For the young as well as the young at heart, there’s no greater joy than playing with a new toy. And for those who are serious about their playthings, nothing tops the thrill of a visit to FAO Schwarz. The brand’s former Fifth Avenue flagship in New York was known around the world for its over-the-top toys, games and stuffed animals, made famous in films including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Big, in which star Tom Hanks performs on the store’s oversized piano.
This holiday season, a scaled-down version of that black-and-white instrument is available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay. The 348-year-old department store has opened FAO Schwarz pop-up spaces in each of its 89 locations across the country, ranging in size from 300 to 1,200 square feet. Each pop-up will feature a selection of FAO Schwarz’s signature items, including oversized plush animals and train sets.
Although toys are not new to Hudson’s Bay, the unique offerings of FAO Schwarz are a major novelty. “The brand resonates, is authentic and has history, which is very much in keeping with Hudson’s Bay. At the same time, it brings something into the Canadian market that our customers haven’t seen before,” says Alison Coville, president of Hudson’s Bay. “There are other places to get toys, there are other ways to get toys, but if you want that nostalgic fun, then you come to Hudson’s Bay. [FAO Schwarz is] one of those brands that is really for all ages.”
For more information, visit thebay.com.
For the first time in its nearly 100-year history, the rectangular Chanel No.5 bottle is getting a festive red makeover. Beginning Nov. 5 at Chanel beauty counters, this limited edition No. 5 L’Eau Eau de Toilette and No. 5 Eau de Parfum is available in mass-dyed red glass, as is a collector’s edition of 55 numbered red Baccarat crystal bottles of the No. 5 Parfum. The original bottle was designed by founder Coco Chanel, who considered the colour red to be a reflection of strength and freedom.
Two beloved Toronto boutiques are celebrating milestones this season. The Cashmere Shop in Yorkville is feting its 25th with a limited-edition scarf featuring a Scotland-inspired design by local artist Thrush Holmes. Each of the 50 scarves produced retails for $325, with $25 from each scarf sold going to the Shoebox Project, which collects and distributes gifts to women affected by homelessness. Also in the city, womenswear boutique Meg is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Queen West. Founder Megan Kinney will be rereleasing a small collection of vintage styles, which were chosen by shoppers via an online poll, to commemorate the occasion.
Fashionable deal hunters take note: Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, Ont., is expanding. On Nov. 15, the retail space will unveil 140,000 square feet of luxury brands including Gucci, Montblanc, Prada and Zadig et Voltaire, as well as new dining options, and will offer amenities such as mobile phone chargers. The new stores join existing tenants that include Burberry, Hugo Boss and Saks Off Fifth and will bring the number of outlets to more than 130. For more information, visit premiumoutlets.com.
Interior designer Amanda Hamilton has launched a new e-commerce platform to simplify the home design process. Palette Archives provides packages for those looking to design an interior at an affordable price. The website has more than 50 variations of finish and materials palettes that consider an entire interior space, including flooring, carpet, cabinets, wall and floor tile, backsplash, fireplace and feature walls, paint and wallpaper. The palettes span a wide variety of tastes and styles, such as the black-and-white Parisian Grunge and the soothing Big Sur. For more information, visit palettearchives.com.