Tag Archives: Bayview Village

Minimalist style, straight from Montreal

Montreal-based leather design house m0851 has carved out a bigger and better presence in Toronto’s retail scene.

The company, known for its high-end men’s and women’s leather outerwear, bags and accessories, has recently opened two new Toronto boutiques: one on Avenue Road in Yorkville, and one in Bayview Village.

The Yorkville store, which opened just before Christmas, replaces a boutique that the company previously operated just a few blocks away, on St. Thomas Street just south of Bloor.

With a minimalist and casual style, m0851 pieces are generally versatile and functional – practical, but fashionable. The design team behind the collection aims for quality and durability in the materials and construction of the items.

The entire collection is produced in Montreal – a refreshing detail in a world where most of the items we buy seem to be manufactured in countries with questionable labour practices.

Similar to the company’s collections, its boutiques are modern, clean and simplistic.

It has four stores in the Montreal area, along with one in Vancouver and a new one in Calgary. Outside of Canada it operates stores in New York, Paris, Belgium and Taiwan.

The chain is certainly growing, and as it does, more Toronto locations could emerge. Keep an eye out for a potential new street-front store on either Queen Street West, King Street West, or in the Yonge-Eglinton area in the year ahead.


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Filed under Boutiques, Fashion, Store Closures

A sudden departure for Andy Thê-Anh

Andy Thê-Anh's former Bayview Village boutique, emptied out with no explanation.

Andy Thê-Anh has closed the doors of his Toronto boutiques. Just a few short months after unveiling two brand new shops in the city – one in Yorkville and one in Bayview Village – the Montreal-based designer appears to have abruptly packed up and left.

The women’s clothing stores opened in late March. They carried the distinguished designer’s high-end collections, which are geared towards a “sophisticated, modern and professional woman,” according to the company’s website.

Notes posted on the windows of both boutiques indicate that as of Tuesday, the company will no longer operate boutiques in Toronto, but that the collection will continue to be available in Montreal. No reason is given for the sudden store closures, and there’s no mention of the closures on the company’s website.

It seems unusual that such a high-profile designer would give up on a major market like Toronto so quickly. Even if sales were weaker than expected – possibly due to continued weakness in the economy that is likely hampering luxury purchases – I would have expected the shops to stick around for at least a year before moving on.

It’s particularly unusual since the company boasts on its website about ambitious growth plans, including plans to expand into the U.S. and Europe. Before tackling these major markets, it would seem logical for Andy Thê-Anh to first establish a stronger retail presence here in Canada.

Having admired this talented Canadian designer’s collections for years, I’m a bit sad to see him leave the Toronto retail scene. I hope his boutiques have greater success elsewhere.

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Filed under Boutiques, Fashion, Store Closures

Fashion for a cause

This Saturday, fashion and philanthropy will come together at one of Toronto’s most prestigious malls, Bayview Village. Heart of Fashion, an annual event that raises funds for the BMO Financial Group Breast Diagnostic Centre at North York General Hospital, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The event will feature food, live performances by musicians Jully Black, Paisley Jura and The Alma Quartet, and most importantly, models, runways and everything fashion. In fact, supermodel Yasmin Warsame – who has walked for the likes of Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana  and Dior – has been named honorary fashion show chair for the evening.

Workers put the finishing touches on the mall's new entrances.

Guests will leave with swag bags full of designer items, cosmetic and skincare products, gift cards and more.

Tickets are $75, or $250 for access to the VIP Privé Cocktail Reception, which will feature champagne and exclusive gift bags.

All proceeds of this year’s event will go towards the purchase of a new ultrasound machine at Breast Diagnotic Centre.

The event will coincide with the completion of renovations at Bayview Village, which have been underway since early in the summer.

Comfy seating areas for tired shoppers.

The mall’s new look isn’t drastically different from the way I remember it looking pre-renovation, and will probably  go unnoticed by many casual shoppers. But some new details are worth noticing.

There are revamped signs and entrances, renovated washrooms, and new furniture, including comfy seating areas scattered throughout the mall – a touch that is sure to be appreciated by the boyfriends, husbands and fathers of every shopaholic out there.

The detail that stood out most for me as I explored the revamped mall were the lighting fixtures. Forget industrial-looking fluorescent lighting that you may have seen in other malls; the lighting fixtures at Bayview Village are themselves works of art.

Oversized lamps in one of the mall's new seating areas.

In the centre of the mall hang huge chandeliers embellished with strands of thousands of Swarovski Crystals. Around the corner, in stark contrast with this ornate detail, are artistic oversized lamps stationed within a large casual seating area.

Bayview Village seems to be trying to establish itself as a destination – not only for shopping, but for spending time. From the hefty crowds that I saw enjoying the mall’s new ambience on a weekday afternoon, it appears to have succeeded. The changes may not be big and bold, but the details are pretty impressive.

Swarovski Crystal-embellished chandeliers at the centre of the mall.

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