TORONTO — It’s been nearly 25 years since Hermès ventured into Canada and now the luxury brand is getting set to unveil an expansive new flagship on Bloor Street West here.
The store will open on Nov. 29 and will significantly expand Hermès’ footprint in the city, where the company opened its first-ever Canadian store in 1992.
“I’ve always felt that Toronto was a first-class city and deserved a first-class Hermès store. But this company never expands without its steps being very well-calculated,” said Hermès Canada president and chief executive officer Jennifer Carter, who spoke a few days before the two-story, 6,000-square-foot flagship opened to the public.
Indeed, the store, designed by Parisian architecture agency RDAI, features a light-colored stone facade that is “totally different from anything else done before for Hermès,” Carter said.
Though well hidden for months by scaffolding, the new location will feature a brickwork exterior that projects the warm and cool colors that epitomize Toronto’s seasons.
The interior — which will have “a much deeper offering in all our other métiers,” according to Carter — also uses many warm, natural materials as a backdrop for Hermès’ first-floor display of jewelry, fragrances, men’s and scarves.
Toronto’s flagship also boasts a spiraling, leather-railed oval staircase that wraps upward like a ribbon fixed in place — an ambitious architectural feature that “just makes you feel like you want to go up those stairs,” Carter said.
Once Torontonians do climb upward, they’ll finally be introduced to Hermès’ lighting and furniture, including mainstays like its Cabriolet armchairs. The brand’s wallpaper and textiles will also make their first appearance here amid Hermès’ current lineup of tableware, plaids and objets d’art. Women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and leather bags will also be on this upper level.
Toronto-centric items will be unveiled, including a hockey bag that customers can customize and hand-crafted hockey sticks for lefties and righties.
Other debuts include two bicycle models for men and women designed for city and sport use; miniature winged saddles with stainless steel stirrups; Hermès’ Jigé pochettte offered in crocodile and leather, and new adaptations of the Kelly and Bolide bags.
“What we’ve created in Toronto is a bigger canvas to show the breadth of Hermès’ collections and offer clients more service,” Carter said.
No more such Canadian rollouts are planned. “Our 10-year strategy isn’t to have more stores, but to open them where they fit,” she said.