber tipped hammer against finishing nails.

Which leads to my fascination with the interiors of the luxury boutiques I find myself spending so much time in as an adult, and their almost complete lack of smell. I often wonder – are these interiors manufactured in some foreign city and shipped to ensure the maintenance of the image of the brand? Packed tightly into the back of semi-trucks rolling down the highway? Pounded by storms, wind, and heat?

This week I noticed an odd interaction on my Twitter account and found that someone named Darrell Morrison had been re-tweeting my Versace posts. A quick investigation informed me that his company Decorative Painting & Plastering Inc had done the interiors for newest Versace and had documented the whole process using modern technology to capture old world artisan ways.

Enjoy as the mystique unfolds and Vancouver’s Versace becomes a place of age old tradition.

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak

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Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

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12311246_1193970437283023_4935890920967063446_n copyVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace 3 by Helen Siwak copy

On opening night all the precision work blends into the background as the evening belongs to the Versace legacy and the party-goers.

Click here for a gorgeous Vimeo view of the Versace store in its bare gorgeousness.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Van Cleef & Arpels Plans Holiday Launch

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Image credit: Helen Siwak, THECloset YVR

According to a source at Vancouver’s Maison Birks, the Paris-based luxury jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is set to open the expanded boutique just in time for the holidays. The expanded Van Cleef & Arpels will have its own dedicated entrance on Granville Street. The new boutique will replace a 300 sq. ft. shop-in-store that opened in Birks in 2006.

Birks Window Display

Image credit: Helen Siwak, THECloset YVR

With its main entrance just off of West Hastings Street, Maison Birks is the country’s largest with its retail space spanning 20,220 sq. ft. over two levels. This historical store is located in a former bank building, and the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique’s new doorway required modifications to the historical building’s facade as shown in the photograph.

Founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and his brothers-in-law Charles and Julien Arpels on the Place Vendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious jewellery brands.

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Snowflake Pattern. Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels

In 1939, Claude Arpels opened their first boutique in New York City on 5th Avenue where it still stands today as an endearing emblem of the first European luxury companies to lay roots in the US. In the 1940s the company’s Snowflake collection was created, followed by the launch of the iconic Alhambra collection in 1968 which features the four-leaf clover.

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Alhambra Series. Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels

Today, this luxury brand lends its fine jewels to some of the biggest designers’ fashion shows such as newcomers Gareth Pugh and the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. The company has store locations worldwide and in the US, it operates freestanding locations as well as concessions within selected Neiman Marcus stores.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

(The original version of this article and photographs by Helen Siwak was published in VancityBuzz.com. This is an expanded on version by Helen Siwak).

Frank & Oak Launch Flagship in Gastown

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Image courtesy Frank & Oak

North America’s fastest growing menswear brand, Frank & Oak, launched their Vancouver flagship at 316 West Cordova Street in Gastown. The location opened to the public on December 5th, 2015 after a 5 week build-out and marks the brand’s thirteenth retail store. VIPs and media attended a pre-launch and had the opportunity to speak with Frank & Oak’s Sophie Desbiens, who traveled from Montreal, to oversee the launch.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Image courtesy Frank & Oak

Focusing on providing an experience that feels as local as it does global, Frank & Oak has reconfigured its flagship to offer the same personalized approach to shopping as it offers online. With mobile and online shopping seamlessly integrated in-store, customers will be able to access their past order histories and online style profiles, and can opt for complimentary personal styling appointments with trained style advisers.

Frank & Oak 4

Style writer Ritchie Po chatting with store stylist Tyler Yang. Image credit: Helen Siwak

Additionally, customers will be able to have products shipped directly to their homes if an item is not available in store, delivering Frank & Oak’s focus on connected retail. The flagship will carry Frank & Oak’s monthly menswear items, limited run collections, and will host a variety of community-oriented events which we are looking forward to.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

THECloset YVR’s Helen Siwak and Sam, founder of Man Cave Barber Shop chain

The location also features a two chair Man Cave Barber Shop and juice bar helmed by the team at local juice emporium Krokodile Pear. The space is intended as a community hub to meet, connect and linger.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, RetailFrank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Puppy friendly premises! Image credits: Helen Siwak

“We’re thrilled to reinforce our reputation for personalized service and unique in-store experiences the opening of this flagship location on the West Coast,” explained Frank & Oak Co-Founder and CEO Ethan Song. “We’re passionate about building a sense of community, culture, and integrating the two into a local approach but within the context of the digital world.”

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Window display and Frank & Oak Co-Founders Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song

Check out this weeks’ Knotwerk by Ritchie Po shot exclusively in the new Frank & Oak!

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

BC’s First Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th

saks fifth avenue, off 5th, retail insider, helen siwak,

Image credit: MR Magazine

Saks OFF 5TH has revealed four new Canadian locations will open between 2016 and 2018. To be located in Montreal, suburban Quebec City, suburban Vancouver and Winnipeg, the new Canadian stores will adapt the redesigned Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH aesthetic. They will be fashioned in an open and bright layout with adaptable displays, graphic elements and offering a comfortable environment for guests.

“We are excited that we are able to bring Saks OFF 5TH to these dynamic Ivanhoé Cambridge properties. We have now announced openings in five provinces across the country, and we look forward to bringing our OFF 5TH experience to the Canadian consumer,” commented Jonathan Greller, President of Outlets, HBC. “As we continue to grow our off-price business, we will announce more new Saks OFF 5TH locations in major markets across Canada.”

The suburban Vancouver Saks OFF 5TH, opening fall 2016, will measure 32,687 square feet and be located at Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Tsawwassen Mills. The mall will be about 1.2 million square feet, and this will be OFF 5TH’s first Vancouver-area store. According to Retail-Insider, the second location will be in Metrotown in Burnaby.

As part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH is a world-class shopping destination with 91 brick and mortar stores and online with saksoff5th.com. Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH features a compelling lineup of more than 800 brands, from emerging designers to some of the most recognized names in fashion such as Dianne Von Furstenberg, Blumarine. Emporio Armani, Giuseppe Zanotti, Givenchy and Proenza Schouler.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

 

Nordstrom Presents Alexander Wang Pop-In

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

As part of the Pop-In series, Nordstrom Vancouver hosted a special event showcasing Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015 line, and snippets of the T by Alexander Wang Resort 2016 collection.  Members of the New York Wang team were on-hand and offered insight into the collection while models showed shoppers a 360 view of the looks.

For the Fall 2015 collection Alexander Wang presented a range of pieces that would thrill the all-black wearing sophisticate, the retro gothic lover and those who crave comfort in their day to day clothing.

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

Image credit: Helen Siwak

The most eye-catching part of this collection was the sleeveless dress with velour line curving seams. This dress was defined by accentuating it with silver snap trims and exposed zippers which made this classic silhouette stronger.

Wang is known to specialize in refining classic design pieces, and modernizing them, such as the ivory sleeveless cashmere turtleneck, with a revealing open back.

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

Images by Maxime Favreau

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

Images by Maxime Favreau.

If you’re feeling a bit playful, the T by Alexander Wang collection was athletic and suitable for the brisk outdoors represented best by the leather varsity jacket and grey frayed shift-dress and jacket combination.

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

Images by Maxime Favreau

The Pop-In also featured a large display of Wang’s handbag collection with the much-anticipated Rockie mini duffle bag that comes in a soft grey and navy hue. Also featured was the newest incarnation of the Gabi tilt-heel bootie that is so beloved by fashionista worldwide.

Alexander Wang, Maxime Favreau, Helen Siwak, Nordstrom, PopIn, PopUp,

Image credit: Maxime Favreau

Article co-written by Maxime Favreau and Helen Siwak.

 

CICINO Opens Outside of Vancouver’ Luxury Zone’

Cicino, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Located in a century-old heritage building at 848 West Hastings, designer retailer CICINO has chosen to skirt the Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’ and align itself with the centuries old Terminal City and Vancouver Club.

Cicino, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Helen Siwak

CICINO introduced itself in October to the local shopping elite via a series of private invite only events held at the boutique. The official opening however will take place on November 6 with a Pascal Millet SS 16 Collection runway show at the Vancouver Club followed by a Grand Opening Party at the boutique.

CICINO carries luxury designer merchandise for both women and men which ranges from casual to extravagant, fine jewellery and even made-to-order Italian furniture. The interior walls are decorated with the fine art of Stewart Stephenson and the upper mezzanine offers a comfortable changing area complete with birdcage styled rooms and handmade flyers advertising the Red Card member rewards card.

Cicino, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Cicino, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Helen Siwak

CICINO features a handful of exclusive brands such as Andrew Gn, John Lobb, Manoush, Ermanno Scervino, Sergio Rossi and many others shared by Nordstrom, The Room and Leone, that includes Versace, KENZO, Sonia Rykiel and Oscar de la Renta.

Cicino, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Helen Siwak

CICINO is just the latest addition to the downtown luxury market which will also see the opening of Versace, Strellson, Moncler and possibly Prada later this fall.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Brunello Cucinelli Joins Vancouver Luxury Zone

Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Helen Siwak, Made in Italy, Cashmere

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Referred to as the “King of Cashmere,” Italian luxury fashion brand Brunello Cucinelli has opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver. It joins a number of other premium brands in Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone.’

The 2,700 sq. ft. boutique opened last week at 765 Thurlow Street, and it will soon be joined by Versace and Swiss menswear brand Strellson in the same complex.

Brunello Cucinelli joins the ‘Luxury Zone’ with Dior, De Beers, Burberry, Escada, Hermes, Tiffany & Co., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton, and others. According to Retail-Insider, Canada’s second Moncler location will open in December across from Cucinelli on Thurlow Street, and a massive three-level flagship Prada is under construction at the southeast corner of Thurlow and Alberni Streets. Sources say that a number of premium international brands continue to negotiate for retail space in the immediate area.

Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Vancouver, Helen Siwak

Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Vancouver, Helen Siwak

Founded in 1978, Brunello Cucinelli sells womenswear, menswear, and accessories. Although known for its luxurious cashmere apparel, the brand has expanded to include non-cashmere fashions including leathergoods, bags, shoes, and sportswear.

Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Vancouver, Helen Siwak

Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Vancouver, Helen Siwak

The company is headquartered in a 14th century castle on the top of a hill in the middle of Italy’s Umbria region; it donates 20% of profits to its charitable foundation and pays workers wages that are 20% higher than the industry average. According to its website, the brand is “firmly rooted in quality excellence, Italian craftsmanship and creativity.”

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

(This article by Helen Siwak with images was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

Jack & Jones: Pacific Centre Flagship Opens

European menswear brand Jack & Jones recently launched its Vancouver flagship at Pacific Centre Mall.

Jack & Jones, Pacific Centre Mall, Helen Siwak

The new 2,520 sq. ft. store, the fourth Vancouver-area location for the retailer, is located on the mall’s lower level adjacent to the recently opened expansion below Nordstrom.

Jack & Jones, Pacific Centre Mall, Helen Siwak

Jack & Jones, Pacific Centre Mall, Helen Siwak

The interior of the Jack & Jones flagship features grey stone flooring, rugged wood trim, and overhead lights that contrast with the store’s dark ceilings. The overall feel is subdued and masculine, with each of the Jack & Jones lines featured in their own dedicated sections.

Jack & Jones’ other Lower Mainland locations include CF Richmond Centre, Metropolis at Metrotown, and Guildford Town Centre.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

A.N.G.E.L.O: Coming Soon to McArthurGlen YVR

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Image credit: Angelo.it

Angelo Caroli, also known A.N.G.E.L.O., is one of the most prominent experts in the vintage fashion field. His passion started right from the beginning of the vintage resurgence at the tender age of 17, and comes from an aesthetic attraction to historic pieces that recover the memory of fashion.

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Image credit: Vogue.it

On his recent trip to Vancouver to oversee the Timeless Luxury installation at McArthurGlen YVR outlet location, I had an invitation to meet Angelo at the Hotel Georgia for an advance viewing of the collection in which Chanel, Hermes, Pucci, Versace and Louis Vuitton featured prominently.

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Various posters used by A.N.G.E.L.O. Vintage to advertise pop-up shops in Europe.

Angelo’s thirty years of experience have made him the authority and reference point of designer vintage fashion across Europe. His fashion archive houses 180,000 pieces of clothing and accessories from all over the world, spanning 1850 to the last decade.

His collection represents one of the richest and varied archives in the world, and is one of the most sought-after places for brands and fashion historians to research vintage at a national and international level. This stunning collection consists of striking one-of-a-kind finds that have graced red carpets and movie sets from the Oscars to period cinematic dramas.

“Vintage is all about memories and the unique life experiences of the people the pieces once belonged to,” says Angelo Caroli. “I’m excited to share some of my most valuable vintage finds and their stories with Vancouver.”

Angelo and I spoke at length (through an interpreter) about the local luxury vintage market and how Vancouver is an ideal city for thrifting treasures given its geographic location and immigration patterns over the decades.

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Chanel display in Vancouver

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

…and more Chanel!

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Hermes Birkin with collectible scarves – all to be sold at the pop-up at McArthurGlen YVR

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Hermes handbag with collectible scarf with African imagery

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

2nd Chanel display with multi-coloured hangbags and accessories

At the end of the interview, I walked away with a new appreciation for the value of building a private collection alongside the day-to-day reselling of vintage as a business and an open invitation to visit his store, museum and personal palace.

Angelo, A.N.G.E.L.O., Vintage, Helen Siwak, McArthurGlen, YVR

Legendary Angelo Caroli and Helen Siwak of THECloset YVR

That said, this voracious thrifter is extremely excited for Angelo’s return to launch the McArthurGlen pop-up boutique and cannot wait to share with him some of the treasures found in Vancouver that we spoke so passionately about.

Thank you to Brooklyn and Crystal at CitizenRelations for thinking of THECloset YVR and being so flexible with Angelo’s time.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

LXR&Co Officially Launches at Hudson’s Bay

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

Louis Vuitton’s waiting for new homes!

Vintage and luxury accessories retailers – LXR&CO – have officially launched in the SB level of Hudson’s Bay. They offer a curated selection of luxury and vintage designer handbags and accessories from brands like Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Undoubtedly the face of LXR&Co in Vancouver is Justin Voitic, who has an extensive background in fashion, business and is easily recognizable!

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

Left: Justin Voitic serving delicious organic Prosecco, Dianna from My Sister’s Closet receiving a Dior make-over and a Gucci zipper tote.

While enjoying organic prosecco and salted caramels, I glanced over the selection of handbags and accessories available. It appears the the Vancouver location offers a good range of selection and pricing on practical pieces which target the youth market, new collector to the working professional, unlike other resellers in the downtown core like Modaselle and HER, which have a much higher price points and bags less suitable for everyday and more for special occasion use.

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

Runway teacher Keiko Boxall and blogger Colleen Tsoukalas enjoying a squeeze.

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

Designer Bryan Martin Iliscupidez getting practical with a black drawstring bag.

Co-founded by two young entrepreneurs, Frederick Mannella and Kei Izawa, LXR&CO started as an alternative to the typical experience that accompanied luxury shopping. Their vision for LXR was to build a retail outlet that made high fashion items attainable.

LXRCO, Hudsons Bay, Helen Siwak, Vlassis Xanthopoulos, luxury, handbags, accessories, vancouver

LXR&CO currently has more than 10 stores across North America and has set its sights on opening up three more before the year’s end. Along with luxury products, LXR&CO puts an added emphasis on excellent customer service, great attention to detail and ensuring its customers a fun and enjoyable experience with their pre-owned handbags and accessories.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

chargeitspot, nordstrom, vancouver, helen siwak

Nordstrom & ChargeItSpot Partner for Customer Convenience

The Nordstrom Vancouver flagship store will not only boast one of the company’s most comprehensive selections of luxury designers including Saint Laurent Paris and Christian Louboutin, the Pacific Centre store will stand as a truly world-class retailer against the world’s top department stores.

On September 18, the store will open its doors at 9:30 a.m., and it’s very likely that cellphones will quickly be out of battery after all the selfies and Instagram posts – and chaos will ensue. So to avoid this situation, Nordstrom has partnered with ChargeItSpot.

chargeitspot, nordstrom, vancouver, helen siwak

ChargeItSpot. Image credit: Helen Siwak

Nordstrom is offering a free charging station for cell phones, which will be located next to the customer service bar on the first floor. To use them, customers enter their mobile number and choose a security image, select an available locker, insert their phone and plug it into the relevant charging cord and go enjoy a stress-free shopping experience.

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Security images to be used by Nordstrom at charging station. Image credit: ChargeItSpot

In a statement exclusive to Vancity Buzz, ChargeItSpot’s founder and CEO Doug Baldasare said:

“Cell phones simply can’t keep up with our need for constant connection. When our batteries run low, we become anxious and lose our ability to have fun while we shop. ChargeItSpot helps retailers be that ‘saviour’ to their customers. Offering them a free phone charge gives them peace of mind which, in turn, promises a better shopping experience and a more loyal customer. It also ensures that can stay engaged with the retail brand via social media and the store’s mobile app. With many retailers pushing their own apps, a phone charging station is an absolutely critical amenity to ensure that brand-customer connection.”

Peace of mind is important when urban adventuring through 230,000 sq. ft. of a shoppers paradise!

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

Nordstrom, exterior

Nordstrom Vancouver: The FULL List of Brands!

Nordstrom has provided a full list of brands carried in its 230,000 square foot Vancouver store to Retail-Insider. Set to open Friday, September 18, the Pacific Centre location will carry far more brands than Nordstrom’s Calgary and Ottawa stores, including some exclusive concessions and shop-in-stores. This may not be surprising, given that Vancouver’s Nordstrom will be one of only six global flagships for the retailer.

Nordstrom Pacific Centre features a remarkable number of upscale shops-in-stores, possibly more than any other Nordstrom location. Below, we will list its luxury shops-in-stores, followed by a listing of luxury designers. Following that, we will provide a full category-by-category list of designers, and will conclude with lists of its Canadian designers, as well the store’s brand exclusives.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Rendering: Nordstrom

Boutique Concessions:
Nordstrom’s Vancouver store features two high-profile luxury boutiques – Christian Louboutin footwear and accessories for women, and Delvaux women’s leathergoods. This will be Paris-based Louboutin’s second Canadian location (its first opened at Holt Renfrew‘s Toronto Yorkdale store in 2012) and Belgium’s Delvaux is exclusive to Nordstrom in Canada. Nordstrom’s only other Louboutin shop is in its Chicago flagship location, and we’re not aware of any other Nordstrom locations carrying Delvaux.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Ground floor accessories, photo by Helen Siwak

Luxury Accessory Boutiques:
Nordstrom’s accessories department will feature boutiques for Balenciaga, Burberry, Céline, Chloé, Loewe, Longchamp, Saint Laurent Paris and Valentino (as well as Delvaux, mentioned above). This will be LVMH-owned Spanish luxury brand Loewe‘s first Canadian shop-in-store. Apart from Delvaux, all of the brands mentioned above are carried in nearby Holt Renfrew, though not in dedicated shop-in-stores.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Ground floor accessories. Rendering: Nordstrom

Luxury Womens’ Ready-to-Wear Boutiques:
Nordstrom’s exceptional lineup of ready-to-wear boutiques includes Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Burberry, Céline, Saint Laurent Paris, Stella McCartney and Valentino. All brands are also carried at nearby Holt Renfrew, though none featured as shops-in-stores.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Collectors on 2. Photo: Ritchie Po

Other Luxury Women’s Brands:

Women’s Ready-to-Wear: Nordstrom’s priciest women’s designer department is called Collectors (located on the Vancouver store’s second-floor), and it features the following luxury brands: Loewe, Milly, Missoni, Prabal Gurung, Anthony Vaccarello, Carolina Herrera, Carven, Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, St. John Knits and Zac Posen. Exclusives in the Vancouver store include Milly and Missoni. Nearby Hudson’s Bay‘s ‘The Room‘ also carries Prabal Gurung, Carven, Jason Wu and Proenza Schouler, while nearby Holt Renfrew carries Carven and Oscar de la Renta.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Handbags, ground floor. Photo: Helen Siwak

Accessories/Handbags: Most of Nordstrom’s luxury handbags brands will feature their own shops-in-stores, as described above. Luxury brands MCM, Jimmy Choo, WANT Les Essentials de la Vie and Stella McCartney will also be carried. Other handbags brands will include Coach, Frye, Kate Spade New York, Mackage, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael by Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Ted Baker London, Tory Burch and Vince. 

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Ground floor cosmetics and footwear. Photo: Ritchie Po

Women’s Footwear: Nordstrom will feature three women’s shoe departments, including its designer department called Salon Shoes. Luxury footwear brands will include Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Charlotte Olympia, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Manolo Blahnik, Miu Miu, Prada and Valentino. Most of these are carried in nearby Holt Renfrew, and Hudson’s Bay’s The Room carries Charlotte Olympia. Other footwear brands at Vancouver’s Nordstrom will include Ash, Born, Camper,Cole Haan, Donald J. Pliner, Franco Sarto, Frye, Ivanka Trump, Lucky, Nike, Opening Ceremony, Paul Green, Sam Edelman, Steve Madden, TOMS, Tory Burch, UGG Australia, Vans, Via Spiga and Vince Camuto.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Women’s shoes, ground floor. Photo: Ritchie Po

Men’s Apparel: Nordstrom’s Vancouver store will include a roster of luxury designers, as well as moderately-priced brands. Pricier labels will include Armani Collezioni, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Canali, Ermengildo Zegna, JW Anderson, Loewe, Marni, Moschino, Rick Owens and Yohji Yamamoto. Other brands will include A.P.C., Ben Sherman, Billy Reid, Diesel, Gents, G-Star, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman, Howe, J Brand, Lacoste, Naked & Famous, Nike, Penfield, Peter Millar, Play by Comme Des Garcons, Psycho Bunny, Rag & Bone, Rogue, Samuelsohn, Scotch & Soda, Ted Baker London, Tim Coppens, Wings & Horns, and Zanerobe.

Men’s Footwear: Nordstrom will carry several pricey menswear labels including DSquared2, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guiseppe Zanotti, Jimmy Choo, John Lobb, MCM, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa, To Boot New York, Tod’s and WANT Les Essentials de la Vie (exclusive to Nordstrom in Vancouver). Nordstrom will also carry brands 1901, Calibrate, Monte Rosso, The Rail (all exclusives) as well as Aldo, Cole Haan, Common Projects, Nike, Pajar, Public School, Timberland, and Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Personal shopping suite overlooking Robson Street. Photos: Helen Siwak

Below is a list of brands department-by-department, with less commentary than above:

Women’s Apparel: 
Exclusives:
The following designers will be exclusive to Nordstrom in Vancouver: Alice + Olivia, Adieu, ARIES, Betony Vernon, Cameo, Caslon, Chelsea 28, Classiques Entier, Daniela Villegas, Delpozo, Earnest Sewn, Equipment, Faustine Steinmetz, Felicity & Coco, Finders Keepers, For Love & Lemons, Halogen, Herve Leger, Leith, Madewell, Mira Mikati, Nordstrom Collection & Caroline Issa, One Teaspoon, Rebecca Minkoff, Sara Lasry, SHRIMPS and URiBE.
Other Women’s Apparel Brands: 10 Crosby Derek Lam, A.L.C., Adrianna Papell, ASTR, Autumn Cashmere, Hugo Boss Woman, Brandy Melville, Burberry Brit, Current/Elliott, Diane von Furstenberg, Eileen Fisher, Elie Saab, Eliza J, Frame Denim, Free People, Helmut Lang, IRO, Joie, Kate Spade New York, Kensie, Lafayette 148 New York, Lush, Marc by Marc Jacobs, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Opening Ceremony, Paige Premium Denim, Public School, Rag & Bone, Rebecca Taylor, Red Valentino, See by Chloe, Simone Rocha, T by Alexander Wang, Tadashi Shoji, Ted Baker London, Theory, Veronica Beard, Vetements, Vince, Vince Camuto and Wildfox.

Beauty Brands:
Exclusives: Le Labo, Drybar blow out services, Parfums di Marly and Space NK.
Other Beauty Brands: Amore Pacific, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio, Antica Farmacista, Arcona, Aqua di Parma, Bobbi Brown, Burberry Beauty, Butter London, Chanel, Chantecaille, Charlotte Tilbury, Clarisonic, Cle de Peau Beaute, Clinique, Creed, Deborah Lippmann, Diptyque, Dior, Estée Lauder, Giorgio Armani, Guerlain, Jack Black, Jo Malone London, Kate Someville, Kiehl’s Since 1851, La Mer, La Prarie, Lancôme, Laura Mercier, MAC, Molton Brown, NARS, Nest, Shiseido, Shu Uemura, Tom Ford, Viktor & Rolf and YSL.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Saint Laurent women’s ready-to-wear boutique, under construction on 2. Photo: Helen Siwak

Fine Jewellery:
Exclusives
: Bony Levy.
Other Brands: Anne Sportun, Astley Clarke, Dana Rebecca, Lana Jewelry, Ginette, Jack Kelége, Kalan by Susanne Kalan, Kismet, Kwiat, Marco Bicego, Meira T, Poppy Finch, Roberto Coin, Zoe Chicco and more.
Other Jewellery Brands: Alexis Bittar, Anna Beck, Argento Vivo, Kendra Scott, Leah Alexandra, Melanie Auld, Nadri and more.

Sunglasses Brands: Chanel, Céline, Dior, Gucci, Kate Spade New York, Karen Walker, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Prada, Ray Ban, Tom Ford and more.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Photo: Ritchie Po

Watches:
Exclusives:
Bamford, Frederique Constant and Raymond Weil.
Other Brands: Burberry, Fendi, Fossil, Gucci, Kate Spade New York, Michele, Movado, Nixon, Shinola, Skagen and more.

Lingerie and Hosiery Brands: 35MM, Chantelle, Dita Von Teese, Free People Intimates, Hanky Panky, Happiness, Hue, Junkfood, L’Agent Provocateur, La Perla, Lauren Moshi, Lazy Pants, Mimi Holiday, Natori, Nubian Skin, Only Hearts, Skivvies, Sokoloff, Spanx, Wacoal, With Love Lingerie, Wolford and more.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Menswear on 3. Photo: Ritchie Po

Swim Brands: Beach Riot, L Space, La Blanca, Maaji, Nanette Lepore, Proneza Schouler, Red Carter, Robin Piccone, Ted Baker London, Tory Burch, Trina Turk, Vitamin A and more.

Men’s Furinishings:
Exclusives:
Calibrate, Circle of Gentlemen, Eidos, Nordstrom, Pal Zileri, Rodd & Gun, Without Prejudice and YSL.
Brands: Brioni, Bugatchi, Canali, David Donahue, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss, JZ Richards, Paul Smith, Ray Ban, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ted Baker London, Todd Snyder, Tumi, Zegna Quindici and more.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

CTV News screen capture. Click images for full video, courtesy of CTV.

Kids and Babies:
Exclusives:
C2 by Calibrate, Mini Boden, Nordstrom, Peek and Tucker + Tate.
Brands: Armani, Burberry, Canada Goose, Hatley, Little Marc Jacobs, Mackage, Michael Kors, Milly, Spyder, The North Face, Thomas Dean, Under Armour Accessories, Vans and more.

Kid’s Shoes:
Exclusives
: Akid, C2 by Calibrate, Ruby & Bloom, Tucker + Tate and Zella.
Brands: Converse, Freshly Picked, Hunter, Manitobah Mukluks, Nike, Polar Feet, Sorel, Steve Madden, Stride Rite, TOMS, UGG Australia and more.

Nordstrom, Retail Insider, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, Vancouver

Photo: Helen Siwak

Photo: Helen Siwak

California-based confectionery Sugarfina will operate a shop on the store’s ground-floor.

Nordstrom also broke the list down into Canadian brands carried:
Exclusives
: WANT Les Essentials de la Vie.
Other Canadian Brands: Aldo, Anne Sportun, Arc’teryx, Canada Goose, DSquared2, Lazy Pants, Leah Alexandra, Mackage, Manitobah Mukluks, Melanie Auld, Mèreadesso, Pajar, Polar Feet, Poppy Finch, Santana, Soia & Kyo, Sokoloff, Wings + Horns, With Love Lingerie and more.

And finally, Nordstrom has provided a list of exclusives in its Vancouver store:

  • 1901 (men’s shoes)
  • Adieu (women’s apparel)
  • Akid (kid’s shoes)
  • Alice + Olivia (women’s apparel)
  • Appolis (handbags)
  • ARIES (women’s apparel)
  • Bamford (watches)
  • Betony Vernon (women’s apparel)
  • Bony Levy (fine jewelry)
  • BP. (women’s shoes)
  • C2 by Calibrate (kids and babies kid’s shoes)
  • Calibrate (men’s furnishings, men’s shoes)
  • Cameo (women’s apparel)
  • Caslon (women’s apparel)
  • Chelsea 28 (women’s apparel)
  • Circle of Gentlemen (men’s furnishings)
  • Classiques Entier (women’s apparel)
  • Daniela Villegas (women’s apparel)
  • Delpozzo (women’s apparel)
  • Delvaux (handbags)
  • Drybar (beauty)
  • Earnest Sewn (women’s apparel)
  • Eidos (men’s furnishings)
  • Equipment (women’s apparel)
  • Faustine Steinmetz (women’s apparel)
  • Felicity & Coco (women’s apparel)
  • Finders Keepers (women’s apparel)
  • For Love & Lemons (women’s apparel)
  • Frederique Constant (watches)
  • Halogen (women’s apparel, women’s shoes)
  • Herve Leger (women’s apparel)
  • Hinge (women’s shoes)
  • Jimmy Choo (handbags)
  • KBR (women’s shoes)
  • Le Labo (beauty)
  • Leith (women’s apparel)
  • Loewe (women’s apparel)
  • Madewell (women’s apparel)
  • Milly (women’s apparel)
  • Mini Boden (kids and babies)
  • Mira Mikati (women’s apparel)
  • Missoni (women’s apparel)
  • Monte Rosso (men’s shoes)
  • Nordstrom (kids and babies, men’s furnishings)
  • Nordstrom Collection & Caroline Issa (women’s apparel)
  • One Teaspoon (women’s apparel)
  • Pal Zileri (men’s furnishings)
  • Parfums di Marly (beauty)
  • Pedro Garcia (women’s shoes)
  • Peek (kids and babies)
  • Pop
  • -In@Nordstrom
  • Prabal Gurung (women’s apparel)
  • Raymond Weil (watches)
  • Rebecca Minkoff (women’s apparel)
  • Rodd & Gun
  • Ruby & Bloom (kid’s shoes)
  • Sara Lasry (women’s apparel)
  • SHRIMPS (women’s apparel)
  • Space NK (beauty)
  • Sugarfina
  • The Rail (men’s shoes)
  • Treasure&Bond (women’s shoes)
  • Tucker + Tate (kids and babes, kid’s shoes)
  • URiBE (women’s apparel)
  • WANT Les Essentials de la Vie (handbags, men’s shoes)
  • Without Prejudice (men’s furnishings)
  • YSL (men’s furnishings)
  • Zella (active, kid’s shoes)

This article was originally published in Retail-Insider.com. Photos in this article were taken by Retail Insider contributing editors Helen Siwak (owner of Vancouver-based eco-luxury lifestyle retailer THECloset YVR) and Ritchie Po (of THECloset YVR’s Knotwerk). Photos were taken during a media tour of the store on Thursday, September 10. 

Nordstrom, delvaux, vancouver, helen siwak

Nordstrom reveals renderings while Holt Renfrew plans expansion

In advance of the invite-only media presentation on Thursday, advance renderings of the ground-floor interior of the soon-to-launch Nordstrom Vancouver flagship in Pacific Centre have been released by Retail-Insider.

Nordstrom, Pacific Centre, Granville, Robson

Handbag department. Image: Nordstrom

According to Retail-Insider, the Nordstrom’s ground-floor women’s designer handbags department, will feature shop-in-stores for brands, including Céline, Saint Laurent Paris, Valentino, Delvaux and Balenciaga.

Nordstrom, Pacific Centre, Granville, Robson

Image credit: Helen Siwak

For those not familiar with ultra-luxury, Delvaux is a Belgian leathergoods brand costing into the thousands, currently available in the U.S. at Barneys New York.

Nordstrom, Pacific Centre, Granville, Robson

Image credit: Nordstrom

Christian Louboutin and Balenciaga are shown in the rendering of Nordstrom’s ground-floor women’s shoe department. The Balenciaga shoe shop will be a first for Canada, and Louboutin’s boutique will be a Canadian second, the first being the Louboutin boutique at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre Holt Renfrew in December of 2013.

Nordstrom, Pacific Centre, Granville, Robson

Handbag department. Image: Nordstrom

Literally blocks down Granville, Vancouver’s mainstay for luxury designers and labels, Holt Renfrew has announced that by the end of 2016, the current 150,000 square foot store will expand by 40,000 square feet to occupy about 190,000 square feet. Its women’s handbags department will expand to an immense 30,000 square feet, while women’s footwear will triple in size to about 10,000 square feet.

Although Holt Renfrew won’t officially reveal what new brands may come to its expanded store, sources from Retail-Insider say that Prada-owned Miu Miu could open a shop-in-store leather goods concession, and that its women’s footwear department could see several new shop-in-store branded boutiques like Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

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Nordstrom’s Vancouver to include DryBar shop-in-shop

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Drybar in Bryant Park. Image credit: Drybar

Nordstorm’s is continuing to surprise everyone with almost daily news announcements regarding the innovative and value-added services that will be part of their soon-to-launch Vancouver location in Pacific Centre downtown.

Five years ago, Alli Webb began a mobile blow dry business named Drybar and by the end of 2015 will have 57 locations. Drybar will enter Canada for the first time with its debut Drybar shops-in-shop in Nordstrom with five chairs.

“We need to intelligently identify new markets to break into while continue to strengthen our positioning in existing ones,” said John Heffner, chief executive officer of Drybar.“Nordstrom is known as the destination that offers a really rewarding shopping experience and Drybar is all about customer experience,” said Heffner. “So we see this partnership as really highly synergistic.”

Also, the company will enter 53 Sephora stores in Canada in addition to its 319 current stores in the U.S. Drybar sales in Sephora are up 105 percent year to date.

Meanwhile in Manhattan, Drybar’s newly launched app Dry-on-the-Fly business, which brings one of its trained stylists right to the client’s door for $75, is on track to hit its projected revenue goals. No information yet as to if this service will be rolled out in Vancouver also in the future.

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Modaselle: More than just luxury handbags

To mark such a special occasion as the opening of THECloset YVR boutique, I knew a very spectacular statement necklace was in order. My go-to for luxury finery is Modaselle on Seymour Street (at Nelson).

The Bulgari Cherchi Astrale is an 18K white gold pave diamond necklace with a circular pendant. Love at first sight and the perfect accessory for this little black Armani silk bubble dress.
Modaselle, bulgari, bvlgari, thecloset yvr, opening night, boutique, ecoluxury

In June I wrote of my love for the new Modaselle boutique on Seymour focusing on their amazing selection of pre-owned luxury designer handbags.

Modaselle, bulgari, bvlgari, thecloset yvr, opening night, boutique, ecoluxury

Unique handbags available at Modaselle. Image credit: Helen Siwak

Then the Dior launch party happened and I ventured back to Modaselle for literally the most exclusive Louis Vuitton bag in the city.  Custom ordered purple with a lime green interior.

helen siwak, dior, robson,

Image credit: Joshua Langston @the_social_life

No matter what affair you have on your agenda, Modaselle will have the accessories that you need to create a stir!

Visit them at 934 Seymour Street – Monday to Saturday.

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Italian ultraluxe label Stefano Ricci to open first Canadian location in Vancouver

Stefano Ricci, luxury, uber, helen siwak, vancouver, vancity, yvrThe pricey Italian luxury brand Stefano Ricci will open its first free-standing Canadian store in Spring 2016 in Vancouver next to downtown’s Trump Tower on the 1100 block of West Georgia Street, according to Retail-Insider. A late addition in the city’s burgeoning downtown ‘Luxury Zone.’

Stefano Ricci, italian luxury brand, Vancouver opening

Founded as a tie manufacturing firm in Florence – by designer Stefano Ricci – in 1972, the family-run company strives for quality to the point of perfection, with prices to match. Attention to detail is key and the brand only uses the finest leathers, skins and fabrics. It retails menswear (including suits, dress shirts, jeans, polo shirts, casual wear and neckties), accessories (including leather goods and cuff links), fragrances and home goods like porcelain and crystal dinner services, silverware and luxury linens. Prices can climb well into the thousands up to $50,000.

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The brand currently operates two North American locations, in New York City and Beverly Hills, and operates a luxury yacht division. The remainder of its stores are in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Stefano Ricci, yacht, luxury

Operated by franchisee Manuel Bernaschek, owner of Showcase Pianos, the 2,600 sq. ft. store will join other new luxury retailers in the area including Prada, Versace, Brunello Cucinelli, Moncler, Jaeger-LeCoultre and others. Stefano Ricci will be slightly removed from the rest of these luxury brands, though more similar retailers may now choose West Georgia Street after Ricci’s recent lease signing.

HRC Advisory President Farla Efros explained how Vancouver’s wealth (including many high net worth individuals) coupled with the city’s designer-driven Asian population and tourism, make Vancouver an ideal spot for Stefano Ricci’s third North American store. Vancouver is increasingly becoming known for its sophisticated luxury clientele, according to Efros.

Sources say that the Canadian franchisee could eventually look to open a second Canadian Stefano Ricci location in Toronto, though there are no immediate plans.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

Carlyle-Exterior-from-Burberry-984x500

Vancouver home to 3 of Canada’s top 10 luxury retail zones

Carlyle-Exterior-from-Burberry-984x500Vancouver is one of Canada’s top two luxury shopping capitals, according to a recent study by Toronto-based luxury lifestyle consultancy WINSTON Collective.

Vancouver houses two of Canada’s top 10 luxury retail nodes, with the downtown Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’ ranking second in the study. The study also noted that shopping centres are increasingly housing luxury brands, a particularly American phenomenon, sometimes at the expense of traditional upscale high streets. Vancouver is no exception, with two of the city’s three luxury nodes being in malls.

WINSTON Collective’s three Vancouver luxury nodes include the following:

  • Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’ (between the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Shangri-La Hotel) – 20 free-standing luxury branded boutiques,
  • Pacific Centre/Howe Street – 7 free-standing luxury boutiques, 9 luxury concessions
  • Oakridge Shopping Centre – 4 free-standing luxury boutiques, 1 luxury concession

The study noted that Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre spearheaded the luxury mall phenomenon in Canada, now boasting 15 free-standing and eight concessioned luxury brands. Vancouver’s Oakridge Shopping Centre will also see more luxury brands as it continues to overhaul and upscale.

Brian Winston, Founder and Principle of WINSTON Collective, discussed the topic of luxury retailing in Vancouver with Vancity Buzz.

Winston explained how Vancouver’s affluent fashion-forward Asian residents and tourists create business for luxury brands, and how our city is poised for even more luxury retail growth as the city grows and tourism numbers continue to increase.

Also, Winston noted that his firm is working with a number of top luxury brands to open Vancouver locations, as well as in top markets such as Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

WINSTON Collective’s 2015 Top 10 List of Canadian luxury retail nodes

  1. Bloor Street West/Yorkville, Toronto (23 free-standing luxury brands, 11 concessions)
  2. Vancouver ‘Luxury Zone’ (21 free-standing)
  3. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto (15 free-standing, 8 concessions)
  4. Downtown Montreal (4 free-standing, 13 concessions)
  5. Pacific Centre/Howe Street, Vancouver (6 free-standing, 9 concessions)
  6. The CORE, downtown Calgary (10 concessions)
  7. Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver (5 free-standing)
  8. Sherway Gardens, Toronto (5 free-standing)
  9. Chinook Centre, Calgary (3 free-standing)
  10. West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton (2 free-standing)

The entire study, including the full ranking and list of brands with addresses, can be found at Winston Collective Study.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

tesla, vancouver, yvr, helen siwak, hybrid, electric car

Tesla Motors to open massive Vancouver flagship store

tesla, vancouver, yvr, helen siwak, hybrid, electric carTesla Motors, the automobile company that designs and manufactures the world’s most advanced electric vehicles and electric powertrains, has secured a lease on a 18,500-square-foot location in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood.

The company will be the sole commercial tenant at the Radius residential development on West 4th Avenue and Fir Street, located near the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. It will be Tesla’s first retail and service centre in Western Canada.

“The innovative, progressive approach of Tesla Motors is a great fit for Vancouver, a market increasingly dedicated to sustainable practices,” said Dan Clark, the principle for Sitings Realty Limited, in a statement to retail real estate alliance X Team International. “The Radius building in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood is the ideal property for Tesla’s flagship store.”

The Tesla showroom on Robson Street near Hornby Street will remain open. The 1,500-square-foot showroom opened just over a year ago.

There are currently seven Tesla stores in Canada and five Tesla Service Centres, including the recently opened service centre on Powell Street.

tesla, vancouver, yvr, helen siwak, hybrid, electric car

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)