In the world of professional hair colour, level 10 is the term used to describe the lightest shade of blonde. It’s also the name that owner Nikki Kennedy gave to her new Toronto salon as an homage to her team’s specialization in hair lightening. “We all came from a background that specializes in colour,” she says. “It’s a very big focus of our work.”
Level 10 is located in the heart of Kensington Market, a historic neighbourhood known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, local grocers and Pedestrian Sundays, where people on foot take over the streets. “I love it because it has such a small community vibe that you don’t find anywhere else in Toronto,” Kennedy says. When designing the space of her salon, Kennedy looked to her immediate surroundings, sourcing vintage furniture and a jungle of plants from her neighbouring businesses. A macramé wall hanging was found at nearby housewares store Bungalow. “I wanted to give it a vintage, Kensington vibe. It still has that Seventies feel, but I wanted it to feel luxurious.”
This fall, Kennedy says her clients are asking for cool toned-pastels, taupe greys and, of course, blonde. “Doing a Champagne blond or a beige blond is a good way to warm it up in the autumn without having to do that yellow-y base,” she explains. In addition to Level 10’s colouring services, which include everything from highlights and balayage to incorporating multiple pastel shades, Kennedy’s team offers cuts, up-dos, braids and Japanese straightening perms, a treatment where curly hair is straightened until it grows out.
Level 10, 32 St. Andrew St., Toronto, 416-542-9455, level10.studio.
Quebec winter coat company Quartz Co. has announced its acquisition of Les Confections Stroma, a 50-year-old Montreal-based clothing producer. This acquisition doubles Quartz Co.’s production capacity in the province, which now includes facilities in Saint-Hyacinthe, Victoriaville and the Montreal borough of Saint-Michel. Founded in 1997, Quartz Co. was acquired in 2015 by brothers Jean-Philippe, François-Xavier and Guillaume Robert, who are all trained engineers with the shared vision of building a timeless brand that combines performance, expertise and sustainability. Their made-in-Canada coats are now available in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit quartz-co.com.
On Nov. 1, IKEA is launching Markerad, its new capsule collection designed in partnership with Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White and creative director of men’s wear for Louis Vuitton. The collection is designed to give personality to the first home or apartment of young adults by transforming everyday items into objects of design. Abloh worked closely with Henrik Most, IKEA’s creative leader, on identifying the domestic needs of young adults before developing sketches and prototypes. The 15-piece collection gives classic pieces an artistic twist and is available exclusively in IKEA stores. For more information, visit ikea.ca.
French skin-care company La Roche-Posay has extended its offerings in the sun protection category with the launch of My Skin Track UV, a battery-free, wearable electronic that measures UV exposure. Developed by parent company L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, it has a sensor that measures an individual’s UV levels and provides additional information through the companion app. In addition to UVA and UVB rays, My Skin Track UV and the app measure environmental aggressors that affect skin including pollution, pollen, heat and humidity and provide personalized information to the user. This high-tech wearable and app is available online at the Apple store for $79.95.
Montreal-based fashion brand Frank and Oak has added high-performance outerwear to its sustainably minded offerings. Each coat in the 12-piece collection is made from recycled plastic and designed to last. With styles for men and women, the collection is made to be worn in Canada’s northern climate with the goal of enhancing that outdoors lifestyle. The approach combines a focus on extending product lifespan, preventing resource depletion by using recycled materials and integrating high-performance features such as a durable, water-repellent coating. The parkas and puffers insulate down to temperatures of minus 30. For more information, visit frankandoak.com.