Topshop and Topman open at The Hudson’s Bay Company at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto on Oct 5, 2011 at 11am. Are you excited? It’s almost here…..
One of the first Topshop’s opened at Yonge and Queen Street on Thursday, June 30, 2011 to much pomp and circumstance. It was a big deal when Topshop came to our humble Toronto town that’s fo sho. ;)
The Bay also announced as part of this new relationship with Topshop as of this September; shoppers from across Canada will be able to purchase Topshop and Topman merchandise through thebay.com/topshop and thebay.com/topman websites. This agreement is an international first, and will allow fashion lovers from across the country to be a part of the Topshop and Topman experience.
Since it launched in 1964, Topshop has become a major style authority and one of fashion’s biggest success stories. Topshop began as Peter Robinson’s Top Shop, a young fashion brand in the basement of the former department chain, Peter Robinson Ltd. The first standalone Topshop store was opened in 1974.
In 1994, the Topshop flagship store was born, as the brand took over a 90,000 sq ft space at London Oxford Circus. It remains there today, and is considered the world’s largest fashion store on the high street, attracting over 200,000 shoppers each week. In April 2009, the first American Topshop store opened its doors in New York.
In 2005, Topshop showed its own in-house designed collection, Unique, as part of the official London Fashion Week schedule. The only high-street brand to show on schedule, Unique’s witty approach to style has made it a first choice for those who like to stay ahead. 2012 will see the tenth anniversary of Topshop’s sponsorship of New Generation, which has nurtured an impressive roster of British talent over many seasons of London Fashion Week.
My connection with Topshop is a sentimental one.
On my first trip to London with one of my gf’s at 19 we hit stores like Topshop, Primark, Miss Selfridge and C&A. We were just some urban Toronto girls and never exposed to such fancy street wear but man we were instant converts. These stores were the epitome of fashion. The clothing and accessories were super trendy, cool, daring and on sale decent towards the Canadian dollar. We were in love. We came home with our suitcases packed to the brim. Yes, we even had to sit on each other’s cases on our last day in London. We were over in our baggage allowance flying back on Canada 3000 – but we didn’t care.
Every time since I have been back to both London and Manchester I hit Topshop. It’s expensive and now having a mortgage and full time job I can’t go as crazy as I used to as a kid. But I have still picked up staple pieces like a fitted army jacket, cute miniskirts, warm woollen tights, a silver leather handbag, a yellow and chocolate brown leather clutch, cheap and cheerful necklaces, rings and earrings and even better many a flat shoe and heels. I have stuff from Topshop I bought 8 years ago that I still wear! They are investment pieces.
This past week I checked out the Topshop at Yonge and Queen. It’s no Topshop London ladies. The pieces are lovely sure. There is nothing English and traditional about the pieces. They look like simple items you could find anywhere really. They are also way too boring for the Canadian market. To top it off the prices are obscene. The accessories…meh.
The Bay is really bringing their A game to try and sell the Topshop brand to a whole new younger retail market. I get it. But I am not going to spend $100 for a cardigan. Nor will I pay $70 for a plastique/imitation leather satchel. Why would I? When I can do my research as a 38 year old and go to Winners? Joe Fresh? Or a vintage show and get something more unique with a brand name with some weight behind it.
These Topshop clothes are meant for Forest Hill kids. They aren’t meant for urban Toronto kids. Hey I know Toronto kids have money – but why would they want to put money in a brand that’s at The Bay? Their mom’s, dad’s and grandparent’s stores? They need to be wooed in our already cluttered disposable trendy retail clothing market.
Now Topshop has been doing their wooing on Twitter and Facebook – I give them that. But come on, you’re gonna get them in the door once. There’s no guarantee they are going to come back once they see those prices no matter how many free gift cards and scarves you give away. http://ow.ly/i/ilVC
Do you honestly think kids in Halifax or Winnipeg are going to be able to afford this stuff full price? Nope. These kids when they visit Toronto as well as Toronto’s urban kids have brand relationship connections with Old Navy, The Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister all located closest to Dundas Square and in the thoroughfare at the Eaton Centre. Going into The Bay to look at Topshop is miles away. It was miles away for me and I work downtown.
Toronto teens may check this stuff out – sure. But they will still continue to take their wads of cash and credit cards to the disposable fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21, Madewell, Urban Outfitters and Ruche. They aren’t looking for long term relationships with their clothes at the Topshop’s current price point. Personally, even as an adult I will wait for this stuff to go on a 75% sale rack. Even then I’m not going to heat up the doors outside of The Bay to get in and snag these offerings.
Now in terms of colour blocking – yes I love it! The cobalt blues, eggplant purples, orange jewel tones and patent leather are dynamic. I love the pops of colour intermixed with the black hues.
The quality of the dresses and cardigans are oh so Topshop. Perfection! But again I can probably find similar items at a vintage shop in the city for a fraction of the price. That said I will haunt a few dresses and see if I can get them on sale. The holidays are coming up….I may need a new frock or two.
The shoes. Don’t get me started. They are Payless meets Shoe Company. Horrific. They are nothing special – bypass them quickly and do not dwell on them. Hopefully, they will get better as the collection progresses at The Bay.
The bags are cheap pleather. For a $70-80 price tag – I wish they were better quality and a lil more eccentric a la Oxford Circus Topshop.
I’m hopeful that the buyers at The Bay get their act together and see what sells and doesn’t sell this season. I’m sure the pricing for this stuff to send from the UK after duty etc. is nuts – but think brand loyalty please. Remember the Toronto consumer likes quality, bang for our buck, staple pieces and most importantly affordability. If The Bay wants to secure a whole new demographic of buyers they have a limited time to woo us. I give you one more season.
In regards to the Yorkdale store – let’s hope learning from the J.Crew controversy they keep their prices reasonable. But then again, the calibre of shopper that shops at Yorkdale maybe able to sustain them.
Lastly, I hear on twitter that there will be a special live performance at the Yorkdale Topshop opening. The Kills are the rumour. I’ll keep you posted!
Check out details at Facebook.com/TopshopCanada and Facebook.com/TopmanCanada as well as on Twitter @Topshop_Canada#TopShopCA and @TopmanCA#TopManCA. Watch the sites for news on the hottest trends out of the UK as well as details on Canadian events and exclusive contests.
Yours in fashion,
p.s. October 7, 2012: Check out my latest review on Topshop titled, Topshop Invades The Bay (Toronto): Bay & Queen Street Review, http://thirtyfourflavours.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/topshop-invades-the-bay-toronto-bay-queen-street-review/
If your b-day is coming up – make sure you sign up for a b-day discount through Anthro’s frequent buyer purchase card. It’s free! The card tracks your purchases but the good news is if you lose your receipts all the deets are on the card for easy returns/exchanges.
Plus they know when your b-day is, so when your b-day rolls around like mine did in August, you will get this sweet lil card in the post inviting you for 15% off your purchases at Anthro for your full b-day month for both sale and non-sale items.
Check it out ladies!
What? The Clothing Show
Location? Queen Elizabeth Building, Toronto’s Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto, Ontario.
Dates and Times?
Friday September 23: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday September 24: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday September 25: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Adults, $8 online, $10 at the door.
Students 13 – 17 yrs., $7 at the door.
Seniors, $5 at the door.
Children under 12, free with an adult.
It always seems when I go to the Clothing Show here in Toronto, be it in the Spring or Fall, it’s always pissing down and I mean pissing down. But I never let that detour me from getting dressed, getting my umbrella out and trekking down to the Queen Elizabeth Building on the first day of the show. I like being there promptly for 5 p.m. when the doors open. I’ll be honest, I look forward to the spring and fall shows every year – it’s one of my favourite rituals.
I have got so many friends and family onto the show – sometimes I think perhaps I need to be their ambassador. For the past 3 shows, Prisca and I have been going together. We make a good team. We know what we like and can quickly edit each other’s purchases. We bargain together and also laugh at ourselves. It’s always a great time!
I have been coming to the Clothing show since I was a teen when it was called The Old Clothing Show and Sale and was held in The Automotive building at the CNE. Now in its 34th year the show is now known as The Clothing Show.
Back in the day I remember the vintage section would be busting at the seams and the new, young and hip designers would be steadily dealing with customers and modelling their wares. I’ve found in past years the show has gotten considerably smaller and a lot slower on the Friday afternoon. The vintage section is segmented to a quarter of the room. The young designers are still there but not as varied in products as it used to be. Recessionary times? Perhaps. But I do miss the flea market/stall like atmosphere from years past.
There is even as fashion show which showcases the local designer stock and a beautifully set up back drop which adds a nice polish to the pieces. It runs over the weekend as well as adds for a nice break to your browsing schedule. Plus you can see some designers frocks on that perhaps didn’t read as well when they hung on the hangers.
Back in the day, we would get these amazing swag bags full of free samples, razors, magazines and the like. These days you will still get the free The Clothing Show shopper bag but its empty and the only way you can get a free magazine is by giving a food donation. Which hey, why not? You have to spread the wealth here right? That said I gave in my cans of Heinz soup and picked up a bilingual KILL magazine which is packed with articles on Alexander McQueen, the latest make up and accessories for the fall and some lovely haute fashion shots.
The prices of the sales items have also considerably gone up, it’s funny. But the admission hasn’t. I love hitting ‘I miss you vintage’ as my first stop when I get to the show. They have the best vintage bags, boots, shoes, scarves, belts and accessories. I have bought many a bag from them in the past and picked up a pair of vintage Cole Haan boots for $25 2 years back. The amount of times I have been asked about those boots when I’m out and about and have told people what I have paid for them – they make people instant believers in the show.
I noticed this weekend that ‘I Miss You Vintages’ prices have all gone up quite considerably. I’m not sure why. In the spring I picked up a vintage Coach Bucket bag for $10! Yes $10! On Friday, I scrambled through the bags filed by colour like books on a shelf and narrowed my purchase down to one vintage Coach Bag in blue for $39! $39 in one shot at their booth indeed was well worth it but really it’s not what I am used to paying for a vintage bag with ‘I Miss You Vintage’ – it was pricey. I made sure I loved it before I handed the cash over to the lovely Brandon. (By the way, Brandon is always so sweet and patient with us. Plus he always rocks this super sweet lady bag that makes him look super-hot. ). It’s too bad they don’t leave any room for bargaining. ;( They could have got some more cash out of me if they brought the pricing down a lil. Maybe next year guys? (I Miss You Vintage, 63 Ossington Avenue, Phone: 416-916-7021).
The thing I love about The Clothing Show is that the staff, sellers and patrons are always so friendly. Seriously! I have never met anyone that was a curmudgeon. Even as I walked around with Prisca and asked ladies if I could take their photo they happily obliged and the sellers were super excited to have their pieces showcased. It’s a very familial and chilled space to browse, try items on, haggle and chat to other shoppers up to see what they bought and what they scored.
Another fav seller to hit is Foxy Originals. Again we have been hitting them as our next stop at every show. They have great offers on jewellery. Buy three items for $5 and get the third for free. It’s a sure win for quick trendy items for you for work and play. I love buying lil pieces to give to friends for Christmas and birthdays. This time we didn’t spend an hour and a half there like we usually do. I only bought 3 pieces (plus one free) and packed it in. Honestly, it gets addictive and tiring searching through the bins but at the same time it’s so much fun to see what goodie you can find every show. If you look at Foxy’s website and compare what you bought from them at the show – you can see instantly the deals you have got. A savings of $25 – $30 is sometimes always guaranteed. (www.foxyoriginals.com)
So on a scale of 1 to 10, this show was a high 8 for me. We always end up staying for 4 hours and leaving exhausted. This time was no exception. Our feet were tired; we were hungry and just wanted to get home. That darn Bathurst streetcar was waiting for us as we walked past BMO field like our chariot. Luckily the rain had stopped too.
Stay tuned for pix of the items I bought at The Clothing Show in the next blog post.
Yours in fashion,
By Dana Flavelle | Fri Sep 23 2011
Toronto will be the first Canadian city to get a Target store when the hotly anticipated purveyor of cheap chic merchandise starts opening its first non-U.S. stores in March 2013, the company says.
Just where it might be located remains to be seen. Perhaps in one of the six Zellers locations in Toronto the retailer announced last May? Or in the Stockyards, a new development under construction at the corner of St. Clair Ave. W. and Weston Rd.
The retailer isn’t saying.
However, Target did shed more light on its plans for Canada on Friday.
Dubbed Tar-zhay by its legion of fans, the U.S.-based retailer said it plans to open up to 135 stores in 2013, including 134 in Zellers locations across the country and one in a vacant Walmart in Niagara Falls.
Target also said the stores, which carry mainly general merchandise, would sell food under an agreement it has signed with Sobeys Inc., the country’s second largest supermarket chain.
For now, the deal with Sobeys includes frozen, dairy and dry goods, but the retailer isn’t ruling out a wider assortment in future. In the U.S., Target has begun adding fresh produce and meat, making it more of a full-service grocer.
In a separate but related announcement, Walmart Canada Corp. released a list of the 39 Zellers stores it plans to convert to Walmart’s by the end of next year.
They include three Zellers stores in Toronto, one each in Gerrard Square, Sheridan Mall and Cedarbrae Mall.
Target’s entry into Canada is expected to be a game-changing event for the Canadian retail industry.
With its powerful marketing muscle and reputation for cheap-chic, reinforced by high-profile designer events, such as the Missoni collection that crashed its website last week, Target is expected to take a big bite out of the Canadian retail landscape.
The retailer, a major competitor to Wal-Mart south of the border, announced in January it would make a bold move into Canada, its first foray outside the U.S., by buying the leasehold rights to up to 220 Zellers locations for $1.825 billion.
But after reviewing the sites, it has chosen to take up the leasehold rights on just 134 Zellers’ stores. It announced the locations of the first 105 in May.
On Friday, it said it had taken up another 84 leaseholds, but only 29 would be converted to Targets. The additional 84 Zellers’ sites include 36 in Ontario. It declined to say which of those locations would become Targets.
The retailer, whose arrival is expected to dramatically change the Canadian retail landscape, said this completes its real estate transaction with Zellers.
However, it plans to build some stores from scratch, including one at St. Clair Ave. W. and Weston Rd. and is also taking over a vacant Walmart store in Niagara Falls.
Target plans to spend $10-$11 million converting each Zellers’ location. It’s already begun hiring in Canada.
In a separate release, Zellers said it will prepare its associates for the tens of thousands of jobs that will be created by Target and other retailers through a comprehensive career transition program which includes working closely with prospective employers.
Target will provide Zellers with a minimum six months notice of any planned store closure, with most stores receiving nine months notice. For the balance of 2011 and into 2012 Zellers customers will continue to be able to enjoy shopping at all of its locations across the country.
The remaining 84 Zellers stores that are not part of the Target transaction will continue to operate while the company reviews its options for these locations.
List of Target’s second and final selection of 84 additional Zellers leases
Includes potential Target stores and leases sold to other retailers or back to landlords
Calgary, AB – Deer Valley Shopping Centre
Edmonton, AB – Abbottsfield Shoppers Mall, Meadowlark Shopping Centre, Northgate Centre, South Park Centre, West Edmonton Mall
Westmount Shopping Centre
Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat Mall
British Columbia (11)
Burnaby, BC – Brentwood Mall
Dawson Creek, BC – Dawson Mall
Kamloops, BC – Sahali Centre Mall
Kelowna, BC – Orchard Park Plaza
Penticton, BC – Penticton Power Centre
Prince Rupert, BC – Rupert Square
Richmond, BC – Landsdowne Centre
Salmon Arm, BC – Piccadilly Place Mall
Surrey, BC – Surrey Place/Central City
Vancouver, BC – Lynn Valley Centre
Victoria, BC – Hillside Shopping Centre
New Brunswick (3)
Fredericton, NB – Uptown Centre
Moncton, NB – Northwest Centre
Saint John, NB – Lancaster Mall
Newfoundland and Labrador (1)
St. John’s, NL – Zellers Plaza
Nova Scotia (6)
Amherst, NS – Amherst Centre
Dartmouth, NS – Colby Village Plaza
Greenwood, NS – Zellers Plaza
Halifax, NS – Bayers Lake Power Centre
North Sydney, NS – North Sydney Mall
Sydney, NS – Sydney Shopping Centre
Ancaster, ON – Meadowland Power Centre
Bowmanville, ON – Clarington Town Centre
Brantford, ON- Brantford Centre
Chatham, ON – Thames-Lea Plaza
Georgetown, ON – Georgetown Market
Gloucester, ON – Gloucester Centre
Hamilton, ON – County Fair Plaza
Hawkesbury, ON – Hawkesbury Gateway Shopping Centre
Kitchener, ON- Laurentian Power Centre,- Stanley Park Mall
Listowel, ON – Listowel Carriage Shopping Centre
London, ON – Northland Mall
Mississauga, ON – Sheridan Mall, Westdale Mall
Newmarket, ON – 404 Town Centre
North York, ON – Lawrence Square, Sheridan Mall North York
Oakville, ON – Hopedale Mall
Oshawa, ON – Kingsway Village, Oshawa Centre
Ottawa, ON- Heritage Place
Peterborough, ON – Parkway Centre
Pickering, ON – Pickering Town Centre
Scarborough, ON – Warden & Eglinton, Cedarbrae Mall
293 Bay St., Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Station Mall
285 Geneva St., St. Catharines, ON – Fairview Mall
640 Queenston Road, Stoney Creek, ON – Queenston Place
1020 Dawson Road, Thunder Bay, ON – County Fair Plaza
1101 West Arthur St., Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Mall
170 Broadway, Tillsonburg, ON – Tillsonburg Town Centre
1000 Gerrart St., Toronto, ON – Gerrard Square
2290 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON – Southside/Pond Mills Shopping Centre
70 Bridgeport Road, Waterloo, ON – Zellers Centre
800 Niagara St. N., Welland, ON – Seaway Mall
1550 Huron Church Road, Windsor, ON – Ambassador Plaza
600 boul. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Beloeil, QC – Montenach Mall
7200 boul. Taschereau (Local 21), Brossard, QC – Place Portabello
1324 boul. Talbot, Chicoutimi, QC – Place De Saguenay
920 boul. Maloney, Gatineau, QC – Les Galeries Gatineau
1055 boul. Firestone, Joliette, QC – Les Galeries Joliette
161 Route 230 Ouest, Bureau 400, La Pocatière, QC – Les Galeries De La Pocatière
2877 chemin Chambly, Longueuil, QC – Place Desormeaux
1700 rue Sherbrooke, Magog, QC – Les Galeries Orford
3121 rue Granby, Montreal, QC – Centre Commercial Domaine
7275 rue Sherbrooke Est., Montreal, QC – Place Versailles Shopping Centre
6700 chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal, QC – Plaza Côte Des Neiges
101 boul. Cardinal-Léger, # 74, Pincourt, QC – Le Faubourg De l’Île’
12655 rue Sherbrooke Est., Point-aux-Trembles, QC – Carrefour De La Pointe
940 13e Ave. Nord, Sherbrooke, QC – Galeries Quatres Saisons
450 boul. Poliquin, Sorel, QC – Les Promenades De Sorel
450 boul. Arthur Sauvé, St. Eustache, QC – Carrefour St-Eustache
134 Primrose Drive, Saskatoon, SK – The Mall at Lawson Heights
2325 Preston Ave., Saskatoon, SK – Market Mall
255-277 Broadway St. E., Yorkton, SK – Parkland Mall
Location of former Walmart site acquired by Target
7190 Morrison St., Niagara Falls, ON
Do you have your winter coat sorted for the Canadian winter yet? The shops are already putting out their stock because of the swift change in weather these past few days. Its time to start thinking ladies…
Try your best to stay away from Canada Goose and TNA this year. Ughhhh…honestly its getting kinda boring now seeing every girl in Toronto with the same jacket. It’s time to live a lil.
I like www.asos.com for jacket ideas. There’s a lot of variety to choose from. Classics, sporty, everyday, special occasions or a night out. The prices are decent. Print out what looks neat and hit stores like The Bay, H&M and even Sears to see if you can get an affordable match.
Yours in fashion,
Why is it when I have not purchased a bag in more than a year I find one that I love and its sold out everywhere? Yep – this Zara Fall Plaited Leather Bucket Bag Black $159 CAD is my obsession and I can’t find her anywhere. Can you?
This would be a perfect bag for work and a transitional bag for a night out after work. The price is perfect too! I was in Zara just today looking for a bag for my best friend for her bday. I was disappointed. In Canada Zara bags are supremely overpriced after the exchange. The good ones go fast and really the other ones I did see weren’t anything spectacular. If they had this bag Fritz would be getting it on Saturday. Typical.
I have bought Zara bags and clothes both in Madrid and L.A. for a fraction of what they go for in Toronto. Our dollar is so strong right now…this doesn’t seem fair. This feels like a JCrew pricing type issue again.
If any of you lovelies see this bag on ebay (currently selling close to $300 USD) or around town at your local Zara..grab it! It’s a staple and quality piece which will last you a long time.
Yours in fashion,
The holidays are coming up and for those faithful followers to my blog, I would like to post out a sweet gift as a thank you in December!
If your a fan of my blog and already subscribed…Thank you! Expect a gift in the post! Just e-mail me your mailing address by making a comment on any of my posts. Better yet e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those yet to subscribe – please do! I’d love to have you on board!
Yours in fashion,
I’m going to see PJ on Monday in Toronto at the ACC. 20 years of their music….I’ll be honest, I fell off their radar after Vitalogy. I remember them so fondly when I saw them open for RHCP at the Concert Hall when I was 18 with Jakub. ’Alive’ had such great songs.
When I heard they were doing a 20th anniversary tour that also supported a docu directed by Cameron Crowe (Say Anything and Singles fame)which ironically is being showcased also at TIFF this weekend – I felt excited.
Mudhoney is opening for them and apparently Chris Cornell is also touring with them to support Temple of the Dog sets. I’m sure its going to be very emotional for both fans and the band. ‘Hunger Strike?’. Sigh…man its lovely.
I’ve been having a really hard time with music of late. As much as it is such a big part of my life it also is really hard for me to listen to right now. This summer in particular has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to deal with in awhile. Of course music just has to be sewn into that fabric when I need it so much in terms of providing me with self care. I can’t even go near it even in my own flat. My stereo has been silent for a long time with tons of CD’s looking onto it so forlornly.
Bottom line…I’m working on it. I’m trying my best to lean into those sharp edges and find the love again with music. First step…this weekend I do some work on my ipod.
This maybe my last show for awhile. I gave up my Portishead tickets as part of a divorce. Yep – not going there. Most painful thing I’ve had to go through in awhile and I’m not talking about the tickets. It wasn’t a good end to a tough summer.
I’m going with an old friend to PJ. Oddly enough from the time I was in love with PJ during university. It’ll be nice to hang with Sasha…we haven’t seen each other in maybe 12 years. Hmmmm….kinda like me and PJ. Here’s to new beginnings.
I promise to take pix and post after Monday. I’m digging out my plaid, mini skirt, combat boots tonight.
Yours in fashion,
I will never ever have a space for a Chateau Lamp like this from Anthropologie – but man it would make an amazing piece of art and conversation piece.
This illuminated wirework rendering of an offbeat yet stately manor is detailed with curlicue turrets and squiggly eaves and finished with a floor of book leaves.
- 75 watt max
- 36″ cord
- 20″H, 21″W, 9.5″D
- Price $800 USD