When Better Gift Shop announces a new drop, the likes of LeBron James and rapper Young Thug are listening. Based in Toronto, the streetwear brand has a global following that includes leading concept store Dover Street Market, which has a Better Gift Shop kiosk at its Los Angeles and Tokyo locations.
Better Gift Shop is the creation of Avi Gold, who kicked off his fashion career with Bootleg is Better, a line of clothing inspired by hip-hop and skate culture that appropriated recognizable imagery such as classic movie logos and celebrities including Larry David. “It was really DIY when I started,” Gold says. As his online following grew, Gold evolved his brand into an e-commerce concept he called Better Gift Shop. It was his spin on a classic gift shop, selling unique items Gold had sourced that shared his aesthetic alongside his own line, which he shifted away from bootlegged pics to his original designs. “I never wanted to be pigeon-holed as somebody who just makes ironic T-shirts,” Gold says.
In 2018, Gold opened his first physical retail store in Toronto’s Chinatown. It’s a homey space stocked with a selection of pieces by Better, as well as magazines, artwork and some vintage apparel. Online, the brand’s new product launches regularly sell out, something Gold credits to his talented creative collaborators and friends. “By looking at what they’re doing through a certain lens and incorporating that into what I do, that’s how I managed to appeal to lots of people.”
Better Gift Shop, 558 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 647-558-5034, bettergiftshop.com.
Better Kuumba International Metal Can Incense Burner, $260.
Better Gift Shop / Stüssy Pool Hall Tee White, $50.
Better Gift Shop / Cactus Plant Flea Market Double Vision Smiley Rug, $520.
Vancouver-based chocolatier Beta5 Chocolates has added some sweet new offerings to its website, including French chocolates that can be ordered in bulk. A recently launched Emergency Stash Box features a limited batch of treats and popular items from past offerings. Retailing for $65, a new box is released each Monday. In addition to the new chocolates and stash box, Beta5 has also released special cream puff boxes which can be preordered. The chocolates ship across Canada and are also available for contactless pick-up on Fridays at the company’s 409 Industrial Ave. location in Vancouver. For more information, visit beta5chocolates.com.
The British Fashion Council is adapting London Fashion Weeks to better fit today’s climate. For the next 12 months, all London Fashion Weeks will merge women’s wear and men’s wear into one gender-neutral environment. Beginning in June, London Fashion Week will function as a digital-only platform, running from June 12 through the time period of the former London Fashion Week Men’s event. This digital experience will be open to both a public and trade audience from around the world and will include interviews, podcasts, diaries, webinars and digital showrooms. For more information, visit londonfashionweek.co.uk.
Canada Goose has announced a new strategy outlined in its first sustainability report with some big changes coming to its production process and materials. Highlights include introducing reclaimed fur for use in parkas in 2022 and ending the purchasing of new fur. In the coming months, Canada Goose plans to launch a consumer buy-back program for fur. The brand will also be eliminating single-use plastics in all Canada Goose owned or controlled facilities and have the goal of net zero direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, a reduction of more than 80 per cent from current levels.
Following the postponement of its May festival, which is now scheduled to take place in October, NYCxDesign is gathering some of New York’s best virtual design platforms into one place. NYCxDesign: The Virtual Experience is a curated collection of tours, podcasts, online galleries, design learning and more. Every month, it will be updated with a new selection of categories and offerings submitted to its website. In April, the organization hosted a series of virtual town halls where author Debbie Millman of the podcast Design Matters spoke with New York innovators about design during a time of uncertainty. For more information, visit nycdesign.com.
The Globe has five brand-new arts and lifestyle newsletters: Health & Wellness, Parenting & Relationships, Sightseer, Nestruck on Theatre and What to Watch. Sign up today.