As an antidote to the chaos of the fast fashion carousel, Aloja is a gentle reminder to slow down the pace of your wardrobe purchases. Located on a quiet strip of College Street just west of Toronto’s Little Italy, this boutique specializes in apparel sourced primarily from India. Step inside to a soothing rose decor palette, pops of greenery and neutral fixtures, including a stunning onyx countertop, which houses a jewellery display. On a warm day, fresh air breezes in from the back patio. It all creates a welcoming combination, evoking the name of the store, which means to host or accommodate in Portuguese. “I like how it resonates with the idea of having people over to take their time shopping, enjoying the experience of slow fashion and the appreciation of handmade and craftsmanship in clothing design in a relaxed atmosphere,” says owner Sabrina Ramos, who opened Aloja in 2017.
A native of Brazil, Ramos was inspired by her visits to India to bring a selection of the country’s next-generation designers back home to Toronto. The resulting offering for women and men emphasizes traditional craftsmanship that’s been reinterpreted for the 21st century, supporting designers, artisans and co-operatives that follow decentralized, sustainable practices. You’ll find Delhi-based Eka’s loose-fitting aesthetic, crafted by a team of weavers, spinners and dyers from across India, on Aloja’s shelves. Ramos also stocks Bodice, an Indian label whose founder Ruchika Sachdeva was awarded the prestigious Woolmark Prize for women’s wear earlier this year. Aloja’s covetable line-up also includes Finland’s Samuji, which takes an organic approach to a classic Scandinavian sensibility and local designers such as Laura Siegel.
Aloja, 872 College St., Toronto, 416-533-5652, aloja.ca.
Eka Dune Top, $400.
Eka Austin Coat, $550.
Bodice Culottes, $450.
Swedish fashion brand COS is expanding its selection to include offerings for all ages. COS Kids now has everyday garments for children ages one to 10 years, including sleepwear, shoes and accessories. The current collection launched Oct. 19 and takes its inspiration from the men’s and women’s Fall 2018 season with a mixed palette of colours and prints designed in house and fabrics such as merino wool, cashmere, corduroy, cotton, denim and flannel. November sees the addition of items for newborns, including unisex clothing made of natural materials and accessories such as blankets.
This month, Coach launched a new initiative to support the next generation of leaders. Called Dream It Real, this new branch of the philanthropic Coach Foundation will support young people as they work towards their ambitions for positive change. As part of Dream It Real, Coach has partnered with the Future Project, an American non-profit organization that places leaders known as Dream Directors in high schools across the country to work with students on reaching their goals. Dream It Real is supported by Coach global faces Selena Gomez and Michael B. Jordan, who will work as honorary Dream Directors at the Future Project’s partner schools.
On Nov. 1, some of Canada’s top green beauty advocates are gathering in Toronto for the True Beauty Talk. Held in the Burroughes Building at 639 Queen St. W., the True Beauty Talk connects market leaders, media, industry enthusiasts and consumers through discussions and networking. Hosted by journalist Candice Batista, panel discussions include Skin Health as a Journey, a makeup demo and Facial Tools 101 with participants including Rocky Mountain Soap Company chief executive Karina Birch, Indie Lee vice-president Rebecca Gordon and Graydon Plant Powered Skincare founder Graydon Moffat. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit truebeautytalk.com.
For the fifth consecutive year, Michael Kors is supporting Watch Hunger Stop, a campaign to fight global hunger run in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme. This year the American brand has partnered with multimedia artist Eli Sudbrack on a limited edition T-shirt, and each sale will see 100 meals donated to children in need through the World Food Programme. As part of the initiative, Michael Kors is also releasing a special edition unisex Runway watch with a detailed map of the world on a turquoise-hued dial. Both T-shirts and the watch can be found in select Michael Kors boutiques and online at michaelkors.com.