John Varvatos to open more Canadian stores?

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Upscale New York City-based menswear designer John Varvatos could open more Canadian stores. Varvatos’ first Canadian location opened last year and according to sources, the brand seeks to further expand its Canadian presence. A free-standing Vancouver store may be in the works, and the brand will also be carried at Nordstrom and possibly in Saks Fifth Avenue‘s Canadian stores. 

John Varvatos’ first Canadian store opened last November in the newest wing of Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Yorkdale management specifically courted Varvatos for the mall, visiting New York City to sell the idea of a Toronto location. The 3,600 square foot Varvatos sits prominently in some of the mall’s most valuable retail space, in-between AllSaints and the mall’s Apple Store, across the hall from the busy Tesla Motors showroom. 

Interestingly, John Varvatos’ Toronto store opened before any others in prominent American cities such as Chicago and Washington, DC. Varvatos recently told Women’s Wear Daily that a Chicago store is in the works, however, as is a new Beverly Hills unit. 

Inside Yorkdale’s John Varvatos store.

The Varvatos brand launched in 2000 with a store in New York’s Soho. The brand has since expanded into footwear, leathergoods, eyewear, watches and fragrances. Varvatos currently has 15 boutiques worldwide, including 13 American stores and two other locations in London and Toronto. Varvatos will soon open in Bangkok, Thailand and Houston, Texas.

Prices for Varvatos’ collections vary. In its Toronto store, prices range from $75 for a t-shirt to just under $2,500 for a suit to close to $3,000 for a leather jacket. 

Detroit-born John Varvatos began his fashion career when he joined Polo Ralph Lauren in 1983. He moved on to Calvin Klein in 1990, where he was appointed head of menswear design and oversaw the cK brand. During his time at Calvin Klein, Varvatos is credited for having invented the ‘boxer brief’ style of men’s underwear, simply by cutting the legs off of a pair of long john underwear. Varvatos returned to Ralph Lauren in 1995 as head of menswear design and created the Polo Jeans Company, before starting his own label in 2000. 

A recent article in Women’s Wear Daily mentions what several sources have told us: that John Varvatos could open a Vancouver store. Speculation persists that Varvatos could open at Vancouver’s Pacific Centre, though we can’t confirm this. A source at Nordstrom says that, as far as they’re aware, the Varvatos brand will be carried at the company’s Canadian stores. Another source says that Canada’s Saks Fifth Avenue stores may carry Varvatos, though this isn’t certain. John Varvatos is currently carried at upscale Canadian retailers including Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen

CANADIAN RETAIL NEWS: Thursday, July 10, 2014 (Updated Continuously)

 


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