1Spanish Women’s Fashion Retailer Punt Roma Opens 1st Canadian Store in Montreal
Spanish fashion brand Punt Roma recently opened its first Canadian store at the Rockland Centre in Montreal. It’s the latest international retailer to open a brick-and-mortar store in Canada, signalling confidence in the market despite the pandemic.
The Punt Roma store at Rockland Centre spans 1,376 square feet in a space between a Foot Locker store and Yves Rocher stores. Barcelona-based Punt Roma features women’s fashions in sizes 8 to 24 at a mid price-point, with dresses priced in the $90-$120 range and shirts in the $50-$60 range, for example.
Prior to the pandemic, the Montreal-based franchisee for Punt Roma said that he had planned to open five stores in Quebec and Ontario over a five-year period, and plans were halted once the reality of a changing world due to COVID-19 took hold. The franchisee is considering a downtown Montreal location amid a more gradual expansion. Rockland was chosen for the first store given the strong consumer base nearby.
Punt Roma has not yet entered the United States in terms of having stores. The brand has franchised locations in serval countries in Europe as well as the Middle East, Africa, Russia, the Philippines, as well as in Mexico and Panama. Punt Roma’s stores in Spain, Portugal, and Andorra are corporately owned.
2ba&sh Opens 3rd Canadian Store at Yorkdale
French women’s fashion brand ba&sh has opened its third standalone Canadian store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. It follows stores that opened last year in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood and in Montreal’s affluent Westmount shopping district.
The Yorkdale ba&sh location is temporary for now but a permanent store is anticipated. The ba&sh store at Yorkdale occupies a very coveted 785-square-foot spot formerly occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Italy, located between Canada’s only standalone Chloé storefront and a recently opened Louis Vuitton flagship.
The Yorkdale ba&sh opening follows the spring 2020 opening of a 1,300-square-foot store at the base of the Hazelton Hotel at 118 Yorkville Avenue in Toronto, and the fall opening of a ba&sh store at 4932 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount which spans an impressive 3,300 square feet including a 1,000 square foot second level. The store also features a cafe space.
The ba&sh brand was founded in Paris by two best friends, Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, in 2003. The name ‘ba&sh’ is an abbreviation of their first names. The brand, described as being a hybrid of “rock and roll and bohemia” focuses on feminine clothing that is also comfortable. Collections include ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, and footwear. The price-point is in the ‘contemporary’ range with dresses generally in the $400-$1,000 range, blouses costing in excess of $300, bags priced over $500, and shoes priced into the hundreds of dollars, depending on style.
3House of Vans Goes Virtual for the First Time Ever
Vans has announced the launch of the first-ever digital House of Vans, live on houseofvans.ca from March 22 – 25, 2021. The event brings together Vans’ brand pillars — skate, art, street culture, and music — for a celebration of creativity and individuality.
This year the concept has been adapted into an online experience featuring an interactive skatepark, community market, artist workshops, and a streamed musical performance.
“House of Vans is all about uplifting our creative community by providing them with a unique experience that champions self-expression. Since we can’t celebrate together in person this year, we’ve created an engaging digital platform to unite Vans fans – a place to learn, feel inspired and have fun,” says Alex Auchu, Marketing Director at Vans Canada.
To bring the event online, Vans teamed up with Ryan Thomas Monahan to handcraft a miniature, seven-story House of Vans. Over two months, Monahan built the miniature with specific attention to upcycling. In the skatepark, for example, the small ramps are made from recycled skateboards and the sides of the ramps are reclaimed broken decks. The structure was then photographed and digitized, allowing users to swipe and scroll through to explore different floors, each hosting a different program.
Available on desktop and mobile, admission-free and video tutorials will be viewable with French and English captioning.
Visit houseofvans.ca to get involved.
4Black Suede Studio Teams Up with Caroline Stanbury on First Shoe Collaboration
Canadian brand Black Suede Studio has collaborated with TV personality and fashion icon, Caroline Stanbury, to launch a capsule collection of shearling sandals, lug sole ankle boots, and evening sandals.
The collaboration was released last month as Black Suede Studio kicked-off its Fall/Winter 2021 virtual showroom preview with luxury and premium retailers, with a retail launch scheduled this summer.
The capsule collection encompasses six shoe styles aligned with Black Suede Studio’s aesthetic and Caroline’s personal taste and lifestyle. Retail prices will average at $295USD (shoes) and $495USD (boots).
“Black Suede Studio’s shoes are modern, sophisticated, sexy and cool with a modern edge and I have no doubt that my new generation of followers will also embrace the capsule collection we designed together,” said Caroline.
While Caroline has years of experience as an entrepreneur and top stylist with some of the most sought-after designers & brands, this collaboration is her first official co-branded collection. Naturally, she felt footwear was the perfect first step into building her lifestyle brand portfolio as “most women are obsessed with shoes as I am,” she says. “I also wanted to collaborate with an accessible luxury women’s footwear brand for which reflects my personal style; mixing contemporary with luxury ready-to-wear looks, from day into evening, and that I can wear in the comfort of my home as well as on a night out”.
Available among some of the best luxury and premium retailers in North America, and with a strong customer following, Black Suede Studio is also looking forward to collaborating with an international celebrity that particularly resonates well in the U.K., Europe, and Asia.
5Paris Jewellers Supports Indigenous Women with Limited-Edition Necklace
Edmonton-based Paris Jewellers, a Canadian-Vietnamese, women-owned-and-operated company, is releasing a limited-edition Arrowhead necklace, co-designed by Shayla Stonechild, to amplify the stories of Indigenous women.
The necklace is available for pre-order and features a double chain, three diamonds, and an arrowhead pendant made in sterling silver plated with 10k yellow gold. The necklace will retail for $149 plus applicable taxes. Anyone pre-ordering will receive a free gift, the Paris Jewellers Sparkle & Shine Stick valued at $15.
The arrowhead pendant holds significance to Shayla as her grandfather, Ray Oulette found an arrowhead in the backyard of her childhood home. The arrowhead signifies ties to her lineage, a form of protection and moving onward. Three delicate diamonds on the arrowhead symbolize our past, present and future. The lower four beads on the double chain represent the 4 directions, the 4 seasons, the 4 cycles within life and the 4 aspects to our wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual; which are the foundations within the medicine wheel. The Medicine Wheel, which has been incorporated into the Matriarch Movement logo, represents the interconnectivity of everyone and everything.
For each necklace sold, 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to the Matriarch Movement. Their mission is to rewrite the mainstream narrative around Indigenous women. This donation will be used to provide accessible wellness workshops and resources focused on Indigenous peoples’ healing.
6Cadillac Live Hosts Virtual Canadian International Auto Show
While the Canadian International Auto Show has traditionally been the way for Torontonians to see the latest in automotive, new car buyers during the pandemic are now looking for other ways shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Cadillac Live is offering potential buyers the Cadillac Live auto show experience from the comfort of their own home.
Cadillac Live allows consumers to take a one-on-one video tour of any Cadillac vehicle and have questions answered by a live agent. Since launching in March 2019 at a 10,000-square-foot Toronto film studio, Cadillac Live has shown a consumer need for the customized at-home shopping experience. Shoppers can make one-way video calls with a live agent at cadillac.live using any mobile or desktop device. The showroom features models like the all new 2021 Escalade, as well as next generation CT4 and CT5 sedans.
After the Cadillac Live experience, one is connected with a local dealer who will drop-off a Cadillac vehicle at one’s home for a 48-hour test drive. A Cadillac Live agent will re-connect afterwards on the experience and participants also receive a gift.
As the acceleration of digital progresses during COVID-19, we can expect to see more virtual experiences. The brick-and-mortar model is still likely to continue to be important given the high-involvement nature of a vehicle purchase.
702.Market Helps to Streamline Online Shopping Amid Rise in E-Commerce
With the rise in online shopping since the start of the pandemic, many consumers are looking for a resource to streamline their online shopping efforts. 02.Market helps shoppers simplify their purchasing decisions by creating a platform that offers price comparisons to help people save money on any purchase.
With more than 1 billion products to choose from, 02.Market allows consumers to compare prices among popular online retail sites like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, and many more.
“We believe 02.Market is the future of online price comparison sites,” says Eli Ofel, founder, 02.Market. “We have taken much of the guesswork out of what can be a tedious process. During a time when people are getting laid off, hours are getting cut, but essentials still need to be purchased, sites like ours help consumers alleviate the stress of shopping and help them shop without breaking the bank.”
Although the site is new to the online price comparison space, it has some of the familiarity of the well-known retail sites. Users have the ability to create wish lists and recent searches so they can easily access previous items. Users can also see what others in their community are searching in hopes to spark some shopping inspiration.
As the site that offers the most products for review, 02.Market is the only site that includes eBay and Amazon on the same platform. The site’s technology and design are unmatched by any competitor.
The site offers both a free account, that allows users to make up to 200 searches, as well as a paid account for $7 per month that allows users to have an unlimited amount of searches in addition to power features that free account holders can not access, like carousel scrolling.
To learn more about 02.Market visit the site online here.