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shop talk

Toronto store Ardith offers a mix of basics and workout wear to help transition from gym life to the rest of the day.

Ardith

373 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-878-1412, ardithstyle.com

The owner

Miranda Bryden

In a nutshell

Ardith offers a mix of beautiful basics and workout wear to help transition from the gym to real life for the rest of your day.

The story

It's been my pipe dream almost my entire life to open my own shop. I come from the corporate world where I worked as a communications consultant for a lot of electrical utilities and crown corporations. My husband followed his passion and became an actor, which inspired me to finally open my own shop. One of the most beautiful storefronts on Roncesvalles became available and I threw my hat into the ring and the owner chose my offer. Within about a month in a half, I completely gutted the space and opened my doors for business.

The stock

It's been really exciting to see over the past few years how small emerging designers have been getting into athletic wear. They're not only making technical, functional clothing – they're really starting to bring in edgy pieces that work beyond the gym. I started seeking out these designers, but they're spread out and hard to find. My idea was to be the container for those designers and bring them all into one place. Some designers unique to our store include Lucas Hugh, a British label that did all the costumes for The Hunger Games, and Daub + Design, a Vancouver designer who hand-dyes every piece herself.

The philosophy

My maternal grandmother whom I named the shop after heavily inspired me. Her name, Ardith, actually means the "good war," which I feel is the perfect way to describe physical exercise – right down to finding the right outfit. I love that it's feminine but has a certain toughness to it, which perfectly describes my grandmother, who was kind of gender-bending for her time as she worked out a lot. She was alive when I opened the store so she got to share in the excitement, but has passed away since.

The buy

Lucas Hugh core performance leggings. The brand's tight-weave compression leggings are produced in the same factory as Olympic racing swimsuits, complete with all the technical bells and whistles: UV protective, antibacterial, moisture-wicking fabric, heat-sealed seams which reduce chafing. There's also internal support that keeps tummies sucked in, creating a silhouette more svelte than your skinniest pair of skinny jeans. ($245)

This interview has been edited and condensed.