Canada is home to some trailblazing footwear brands, and a Montreal-based company is putting its best foot forward to be another game changer for shoe-shoppers. Maguire Boutique was founded in 2017 by sisters Myriam and Romy Maguire, who have prioritized a direct-to-consumer approach that focuses on high-quality production guided by a transparent business plan.
With a career in footwear design for large companies where she designed thousands of styles every year, Myriam decided to step out on her own and use her experience to shake up the industry. “Everywhere I went, the quality shoes were always overpriced, and for the shoes I could afford, the quality was not so great. Working in the industry, I knew the production costs and I kept thinking that there must be a better way to offer high-end shoes at a fair price.” Inspired by the direct-to-consumer model, she and Romy, who has a background in marketing, teamed up to build a vertical business that cut out costs that would up a pair of shoes’s final price.
After launching e-commerce in 2017, Maguire opened its Montreal location in 2019, which was followed by a store in Toronto in June. The sisters take a refreshing approach to the shoe-shopping experience at their boutiques. Both locations feature a wall-to-wall shoe closet that makes every style, colour and size available for customers to try on without waiting for their selections to be retrieved from a stockroom. Their styles are edited down to focus on key pieces. “For each season, we ask ourselves what we really want to wear. We don’t offer 100 different options – we just go with the options that we think are the best.”
Maguire, 1514 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 647-245-3223; 5365 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal, 514-809-5059, maguireboutique.com.
Maguire Granada in Amber, $235.
Maguire Lillo in Deserto, $190.
Maguire Zava in Dalmatian, $220.
In response to the billions of sneakers that end up in landfills, apparel brand Everlane is taking a new approach to footwear with the latest addition to its Tread by Everlane collection. Its most sustainable sneaker style to date, the Forever Sneaker is made of a recycled cotton-canvas upper and a partially natural rubber sole. Washable and available in five colours and sizes for men and women, the Forever Sneaker’s product lifecycle includes a plan for 100 per cent of the shoes to be repurposed as flooring and mats in its post-consumer journey. For more information, visit everlane.com.
Bedding brand Casper has expanded its furniture line to include bed frames. The two additions include the Casper Repose, a wooden frame with a wood or pillow headboard, and the Casper Haven, an upholstered frame with a cushioned headboard. Incorporating the goal of enhancing Casper clients’ sleep quality, the frames include details like leaning headboards and soft edges to promote a feeling of comfort and relaxation. Based in San Francisco, Casper has an e-commerce business known for its direct-to-consumer mattresses. It operates stores across North America with its products available at a list of retailers. For more information, visit casper.com.
Canadian eye care company Kits (kits.com) recently launched a digital eyewear shopping experience. The direct-to-consumer eyewear brand, through its website, allows consumers to virtually try on frames before purchasing designer eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses from brands including Oakley, Ray-Ban and Tom Ford and have them delivered as quickly as in one day. They’re also on track to release Canada’s first online optical exams later this year. Kits’ manufacturing facilities are located in Richmond, B.C. enabling speedier production and shipping time for shoppers.
A stylish lakefront resort is opening its doors in Prince Edward County, Ont., just in time to start planning a holiday getaway. Wander is a cabin retreat located on a sandy beach between the towns of Bloomfield and Wellington and is taking reservations for stays beginning Dec. 1. Suitable for year-round holidays, the property will offer activities including lakeside yoga and wine tastings. Wander takes a Nordic design approach to the classic Canadian cabin with each cabin sleeping six. For more information, visit wandertheresort.com.
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