Unique Custom Leather Brand ‘By The Namesake’ Opens 1st Permanent Flagship Store in Toronto [Photos/Interview]

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Internationally renowned custom leather brand, By The Namesake, has launched its first-ever retail location in Toronto offering an array of small customizable leather goods alongside a fully custom leather studio.

The store has opened at 95 Florence Street in the Parkdale neighbourhood. The location is about 3,000 square feet and includes retail space, a production facility, office, and showroom all under one roof.

Rosa Halpern

“As a champion of leather goods, our brand’s expansion into small leather accessories, home goods and ready-to-wear pieces, alongside our first official brick-and-mortar location is a natural progression,” said Rosa Halpern, founder and creative director of By The Namesake. “Our smaller customizable leather goods are the perfect add-on to anyone’s household, and a great gifting option for the holiday season.

“The past two years have shown us we really value and need to be accessible for consumers in our hometown, to have the full custom experience and understand what we’re about. We’re proud to open our doors in Toronto to not only allow people to shop daily but also to experience our leather jackets in the most luxurious setting.” 

Recently, the retailer received great exposure as one of its custom black zipped leather jackets was part of a Halloween costume worn by media personality and socialite Kourtney Kardashian.

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By The Namesake (Image: Jeremie Dupont)

“Florence Street is very close to a main artery but not right on a main street. So it’s a bit tucked away. We wanted something that was accessible and very centrally located but not on a main street because we want it to be more of a destination,” said Halpern.

The company was founded in 2015 and from day one it’s been a direct to consumer brand. 

“Our entire brand is built around redefining the leather jacket through customization. So we really involve our customer in the design process. Our customer is invited into the studio to pick their leather, their hardware, their lining, any embellishment and we do full custom fit. So really in terms of our leather jackets we’re selling an experience more than a product,” said Halpern.

By The Namesake (Image: Jeremie Dupont)

“The brand initially started out of my studio, my working studio, and as the brand grew it remained really, really important to us to actually keep our studio where everything’s made and the environment where we invited in one in the same because our customers love the fact that when they came to this experience they actually saw jackets in process and kind of the veil of the fashion industry was lifted a little and they could actually see where the leather was cut and sewn and handled and all of that.

“Those were our original roots and then as we’ve grown we’ve expanded to ready-to-wear items as well as other custom leather goods. And our new retail space that we just opened really focuses on those ready-to-wear and custom small leather goods. So we’re actually doing personalization on the spot of any of our custom goods which includes wallets, candles, cardholders, coasters, luggage tags. We’re staying true to the mission of allowing customers to come and see not only the beautiful finished product but the actual space where everything is made.”

The By The Namesake store is also offering its signature scented candle, which has been out of stock since selling out in 2019. It is now in three different scents. There’s customizable leather coasters and marble catchalls, passport wallets, and leather pouches. Larger items include a customizable all-leather punching bag and mixed-material pillows, to round out the home goods offering.

By The Namesake (Image: Jeremie Dupont)
By The Namesake – Custom Leather Atelier (Image: Jeremie Dupont)

Additionally, for the first time, By The Namesake will also offer off-the-rack leather jackets and ready-to-wear silk sets available for purchase in its custom storefront. The brand’s custom leather studio, designed in collaboration with international interior designer Ali Budd, and built by Against the Grain Remodeling, is a welcoming taste to the vast array of possibilities in customizing leather jackets – the mainstay of the brand, said the company.

When asked about possible other stores in the future, Halpern replied: “This is definitely going to be our flagship location just because it’s where everything’s made. However, we have our sights set on other cities. We have seen a lot of success as a pop-up model and have in some cities like New York City which we’ve now been to eight times as a pop-up. So that will probably be our next goal to open something more permanent there.”

All photography credits are: Jeremie Dupont, courtesy of By The Namesake

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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