Upscale French Fashion Brand Anne Fontaine Entering Canada with 1st Store to Open in Toronto

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Upscale women’s fashion brand Anne Fontaine will open its first Canadian store location this year at 110 Bloor Street West in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area. Known particularly for its white shirts, Anne Fontaine is the latest international brand to expand into the Canadian market with a brick-and-mortar storefront. 

The 1,000 square foot store will carry Anne Fontaine’s assortment of women’s apparel as well as bags, footwear and accessories. Prices for Anne Fontaine’s fashions are in line with the demographic that shops in Bloor-Yorkville. The white shirts, which include some very artful and complicated designs, range in price from about USD $300 to over USD $1,000.  Evening wear options include a dress priced at USD $1,995, a tuxedo jacket priced at USD $850 and a crystal-encrusted handbag that costs USD $2,950. Shoes are priced from about USD $350 to over USD $600. 

Arlin Markowitz of CBRE and Carmen Siegel and Philip Traikos of Cushman & Wakefield negotiated the Anne Fontaine lease deal. ProWinko owns the 110 Bloor commercial podium. 

The 110 Bloor commercial podium, located below a condominium tower, will be modified substantially for new tenants. Anne Fontaine is the first new tenant announcement after much of the podium was cleared out of retailers on the Bloor Street side. Legacy retailers facing Bloor Street at 110 include a Brooks Brothers store and Winners/HomeSense. 

This spring we featured a retrospective on 110 Bloor that opened in 1980. Renderings we used at the time showing an artful gold facade have since been updated for individual facades for the street-front retail tenants that will move in. 

110 Bloor Street West. Rendering via Cushman & Wakefield/CBRE

Anne Fontaine will be a welcome addition to the ‘luxury run’ of Bloor Street West in Toronto which extends from Avenue Road in the West to the Holt Renfrew flagship store to the East. Other luxury brands with stores near Anne Fontaine include Gucci, St. John Knits, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, MCM and others. 

The opening of a physical Anne Fontaine store in Toronto signals confidence in brick-and-mortar retail in Canada and other high-end brands are also said to be looking at the Canadian market to open standalone stores. Several major brands have either already leased space on Bloor Street or are in negotiations, with more announcements to come.

It’s not yet known if Anne Fontaine will open any more stores in Canada. If it were, one might expect downtown Vancouver and possibly Montreal to be targets for Anne Fontaine storefronts. In Vancouver, the brand would be most likely to locate on or near the 1000 block of Alberni Street which has been deemed the city’s retail ‘luxury zone’ and in Montreal Anne Fontaine would most likely locate near Holt Renfrew Ogilvy on Ste-Catherine Street, with Anne Fontaine most likely looking at Rue de la Montagne.  

Anne Fontaine, born in Brazil in 1971, began designing different styles of white shirts for women in 1993 and in 1994 she opened her first store in Paris’ St. Germain area on the Left Bank. The brand has since expanded to include stores globally. The company now has over 50 stores with 19 of those being in the United States, 22 in Europe (10 of those are in France), two stores in Australia, two in China, two in Israel (both in Tel Aviv) and one in Saudi Arabia. 

In the United States, the 17 full-priced Anne Fontaine stores are located in a mix of street front and shopping centre locations. The brand tends to locate these stores in upscale locations to attract shoppers that can afford its price points. Anne Fontaine also operates two outlet stores in the United States. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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