The 4,200 square foot store houses Emporio Armani’s collection of men’s and women’s lines, including Emporio Armani ready-to-wear, accessories, and small leather goods as well as Emporio Armani watches, jewellery and sunglasses.
The Emporio Armani storefront, which replaces an Ann Taylor store in Yorkdale’s 2012 expansion wing, was designed by Giorgio Armani himself along with a team of architects. The store’s design is described as blending “craftsmanship and modernity” with materials used throughout that include hardwoods and fine textured wall coverings that match with the neutral ceramic grey flooring.
Ceilings in the store are clad with wood, and wooden panels continue onto the walls and alternate with wallpaper-covered sections that provide a backdrop for the display of the products within the space. The choice of natural materials in light colours, from grey to almond, were intended to give the space a light and fresh air according to Armani.
After Ann Taylor exited its Canadian stores in 2020, Montreal-based Quartz Co. leased the Yorkdale space for a pop-up that operated for several months. Construction of the Emporio Armani store started in late 2021 and it opened to the public several weeks ago.
Neighbouring luxury retailers in the mall’s wing include Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Celine, and Hugo Boss. Across the hall is a large Holt Renfrew store which houses large mall-facing concession boutiques for brands including Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, Dior and Brunello Cucinelli.
Technically this isn’t the first time that Emporio Armani has had stores in Canada. Between 1990 and 1995 the brand had a 6,000 square foot storefront at 80 Bloor Street West in Toronto where Banana Republic most recently operated. In 1998 Holt Renfrew opened a licensed Emporio Armani store at the Holt Renfrew Centre at 50 Bloor Street West that operated until the early 2000s.
In Canada, Emporio Armani is also carried as a stockist at several upscale retailers. Menswear is carried at several Harry Rosen stores in Canada and women’s fashions are available at Holt Renfrew as well as at The Room at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and Vancouver. It remains to be seen what effect the standalone Toronto store will have on wholesale distribution for Emporio Armani in Canada. It’s also not yet known if the brand will open more Canadian stores.
Armani also operates standalone A/X Armani Exchange stores in the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal markets. At one time the A/X sub-brand had numerous other stores in Canada that have since closed.
Holt Renfrew carries Giorgio Armani’s top ‘Black Label’ line for women in its stores in Vancouver, Toronto, Mississauga and in Montreal where at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy the brand has a beautiful boutique space. Giorgio Armani’s top men’s line is also carried in a handful of Harry Rosen stores in Canada. The brand is said to be planning to have more of a presence in Canada with details to follow.
Designer Giorgio Armani, who is 88 years old, founded his retail brand in 1975 in Italy. Armani has become a lifestyle brand with hundreds of stores globally as well as music, sport and luxury hotels. He’s said to be the world’s wealthiest openly gay man with a net worth of $9.53 billion USD in 2021 according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.