After celebrating its 25th anniversary recently, upscale New York City-based women’s fashion brand Lafayette 148 officially opened the doors to its first flagship store in Canada, located at 130 Bloor Street West in Toronto.
Lafayette 148 was founded in 1996 in SoHo, New York City by Deirdre Quinn, Shun Yen Siu, and Ida Siu. It was designed to bring uniqueness to women’s clothing and as stated on its website, it was “built on our founder’s belief that women deserve beautiful clothing created for women’s needs.”
With luxurious materials and beautiful clothing designs, Lafayette 148 has opened its first Canadian store on Bloor Street West which is known for its design and high-end fashion. Prices for some of Lafayette 148’s designs are less than the luxury brands lining the street, though prices are still high. A women’s blazer from Lafayette 148 is priced at more than $2,000 while a pant is $1,250, and a simple sleeveless blouse was priced at over $800. Shoes are priced from $600 for simple summer styles to well over $1,000, and handbags are priced from about $1,000 to over $3,000.
The new Toronto store features about 2,000 square feet of retail space and, according to a press release, includes oil rubbed patina bronze wall flanking mirrors to highlight the store, drawings inspired from the Lafayette 148 flagship store in New York, French Oak hardwood flooring, bespoke seating areas, and an ice onyx jewelry display case.
The flagship now offers the brand’s full collection of ready to wear women’s clothing, footwear, handbags, jewelry, and accessories. One of its collections is the Lafayette 148 Made in Italy collection which focuses on bags and footwear.
The store also provides customers with services including private styling in store and virtual by appointment, complimentary tailoring, and made to order clothing.
In Toronto, Lafayette 148 replaced a retail location for retailer Intermix which occupied the space at 130 Bloor Street West for about a decade before shutting in late 2020.
DWSV Ultimate Realty negotiated the lease on behalf of Lafayette 148. Kingsett Capital owns the commercial component of 130 Bloor Street West which also features retail tenants Gucci and St. John Knits on the Bloor Street side of the building, as well as Cumberland Street-facing tenants including luxury retailer Nicolas, Aveda, a lululemon store that will relocate in 2024 to Bloor Street, and Canada’s first location for eyewear retailer Moscot.
Bloor Street West, once known as the ‘Mink Mile’, is seeing a resurgence in leasing according to brokers. New retailers will be announced as deals are negotiated. This year new retailers coming to the luxury stretch of Bloor near Lafayette 148 include Alexander Wang, Anne Fontaine, and Paris Baguette. Further East near Holt Renfrew will see the openings of retailers including yoga brand Alo, a Swarovski jewellery store, lululemon and, pending litigation, a massive Apple flagship store is expected to open at 1 Bloor Street West.
Various luxury brands line the street near Lafayette 148, including the likes of Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Hermes, Dior, Cartier, Moncler, Burberry, Gucci, Prada and others. It remains to be seen how Lafayette 148 will perform on the street given its focus on apparel, with neighbouring retailer St. John Knits said to be quiet most times.
After requests, Lafayette 148 did not provide anyone for an interview for this article to discuss its entry into Canada. Retail Insider therefore does not have any further information on any future stores for the brand in this country, nor information on the future of wholesale accounts at Nordstrom and Saks.