Antonio Ortega may have moved to Montreal for love, but the city’s international flair has proven to be the ideal home for his namesake fashion label. “The city is not conventional, so there’s less codifications about dressing and that gives me freedom,” he says. Originally from Mexico, Ortega left for Paris to pursue fashion design before moving to Montreal in 2003, working out of his studio and presenting his collections on runways in Canada and Paris. Last December, he opened the doors to his first boutique.
Located on a plum corner of Sherbrooke Street, just a block west of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the store is an homage to Ortega’s craft. Letting the clothes take centre stage, the space is primarily white save for an oversized red button affixed above a door that Ortega chose to represent the final stage of making a garment. “When you sew on a button, it’s the last part of the couture. It means that everything is done,” he says. Overhead, a 14-metre long sewing needle hangs from the ceiling as a representation of hand stitching. “It’s probably one of the biggest needles in North America,” he says.
Inside of his boutique, Ortega has nurtured the ambiance of an intimate salon, giving his clients undivided attention and a comfortable place to experiment with fashion. “It’s playful. This is your runway,” he says. The boutique offers one-of-a-kind pieces and ready-to-wear for men and women plus accessories. “Once you’re inside, you feel embraced by uniqueness and exclusivity.”
Boutique Antonio Ortega Couture, 1460 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 438-387-0827, antonioortegocouture.com.
Canadian jewellery label Jenny Bird and fashion label Smythe have joined forces on one exclusive piece that’s sure to please followers of both brands. The Smythe x Jenny Bird Blazer is a black statement blazer that features a 1990s-inspired chain closure, combining the signature styles of each label. Available in rhodium and oxidized gold, the closure can also be detached from the blazer and worn as a necklace. The collaborative piece will be available beginning Sept. 30 online at shopsmythe.com and through select retailers.
Turning 10 this year, Canadian sandal company Tkees has expanded into clothing and its debut EveryWear Collection 01 continues in the brand’s ethos of laidback luxury. Consisting of a jumpsuit, T-shirt, sweatshirt and sweatpants, each item is made in Canada of 100-per-cent cotton and available in seven shades. Fellow Canadian apparel brand Roots is also celebrating an anniversary as its Salt & Pepper design turns 40. Roots is marking the occasion with a seven-piece capsule collection. Wide-leg culottes, cropped sweatshirts, an aviator-style jacket and more are all made in the brand’s Salt & Pepper fleece.
Toronto-based handbag label Ela is debuting its first vegan leather styles. Launching Sept. 16, the Ela Vegan Leather Collection features designer Ela Aldorsson’s signature styles made of polyurethane vegan leather. As the brand discontinues leather in all its products, shoppers will find celebrity favourites such as the Editors Pouch in the new vegan materials. By spring 2020, each bag will be lined in fabric made of 100-per-cent recycled plastic bottles. The Vegan Leather Collection is available at select retailers, including online at eBay where all proceeds from sales will be donated to the environmental non-profit organization Evergreen.
Designer and stylist Arren Williams has partnered with Montreal-based design firm CDI Furniture on a contemporary furniture and home decor collection. Available now at select Hudson’s Bay stores and through thebay.com, the collection is geared towards millennials outfitting their homes in style and on a budget. Consisting of 28 furniture pieces and accessories, the collection is made with a mix of brass, wood, marble and velvet, and includes options for the living room, bedroom and dining room, with inspiration ranging from mid-century modern to art deco and the plush 1970s.