Canadian Brand SENTALER Relaunches Toronto Flagship Store with Plans for Expansion [Interview]

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Luxury outerwear brand SENTALER has relaunched its flagship store in Yorkville Village in Toronto. 

The SENTALER Atelier was initially opened as a five-day pop-up to launch the first-ever SENTALER MEN collection in 2021. The private, exclusive, and bespoke space catered to one-on-one appointments during the pandemic.

Founder Bojana Sentaler said the plan was to stay five days but after an overwhelmingly successful launch, and more appointments than it could fill in that timeframe, the lease was extended to the spring of 2022.

In 2022, the SENTALER Atelier, now operating as the home for the full men’s women’s, and accessories collections, became a permanent space and a continued revenue driver.

In 2023, SENTALER continued its corporate expansion and moved into a new office space and warehouse in Yorkville, to bring the company’s full operation under one roof – retail, office, warehouse.

SENTALER at Yorkville Village (Image: by George Pimentel)

“Looking back at the roots of SENTALER, the brand’s initial direct-to-consumer success was due to the incredible customer service offered in the all black and white space, where the coats shine as the pop of colour,” said Sentaler. While the SENTALER Atelier space was a profitable one, it became apparent to Bojana that the store was not the solidified and successful brand motif she originally created. 

“The reception for the store has been incredible. I think clients really are going to go wherever SENTALER is in Toronto. A lot of our clients are just very happy now with the location. A lot of our clients are actually in this area where our current store is. A lot of them are walking distance to our existing store,” said Sentaler.

“I think clients really like that it’s inside Yorkville Village. It’s a little bit more private. A little bit more exclusive and it just allows them to come in and I would say it’s like they’re shopping in their own closet. It feels very special and very exclusive.”

Designed to mimic the original SENTALER showroom, designed by Bojana Sentaler, the SENTALER Flagship is an all white space with black accents where the coats and accessories remain centre stage. The windows are designed with archways inspired by European architecture seen on Bojana’s travels. There are custom made mannequins and accessory busts.

It also has a 10-foot Suri Alpaca fabric wall that is a to scale render of the famous SENTALER Signature ribbed sleeves. The Flagship allows for clients to experience the SENTALER collection in an intimate setting, as if they are shopping in their own closet. 

“Since the re-launch, we see clients traveling from all over Ontario to shop at the new SENTALER Flagship store and many tourists visiting Toronto coming to the store as a destination,” said Sentaler.

When asked if she is thinking of opening more stores, she replied: “Yes, this is definitely on the horizon for the company. The Yorkville location has been so extremely successful for us. We can definitely see the clients love the physical interaction with the product. We also sell our products globally through the online website. We ship all over the world. And we also have major retail partnerships with luxury department stores in Canada and the U.S. where clients are also able to experience the product.

“But I think there’s something really special about clients shopping in a brick and mortar SENTALER store because we really give them the SENTALER experience from beginning to end.

“In times like we are today, consumers are careful about their purchases in the sense of they’re looking for products that have longevity and they’re looking for investment pieces. So if they’re spending their hard-earned dollars on an item they’re really looking for a longer life span on that item. We have found that they’re more drawn to classic and timeless styles in luxury fabrics that they know they can wear with many different outfits for many seasons to come. This is the epitome of SENTALER.

“The consumer nowadays is very sophisticated. We have noticed a hybrid shopping approach where they’re doing a lot of their research online. While a lot of customers do shop online, I think there’s something really special about them walking into a store and really touching and seeing the product and trying it. This is something that can’t be replicated online. We’ve noticed the excitement.”

Born in Belgrade, Sentaler moved to Toronto at the age of eight. While sketching fashion designs from a young age was her passion, Bojana decided to obtain a university degree in Marketing and Finance.

After graduating from the prestigious Schulich School of Business, her fast-paced career led her to travel the globe, ultimately resulting in an influential encounter with late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.

Bojana Sentaler at Yorkville Village (Image: by George Pimentel)

Inspired by his wisdom and the diverse vibrancy and beauty of her journeys, Bojana went back to exploring her true passion for fashion and design. While living in Peru, Bojana discovered the beautiful alpaca fibre and fell in love with its lightweight and warm features.

In 2009 she launched the luxury outerwear brand, SENTALER.

Bojana was recently named the ‘Queen of Coats’ by Forbes Magazine

Many well-known celebrities such as Megan Markle, Kate Middleton and Halle Berry have been seen wearing the brand.

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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