Well-known Canadian vegan handbag entrepreneur Mélissa Lambert has opened her flagship store in Montreal in the trendy Le Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood after buying the building.
Lambert Design, with about 2,500 square feet of retail space, is located on the busy rue Saint-Denis near Laurier. It sells handbags, backpacks and accessories.
“At the beginning during COVID we were looking for new offices because the team was growing really fast and we needed more space. I started looking at what kind of office we could rent,” said Lambert. “I found this amazing building.
“It was really beautiful and I had this idea of opening a new flagship for Lambert. So on the first floor you have this really nice boutique of Lambert. The only one. And on the second floor you have all the head office. So I started all the process for buying this building and we started renovating and we just opened it at the beginning of September.
“The idea is really to offer a personalized experience. When you enter, you can take your time to see all the different models and all the different colours. We offer you a coffee, or a water, you can also have initial monograms on your bag which is something unique as a flagship. It’s a really customized experience. It’s something different that we don’t offer online or if you buy a bag at Simons for example. It’s really unique to the flagship.”
Lambert created her brand about four years ago and reinvented the handbag fashion industry in the process. She was driven by the fact that it’s possible to combine comfort with elegance for both men and women.
Her mission is to simplify the everyday by offering the most fashionable and smart vegan backpacks on the market which are unique, multifunctional, chic and comfortable, and meeting the needs of everyone.
“In the beginning when I launched Lambert four years ago, I launched it online but after a few months there were so many people that were asking to see (the handbags). They wanted to see the texture. They wanted to see the quality. All the compartments. They wanted to touch and feel the products,” said Lambert.
“I decided to open a pop up shop. It was a store in Old Port and it was so successful that I decided to keep this store. It was really small. At the beginning it was just this idea of a pop up shop. Temporary. But it became permanent. I was renting and it was not big enough. So I decided to move from this place to really the massive flagship in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal. It’s going to become the destination for Lambert.
“The most important different thing that we offer is really behind all the design thinking when we design a bag we think about what are the needs of our customer. The really important thing is that all the bags are multi-functional so there are different ways to use them with all the compartments. It’s the practical aspect of your bag that is important and part of our brand.”
Lambert said the retailer has a multi-channel model right now with the new boutique store, its ecommerce business and its presence in other retail outlets. The company has about 200 different points of sale.
“I don’t want to compete with them. But I think it makes sense for our brand to have its own flagship where you can find all the products in all the colours so you can have a different experience. You will have it all.
“It’s only been four years for us but it’s really been an intense adventure.”