The latest luxury retail addition to Toronto’s tony Mink Mile is St. John, the California-based brand known for its smart knitwear. With 2,100 square feet of space, the store carries St. John’s full product range of ready-to-wear and accessories for women. As an exclusive at the store, customers can find a button customization concept where 36 signature archive buttons can be added to new jackets or one of the brand’s toppers that’s already in your wardrobe.
The opening of the store coincided with a revival for the brand, which was founded in 1962. “We’re really modernizing our brand. We’re taking it forward for today’s modern woman, but at the same time we’re deeply honouring our heritage, our DNA, our icons, our skills and our artisans,” CEO Eran Cohen says. “We’re restarting the conversation with new women, but the same kind of woman. That same powerful, ambitious, intelligent woman.”
Part of this modernization is the addition of creative director Zoe Turner, who joined St. John in October following a career spent at Christian Dior, Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti. Turner is putting her spin on the house’s signatures by looking to its history as a go-to fashion source for professional women. She marked her debut with a limited-release capsule collection of dresses, suiting, separates and outerwear available exclusively online. “The reason we’ll be able to move forward is Zoe and a tremendous vision and understanding of how women today want to dress, how they want to express themselves,” Cohen says.
St. John, 130 Bloor St. W., Toronto, 437-375-7161, stjohnknits.com.
St. John Liquid Milano Mock Neck Gown, $2,925.
St. John Camellia Novelty Textured Knit Jacket, $2,260.
St. John Stretch Viscose Lined Cady Jacket, $1,990.
The sixth annual Winter Stations Design Competition will be presenting three winning submissions, as well as an installation by Centennial College, at Toronto’s Woodbine Beach this month. Artists, architects and designers were invited to create designs at the site of lifeguard stations along the waterfront, with 273 submissions received from around the world. Opening for viewing on Feb. 17, this year’s edition has a theme of Beyond the Five Senses, with designers asked to explore how senses interact and overlap. This year’s winners include Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo, Charlie Sutherland of Suhaha and iheartblob. For more information, visit winterstations.com.
Gucci has announced the first five recipients of its five-year Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund. This annual US$1-million grant has been designated to support community organizations focused on arts and culture, social justice and equity and education from across 12 cities in North America. Each grant is up to US$50,000 for a one-year funding cycle and will be used to help create new programs or scale existing initiatives. Of the 16 recipients, one is Canadian. UforChange runs youth arts programs across downtown Toronto.
Canadian loungewear brand the Sleep Shirt has launched its debut T-shirt collection. Featuring four modern shapes, the new T-shirts are designed to work with the brand’s loungewear as well as everyday outfits. The Sleep Shirt launched a crowdfunding campaign through I Fund Women, which has enabled the brand to ethically produce the collection in Vancouver. The size-inclusive range is made from a cotton-Modal blend fabric in shapes that include classic necklines and hip-length hems. The most classic shape is the Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt. For more information, visit thesleepshirt.com.
A new line of bags has recently launched in Montreal. Bain is a collection of unisex carryalls designed to fit every aspect of life, balancing luxury, sportswear and minimalism. The five styles are available in smooth Nappa leather or nylon, with each featuring custom hardware. Produced in limited quantities, each bag retails for less than $500 and is available in black, white and blue. Founder Linsey Myriam Bain is a design director with more than 10 years of experience working with the likes of Aldo and Mackage. For more information, visit lmbain.com.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said UforChange runs youth arts programs in Toronto’s St. James Town neighbourhood. In fact, UforChange runs its programs across downtown Toronto.