MONTREAL — After 18 months of construction and $50 million—the most ambitious project in the company’s 170-year-old history—Holt Renfrew has officially opened its new Vancouver flagship.
At 137,121 square feet over three floors, the new store, designed by Janson Goldstein of New York, is twice the size of the older, 65,000-square-foot store and is the second-largest store in the nine-unit chain, behind its Bloor Street flagship in Toronto.
It also boasts a men’s wear department that grew from 15,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
“What’s really beautiful,” said Lanita Layton, vice-president of men’s, footwear and designer children’s wear, “is there’s a giant atrium that gives natural light all the way down to the men’s wear department on the concourse level, so you don’t feel like you’re in the basement.”
One of the objectives of the expansion was to increase existing collections and add new ones, including hard shops from Diesel Denim Gallery, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Giorgio Armani.
Another hard shop is the 700-square-foot Polo Ralph Lauren shop, “the exclusive Polo pony shirts for Canada,” said Layton. “We also have exclusive pieces or limited pieces that are either exclusive to North America or to the Vancouver store. For example, we eight specific suits from Isaia.”
More emphasis will be put on tailored clothing with the addition of Loro Piana, Bamford and Brioni for spring 2008.
The accessories department has also expanded with major case lines, handmade belt buckles from Mexico and fine jewelry from John Hardy.
Like Holt’s flagships in Toronto and Montreal, the new Vancouver store includes a World Design Lab that showcases the best the new designers have to offer.
New selections in men’s shoes include Gucci, John Varvatos, Lanvin, Barker Black and Paul Smith. A new tie can be monogrammed in a customer’s choice of typeface and thread color, while made-to-measure suits can be ordered in an assortment of styles and fabrics. In addition, first-time customers can enjoy a complimentary facial or free skincare or shaving consultation.
Other amenities include a 6,000-square-foot full-service spa and salon, a 16,000-square-foot cosmetics department, concierge services, personal shopping suites, valet parking, and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the downtown core with a view of the Pacific Ocean and coastal mountain range in the background.
Men’s accounts for about 20 percent of Holt’s estimated $400 million in annual revenue. In Vancouver, men’s wear sales were up 45 percent between Feb. 1 and May 30, versus a year ago, Layton said. That compares with a 20 percent increase in men’s wear sales chainwide.
“Vancouver was struggling for space, and the excitement of having a new store and what we have to offer in terms of fashion was embraced by the population, which propelled our sales,” she said. “Contemporary denim is extremely strong. We have over 900 pairs of denim, which are featured as you come down the escalator. Our sartorial area featuring Dolce & Gabbana and Canali, etc., is also very strong.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast