With interest in vintage, thrifted and upcycled clothing at an all-time high, Vancouver store Faulkner takes its own approach to feeding the fashion frenzy. Founded in 2017 by owner James Faulkner, who hails from Britain, the shop specializes in Japanese and European archive and vintage clothing, featuring a list of designers that ranges from Issey Miyake, Visvim and Comme des Garçons to Dries Van Noten. “The best brands are always the ones who don’t follow and just try and do what they think is the right thing to do,” Faulkner says.
Sitting at about 250 square feet in a second level space on the Downtown Eastside, the store has a clean, minimalist style, modern fixtures and slick concrete flooring, an aesthetic that marks a visual departure from the typical vintage shop. “I tried to start a store that was different,” Faulkner says. It’s a perspective that has developed an organic following and community. Over the years, Faulkner has collaborated with local artists such as Chrome Destroyer and Mescondi on photography and video projects.
In October, Faulkner reopened its doors after a six-month closure and shortly after debuting its first in-house brand. Arte et labore takes its inspiration from 1950s Americana and modern Japanese fashion and reworks vintage pieces – a Lacoste cardigan, Levi’s denim shirts – into contemporary creations. Created by Faulkner and tailor Rob Gunn, it’s a creative project Faulkner plans on expanding. “Neither of us are designers. We’re just doing what we enjoy and putting it together.”
Faulkner, 136 East Hastings, Vancouver, 778-866-7014, shopfaulkner.ca.
Art et labore re-worked ’70s Pendleton shirt, $180.
Visvim limited-edition jacket, $1,200.
Y/Project denim jacket, $600.
Two new partnerships have been forged with the goal of raising awareness of environmental issues in style. Footwear brand Allbirds has partnered with sneaker legend and creative Jeff Staple on an unusual inside-out sneaker. To demonstrate the resources that go into creating a performance shoe, the Tree Dasher style lists the carbon footprint of the shoe on the exterior of the shoe, rather than under the sole where it is normally listed on Allbirds’ other styles. And to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Campaign for Wool has partnered with interior designer Sarah Richardson and floor and wallcovering company Creative Matters on a collection of handcrafted wool rugs. Made of 100-per-cent Canadian hand-knotted wool, the two rugs and runner styles highlight the ecological and technical benefits of wool.
For a New Year undergarment update, Canadians have some new options to choose from. Hirrs is a Vancouver-based line that was co-founded last year by Lacey Norton and Elizabeth Davey, formerly of Kit and Ace. Their vision combines the best of function, beauty and comfort – meaning no wires, tags or clasps – for bras, underwear and bodysuits. And Australian-based lingerie brand Sevigne has recently launched an e-commerce service in Canada. Featuring five bra styles with seven matching bottoms, the line has extended cup sizes from A to J in fabrics like lace and mesh sourced from Europe.
Montreal-based vegan handbag and accessories brand Lambert has recently introduced its new Alex Briefcase. With space for a laptop up to 15 inches in size, the briefcase has a top handle and a shoulder strap. Founded in 2017, Lambert specializes in vegan bags made of polyurethane that are designed in Canada and produced in Guangzhou, China. Since the introduction of its first style, a backpack, the brand has expanded to include handbags, shoulder bags, pouches, accessories and more.
Torontonians have some new retailer additions to get to know this year. Quebec-based custom lighting design and manufacturing company Luminaire Authentik has a new showroom in Leslieville, its first store outside of Quebec. The company is known for its Scandinavian aesthetic and customizable lighting options. American eyewear brand Garrett Leight California Optical has selected Toronto to be the home of its first international store, which joins the retail hub on West Queen West. And Swiss timepiece maker Tudor Watch has opened its first store in North America at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.