Tag Archives: Jewellery

Bold Toronto-Based Jewellery Line ‘Musesa’ Expands Retail Distribution


Monica Frangulea, the designer behind the Toronto-based fine jewellery line Musesa, strives to make a statement with the jewellery she creates.

Read the full profile of Frangulea and her plans to expand retail distribution for her jewellery line on Retail Insider.


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Paul Hewitt anchors itself in Canada

European accessories brand Paul Hewitt has secured a bigger presence in the Canadian retail marketplace through a new partnership with Hudson’s Bay Co.

Paul Hewitt, which specializes in nautical-themed watches and bracelets for both men and women, will now offer its products through the TheBay.com.

PH - Phreps Bracelett

Paul Hewitt Phreps Bracelet, US$59.90.

The accessories brand first arrived in Canada approximately a year ago, with distribution through a variety of small watch and jewellery retailers. The new partnership with one of Canada’s most prominent retailers is set to boost the brand’s visibility and sales considerably in the Canadian market.

PH Signature Line Watch

Paul Hewitt Sailor Line Watch, US$199.00.


Paul Hewitt was founded in Northern Germany in 2009, and the brand aims to reflect that region’s maritime flair through its styles. The company strives to produce timeless pieces that are handmade with high quality materials.

PH North Bound Bracelet

Paul Hewitt North Bound Bracelet, US$69.90.

The accessories boast simple, minimalist designs, with a variety of colour and material options that allow shoppers to customize items to their individual tastes – a feature that has made the brand popular among millennial consumers.

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Links of London lands in Toronto

Trendy jewellery chain Links of London is opening its first Canadian standalone boutique this week in the Toronto Eaton Centre.


The British jeweler, which is owned by global fashion powerhouse Folli Follie Group, has more than 100 retail locations around the world. In the Canadian market, it operates a handful of kiosks inside Holt Renfrew stores, as well as one that recently opened in Montreal’s downtown luxury department store Ogilvy.

Although Links of London started out specializing in cufflinks in 1990, it now offers jewellery of all kinds – including watches – and is perhaps best known for its collection of so-called ‘Sweetie’ charm bracelets.

Sweetie Bracelet

Sweetie Charm Bracelet, $295.

Links of London has also become affiliated with Britain’s world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, offering a collection of playful and sporty jewellery dedicated to the annual event.

The new store, located next to Michael Kors on the third floor of the Toronto Eaton Centre, opens on June 16th.

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A second standalone Canadian Links of London store is set to open soon at Sherway Gardens. Although the jeweller has already been operating a kiosk in Sherway’s Holt Renfrew location, that store is preparing to shut its doors to make way for a new, larger Holt Renfrew location at Square One Shopping Centre.

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Vintage revisited

Fast fashion, step aside: a new Toronto boutique is proving that some fashions have a shelf life much longer than the items constantly rotating through the shelves at H&M and Zara.

Lookbook Collective, a cute new vintage and used clothing store at Bloor and Bathurst, offers a carefully curated selection of clothing, shoes and accessories. Catering to both women and men, the shop features fashions from decades’ past which reflect trends that have reappeared on runways as of late.

A handful of pleated skirts featured at the store last week, for instance, showcase a trend dating as far back as the 1930s that’s recently come back in a big way.

Bargain-hunters will find an impressive roster of designer labels in the store at very affordable prices. And accessory-lovers will hit the jackpot with the boutique’s collection of bags, belts, hats and jewellery.

In an era when it’s become common to buy an item and wear it just a handful of times before tossing it out, Lookbook Collective offers a welcome reminder that some apparel is built to last. Although some trends are short-lived, most make their way back into the fashion cycle sooner or later. Vintage shops like this one make it easy – and affordable – to celebrate those trends and re-integrate them into your wardrobe as they reappear on runways time and again.

At the official launch of the boutique last week, vintage fans and bargain hunters alike crowded into the small shop to browse the offerings while sipping on cocktails and snacking on oysters. Based on its warm welcome into the neighbourhood, it appears as though Toronto shoppers are eager to revisit the vintage looks that Lookbook has to offer.


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A milestone for Made You Look

A pair of independent jewellery stores on Queen Street West is coming of age. Sister boutiques Made You Look celebrated their 10th anniversary on Thursday, suggesting that their unique business model is working – and based on the crowds that came out for the occasion – it’s working well.

Made You Look is not your typical retailer. Not only do the boutiques sell jewellery; they feature in-store workshops where jewellery is handmade by some of the designers themselves.

Some of the high-end jewellery featured at Made You Look at 1338 Queen St. W.

The two shops are positioned directly across the street from one another on Queen Street near Dufferin. One specializes in elegant, sophisticated jewellery, including wedding and engagement rings; while the other carries pieces that are more fun, funky and fashionable.

Together, the two shops carry items from more than 100 local independent jewellery designers; some of which rent space in the stores and use it to manufacture the shiny items that are sold both at Made You Look and at other retailers.

The business model lets shoppers see firsthand where the merchandise is made, and who’s making it.

The concept is particularly popular among customers who are seeking custom-made items for a wedding, anniversary or other special occasion. The accessibility of the designers means customers can easily sit down with them to develop the customized piece they want.

Merchandise at the boutique at 1273 Queen St. W.

Despite an annoying Queen Street streetcar divergence on the night of the anniversary party, the soiree was very well attended. Guests sipped cocktails and nibbled on appetizers, and were encouraged to browse the offerings at both locations.

There’s clearly plenty of talent in Toronto’s accessory design marketplace, and it appears this destination for this merchandise is here to stay.

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Retail Realm on the Road: Greece

Apologies for the hiatus of posts, but recent travels abroad have left me with limited access to Internet.

I’m quickly catching up on the latest retail news here in Toronto, but in the meantime, I’ve compiled some fun facts about the shopping scene in my latest travel destination: Greece.

Top three items to buy in Greece:

One of Athens' many shoe stores.

1. SHOES. Boutiques selling shoes, sandals and flip-flops are everywhere in this country, and each shop seems to be overflowing with as many pairs as is physically possible for it to carry. It’s a great opportunity to pick up styles you won’t find here in Canada, and the prices are generally very reasonable.

2. Jewellery. Wherever you are in Greece, you won’t have to travel far to find a jewellery boutique. Many boast hand-made pieces featuring distinct Ancient Greek designs, such as the meander, the spiral, and the ‘mati’ evil eye design, which is believed to protect you from evil spirits.

3. Soaps and lotions. The abundance of olive oil in the Mediterranean region had led to a wide array of oil-based soaps and skincare products that moisturize and gently cleanse your skin, without the artificial colours and additives found in too many products on the market today.

Other tips:

Ermou Street, Athens.

> If you’re looking for familiar shops such as H&M, Mango, Sephora and Esprit, swing by Ermou Street in Athens. Sure, you can visit these shops anytime here in Canada, but sometimes their selection merchandise varies between countries, so you may be able to find something unique.

> When shopping for souvenirs, bargain! Not all shopkeepers are flexible on price, but many are, so it’s worth trying to negotiate a lower price. If you’re friendly and you chat with them for a few minutes, you’ll be surprised how often they’ll offer you a “special price.”

Wherever your travels bring you this summer, happy shopping! Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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Bizou brings its bling to Queen Street

Accessory chain Bizou will soon be bringing its trendy and affordable jewellery, footwear and other fashions to Toronto.

The chain plans to open a 1,250-square-foot boutique on Queen St. West, just west of Peter Street, in September.

Flower Flip Flops, $14.90.

The new Toronto store will be Bizou’s third location in Ontario, with one in Brampton and one opening in Cambridge this summer. The Quebec-based chain has more than 120 locations altogether, spread across six provinces.

Bizou specializes in fashion jewellery of all kinds: everything from chunky wooden bracelets, dangly feather earrings and chic sterling silver necklaces, to sparkly rings, bold watches and belly button rings.

Leopard Square Scarf, $17.90.

And that’s not all. The stores’ selection of other accessories includes shoes and sandals, handbags, scarves, sunglasses, hats and more.

Most of the merchandise is bright and bold, to say the least. Bizou’s jewellery may not be for everyone, but for basic accessories like flip-flops and ballet flats, Bizou’s offerings are tame enough to have widespread appeal.

The prices are pretty appealing, too, with most items selling for less than $20.

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