Just in time for the holiday season, Swarovski has opened the first Canadian location of its Crystal Studio at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto. Part of a new global initiative from the Austrian crystal company, which was founded in 1895 and is run today by a fifth generation of family members, the series of digital-inspired concept stores made their debut in Milan last year. They now operate locations in Paris, Beijing, Shanghai and California.
Infusing physical retail with virtual, e-commerce-inspired elements, the Crystal Studio is washed in blue hues and offers a modern and interactive shopping experience. Keeping in line with the sense of glamour and spirit of innovation that Swarovski focuses on for its collections of jewellery and design objects, the Crystal Studio is a space for customers to immerse themselves. Its centrepiece is the Sparkle Bar, a jewellery station where customers can check out the shine of new products in different lighting settings.
For added visual impact, wall displays are arranged like mood boards meant to enhance the storytelling behind its products. With interactive, digital touch points throughout the store, the Crystal Studio puts its own tech-savvy spin on holiday shopping.
Swarovski Crystal Studio, CF Sherway Gardens, 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke, Ont., 416-626-6100, swarovski.com.
Swarovski Twist Rows Ring, $119.
Swarovski Tennis Bracelet, $149
Swarovski Tennis Deluxe Cluster Mixed Pierced Earrings, $139.
Instead of offering the usual deals and sales, Ikea is celebrating Black Friday by highlighting sustainability. Canadians nationwide are invited to sell back their gently used Ikea products for double the usual amount, which is assessed by Ikea upon review of the item. Promoting environmental awareness is part of Ikea’s broader goals of enabling sustainable living and becoming a fully circular and climate-positive business by 2030. These goals include operational changes such as designing exclusively with renewable and recycled materials and offering new ways to prolong the life of Ikea products. For more information, visit ikea.ca.
Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) is taking place from Nov. 26 to 29 as a four-day online festival. The live event will be presented at IFWtoronto.com and includes cinematic runway presentations, a preview of a digital art exhibition called A Thread That Never Breaks, and Fashioning Resurgence, a series of panel discussions presented in partnership with Ryerson University. The IFWTO Online Pop-Up Marketplace will feature fashion, craft and textiles from 40 limited-edition Indigenous-made collections by designers including Tania Larsson, Blu Hummingbird, Lesley Hampton, Catherine Blackburn and more.
In Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, the holiday season is being marked with a new type of outdoor art exhibition. Window Wonderland is an immersive, family-friendly urban art walk that incorporates augmented reality, transforming the neighbourhood into an interactive outdoor gallery. Local artists have painted scenes on the windows of coffee shops, galleries and small retailers that can be brought to life through the Augle AR app. Each scene, which can be viewed by pointing your phone at the artwork, has been animated by local animators. This marks the first time that an art walk in Toronto has incorporated augmented reality technology. For more information, visit thejunctionbia.ca.
Several style contests are accepting applications from across the country. The MAKECanada 2020 Design Challenge is inviting students of George Brown College to submit innovative clothing designs that provide solutions via pandemic-responsive wearables. For its seventh edition, Winter Stations has invited designers to submit proposals in the theme of Refuge. The winning designs will be built out of lifeguard stations at Toronto’s Woodbine Beach in February. And the Interior Design Show has launched The New Garage, a partnership with Volvo Canada that asks applicants to reimagine the design of the often-neglected garage space.
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