Halifax has a long history as a gateway into Canada, a tradition that fashion boutique Rchmnd has carried forward via clothing. Owners Kristi and Peter MacDonald crisscross the world to bring a taste of globally minded trends to their hometown. “We spend a lot of time travelling and are constantly inspired by cities and spaces and retail,” Peter says. “Bringing that back home continues to always be our goal because we love the life when we’re on those travels and we love the life we live here in Halifax,” Kristi says, pointing to Rchmnd’s considered selection of unisex fashion and lifestyle items from buzzy brands such as Acne Studios, Raf Simons, Off-White and Maison Margiela.
Founded in 2012, Rchmnd moved to a new space in Granville Block, a car-free cobblestone courtyard near the waterfront, three years ago. The duo worked with Halifax and Toronto-based firm Omar Gandhi Architect to perfect their store, an all-white space dating back to the 1800s that combines historic details including oversized moulding and a temple-like doorway with elements of contemporary design. “It has a very nice, European feel to it,” Peter says.
What sets Rchmnd apart from their international retail contemporaries, such as the Broken Arm in Paris and Voo Store in Berlin, is a sense of connection and the personal relationships that develop between the retailers and their customers. “Halifax, as a city on a global scale, is quite small,” Kristi says. “If you’ve shopped here more than once, you’ve likely met the whole team.”
Rchmnd, 1869 Granville St., Halifax, rchmndshop.com.
On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Artscape Daniels Launchpad is playing host to its first Summit, a new two-day event for emerging creatives in Toronto. The event features speakers from across the city’s diverse creative community, including fashion designer Hayley Elsaesser, Corrine Anestopoulos, creative director of jewellery line Biko and installation artist Trevor Wheatley. As part of Launchpad’s creative entrepreneurship programs, Summit will offer workshops, networking opportunities and learning focused on the marketing, sales and technical skills that will assist creative entrepreneurs in building their businesses. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit launchpadsummit.com.
Canada’s Ynot bags has partnered with Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn on Project Ampersand, a limited-edition style of bag. Named the Original Rucksack, its design was informed by the materials used in brewing. The silhouette and straps were both influenced by the curves of oak barrels, while leather from cooper aprons was used to add weight to waxed canvas. The main cord lock was made from an old barrel and each bag comes with a beer sleeve and built-in bottle opener. With a price of $280, the Original Rucksack is available for purchase at Ynot’s Toronto factory flagship store (500 Keele St.) and online at ynotmade.com.
Beauty brand the Body Shop (thebodyshop.com) has partnered with Plan International Canada on fundraising this holiday season. For every purchase made from their holiday collection, the cruelty-free brand will donate a portion of proceeds up to a total of $50,000. The money raised will be used for education, training, national advocacy and leadership programs created to unlock the potential of young women. Meanwhile, Urban Barn (urbanbarn.com) has recently launched a national philanthropic program called Blanket the Country. The furniture and home decor store will be donating $5 from the sale of faux fur blankets and bedspreads to Canadian SPCA organizations and animal shelters.
Montreal-based fine jewellery house Ecksand is hosting a Toronto pop-up shop. Until Dec. 23, shoppers looking for ethically sourced baubles can view Ecksand’s rings, earrings and necklaces in person at the Pink Tartan flagship boutique at 77 Yorkville Ave. Ecksand creative director Erica Bianchini will be showcasing made-in-Canada pieces from her Tresses, Lucky, Cirque, Wild, Iceberg collections and more. For a truly one-of-a-kind gift, Ecksand also offers custom design options where clients can build their own ring or repurpose gemstones from their existing jewellery. For more information, visit ecksand.com.