Vancouver-Based Luxury Clothing and Consignment Retailer FAULKNER Expands Concept with Ceramics as it Eyes Store Expansion [Interview]

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Vancouver’s online luxury clothing and consignment store FAULKNER is venturing into new territory with a collaboration with a local young artist doing ceramics in a “very cool, modern type of way,” says James Faulkner, the retail owner.

“We’re going to be debuting a collection of ceramic vessels at the end of the month in partnership with Wynnie Tosetti, Brazilian-Canadian artist and owner of Báhoo Studio, but we’re predominantly clothing,” he added.

“I moved to Vancouver in the late part of 2016 from London, England. I came here with no hopes, no expectations. Just came for the change. Just a traveler. I got to the country and spent a few months here and I was working in the Gastown District and on my lunch break I would go to the vintage shops around Chinatown and Gastown and they were really awesome shops.

“They inspired me but at the same time as well I found them very quite North American with the denim and the plaid and I thought I could do something different. More what I grew up in England. Do something in a very different way. More heavily curated type of way. And more specific. Really individual items that all stand alone.”

Image: FAULKNER Photography & Styling: Jay Kim Valentine Model: Deion Ramos

The company began in May 2017 with a small storefront in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and has since evolved into an office in the historic Gastown district, carrying sustainably sourced clothing and accessories.

The move was made about 18 months ago.

“Coming out of COVID, my lease was almost up in the space I started it and for me Gastown obviously is a nice, cool district in Vancouver and I kind of wanted to make that transition,” explained Faulkner. “I found a really nice studio space and we moved into there.

“It’s about 500 square feet. Not particularly big. We sell really rare, one-off, vintage designer and luxury pieces and archival. We sell a lot of Japanese designers and we sell on the European side. Very contemporary designers and some of the more classic ones.

“We’re trying to go on the more rarer side of the scale for those pieces and the pieces are normally quite individual and quite unique. Some of them can be catwalk for example.”

Faulkner used to find his clothing in places like the Salvation Army and Value Village.

“My first girlfriend in Vancouver, she took me to one of these places and I think that’s when my brain really started to think about this. Wow you can find this stuff if you dig deep enough. I would just be very intense with that but it obviously grew more into consignment and buying trips to Japan and we use auction sites from Japan,” said Faulkner.

“It all just snowballed really but it predominantly started from the thrift.”

Today, FAULKNER is based on consignment as well as buyouts.

Image: FAULKNER

“It attracts people who already have those types of clothing. So we’re able to get our hands on the clothes that way,” he said. 

Faulkner is hoping to eventually grow to more locations. Since the pandemic, he’s explored a different avenue for the concept. 

“I’m going for a more wholistic style approach in terms of slowing everything down, taking our time and just trying to do something we really want to do and build a community within that by really supporting people. People have really supported us.

“I’m more excited about doing something I enjoy and we’re curating something that is different and I’m doing it my own way and that’s all I can ask for.’

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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