Bonpoint, a luxury European brand focusing on children’s wear and skincare, recently opened its first Canadian flagship store at 151 Bloor St West in Toronto. Maria Salazar Levin, the CEO of Bonpoint in the US, discusses the expansion in the Canadian market and what is coming next.
“Our Canadian flagship is not just a store; it is the embodiment of our philosophy – bringing the exquisite Parisian luxury of children’s fashion and clean beauty right to the hearts of Canada. This is just the beginning of a beautiful journey for Bonpoint in the North American luxury Market,” says Levin.
The brand was held off from entering the Canadian market earlier because of the pandemic, but Canada has been its goal for a long time as “there was a big appetite for luxury brands.” Levin says it was also important for the brand to open beside other luxury brands, so Bonpoint is across the street from Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Gucci, Panda, and others: “We are in the company of all luxury brands. We thought it was obviously the right place for us to start our Canadian flagship. We have since taken and bought our franchise in Vancouver, so we now have two stores in Canada, which are both new to the company. Vancouver is about five months old and Toronto is two months.”
Stepping into the flagship boutique in Toronto, consumers can find a Rain Cloud glass sculpture by Elsa Blin, paper mache rabbits and rhinoceros by Ela Dray-Farges, and around the store there are light-up sculptures by Zoe Rumeau. The boutique has been created to be modern and has a charming atmosphere with a mix of antiques, vintage pieces, and custom furniture all imported from France.”
The brand started in 1975 with a focus on luxury children’s wear between the newborn stages until the age of 14, and also covers skincare and fragrance collections. Bonpoint has more than 120 stores in over 25 countries and releases new collections for every season. The new flagship store is on Bloor Street West in Toronto and is 1833 square feet and is the second store to open in Canada with its Vancouver location which opened a few months ago.
Levin says the brand is looking at opening a third location, but could not indicate a location yet. The goal is to open around five locations in Canada within the next five years.
Starting in January, Bonpoint will also expand into Holt Renfrew starting with four locations: Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, and Square One in Mississauga Ontario.
Along with future expansion plans, Levin says the brand continues to evolve to meet consumer needs. Including a mini mi collection and a new stroller.
“We continue to have a lot of innovation in the brand. Next year, we are introducing a stroller, which will be our first Bonpoint signature stroller as well as hopefully a few other exciting collaborations in the future.”
Unlike the locations in the US – Bonpoint in Canada does not sell womens’ clothing yet, but are looking at adding it in the future. Levin also says the brand will also be looking at bringing its baby shower program over to the Canadian stores by next year.
Bonpoint offers natural skin and fragrance products for the whole family including face cream, moisturizers, hair care, baby cream, baby bath products, and more.
“I was already into clean beauty and skincare before arriving at Bonpoint. Upon arriving here, I came to find out that we have a green beauty brand, Beauty, that is all vegan and 100 percent dermatologically safe, because in France they have really strict regulations so our products are safe and tested. Our products are amazing and feel amazing on your skin.”
Levin says as more parents are using clean products now starting with their newborns, they have included products such as shampoo, laundry detergent, and have products under bath rituals for children and teenagers.
“It is really for the whole family. Even from the scents everything is made from flowers, orange blossoms, cherry blossoms, cotton flowers, and more. So it is something we have really expanded into and it seems to be really growing and more and more people are starting with their kids. It is definitely a trending category for us which we do extremely well in our Canadian stores.”
Levin says the concept of focusing exclusively on luxury brands and beauty products appears to be unique in Canada.
“There are really no brands we compare with, because we are a luxury brand that really starts from the baby stage all through their youth. When you look at other luxury brands that carry children’s clothing – it is almost an afterthought. Where with us, it starts with the baby. We think of the baby from when it’s born at the hospital to in their teens. You can say our pricing is competitive with other luxury brands – but, we are just different.”