Posts Tagged ‘employer’

Fashion Jobs – 5 Chic Plastic Pieces for Spring

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

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You know the saying, April showers bring May flowers! And despite many parts of the country having April flurries heading into May, that’s no reason to forget about the rain gear that we’ll be needing this spring. This season, why not upgrade your standard rain supplies for some of the chic options that have been seen all over catwalks? Love it or hate it, one of spring 2018’s biggest trends is plastic, translucent fashion, and it’s definitely sticking around. To get a jumpstart on this trend, we’ve rounded up five of the best plastic pieces on the market right now.

 

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PVC and Grosgrain Hat
Ever wonder what a luxury rain hat would look like? Well wonder no more, because Chanel has created the most luxurious one imaginable! Seen on the Spring/Summer 18 runway last fall, models paired this hat with tweeds and beaded day dresses for an unexpectedly chic rainy day look. If you’ve got the funds to pick up one of these bad boys, expect to be the envy of fashionistas everywhere.

Zara

Transparent Raincoat
For a more affordable take on transparent dressing, Zara has plenty of fun offerings this season. One of our favourite pieces is this clear raincoat with colour blocked trim. You’ll never have to wonder if your outerwear clashes with your outfit again, since it can be seen straight through! Just make sure that you’re 100% happy with your look, since there’s no hiding what you’re wearing in this coat.

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Pink Transparent Cropped Jeans
You could say that Topshop is one of the pioneering brands bringing plastic fashion mainstream, as it’s been including PVC in its collections for several seasons now. The brand has never been one to shy away from controversial garments (anyone remember their plastic jeans?) so this pink pair comes as no surprise. It’s definitely an experimental choice for an outfit, and one for the boldest of fashion’s risk takers.

Balmain

Vinyl and Leather Dax Ankle Boots
Arguably one of the easier ways to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe would be through this pair of Balmain boots. Think of them as a hybrid between rain boots and party shoes that you could really wear anywhere with some creative styling. The chain detail makes them appropriate for evening, and the clear plastic and lucite heel make them surprisingly wearable in wet weather.

Simons

Sheer Bell Umbrella
Finally, a classic take on the plastic trend is this simple umbrella from Simon’s. This timeless umbrella manages to stay on trend with its metallic trim, and is perfect for adding a fun element to an otherwise practical item. Since it’s made from clear plastic, it gives its wearer a full view of their surroundings when in use – perfect for dreary days when the wind is blowing in every direction.

 

Product Info
PVC and Grosgrain Hat, $1,400, available at Chanel
Transparent Water Repellent Raincoat, $49.90, available at Zara
MOTO Pink Transparent Cropped Jeans, $55 available at Topshop
Vinyl and Leather Dax Ankle Boots, $1,895, available at Balmain
Sheer Bell Umbrella, $30, available at Simons

 

By Kate Mendonca, Toronto, @kate.mendonca

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Fashion Jobs – Weekly Recap

Monday, April 9th, 2018

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Now that April is officially underway, we wanted to kick off the start of the new week by recapping all our favourite Style Nine to Five articles from the week prior, just to ensure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the world of SNTF fashion. From tips to spring cleaning your resume to a recap of Style Nine to Five’s first fashion career workshop, here are the top articles of the week.

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Tips For The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Picture
Whether you’re looking to build your professional network or you’re looking to turn your first job into your dream career, you want your LinkedIn profile picture to be welcoming but also a clear representation of you. They say dress for the job you want, well the same could be said for your profile picture! Here are some of our recommended tips picking the perfect LinkedIn profile picture to get you standing out from the crowd! Read the full post here

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Recap of Style Nine to Five’s Fashion Career Workshop
Call it a coincidence, but Style Nine to Five’s first-ever Fashion Career Workshop coincided with the same week as the eight-year anniversary of the launch of Style Nine to Five.  Not to toot our own horn or anything, but our first workshop was a huge success. Read the full post here

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5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Resume
Spring has finally arrived! Which means there’s no better time to de-clutter and spring clean all aspects of your life.  Closets are probably the first thing that comes to mind at this time of year, but how about your resume as well? A lot can change during the course of a year, and your resume should clearly reflect your personal and professional growth during this time. Whether you’re looking for a new position or you’re just in need of a little resume refresh, here are my top five tips to spring clean your resume. Read the full post here

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Fashion News Recap
Each week we will highlight all the major retail news stories from coast to coast. This week’s roundup included John Galliano and InStyle Magazine banning fur, Miniso’s Canadian expansion, Anna Wintour potentially leaving Vogue, and more. Read the full post here

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Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of Vogue
Image courtesy of Brooklyn D Photography
Image courtesy of Glitter Guide
Image courtesy of Bloglovin

Fashion Jobs – Fashion News Recap

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

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New Creative Director of LV Menswear Announced
Virgil Abloh, the former designer of cool-kid streetwear brand, Off White makes history as the first black artistic director at Louis Vuitton. Since founding Off White in 2013, Abloh successfully intermixed streetwear with luxury wear, turning hoodies into prestigious pieces. He is also known by many in the music industry for working and collaborating closely with Kanye West. In 2011, Abloh was nominated for a Grammy for his art direction on Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s hit album, Watch the Throne. A few years later, Off White’s womenswear line gained serious momentum as Beyoncé was seen sporting his sweatshirt in a music video and he became a finalist for the famed LVMH Prize. Virgil Abloh’s career has been a whirlwind since the moment it began, proving he is a worthy pick for the job at Louis Vuitton. We are anxiously awaiting his first collection at this esteemed fashion house.  

 

Calling all Sneakerheads
Time Magazine has deemed San Francisco’s, Allbirds sneakers as “the most comfortable shoe in the world” and now we Canadians can finally get our hands (or feet) on a pair. The start-up sneaker brand launched its Canadian e-tail yesterday at www.allbirds.ca. The comfort factor and sleek style has gained attention from sneaker-heads and celebrities alike and gained the company a large following in the last few years. Allbirds creates lace-up and slip-on shoes from materials like merino wool for a soft and cozy feel and fibre spun from eucalyptus tree pulp for a breathable, lightweight option. Just in time for their e-commerce launch, Nordstrom in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre will be hosting a pop-up with the brand today on floor 1, be sure to check it out if you’re in the area. With minimalist, easy styles and affordable prices, Canadians, including myself, will be sure to jump on the Allbirds bandwagon.  

 

Browns Success Prompts Company Growth
In light of major success and growth seen across the board, the Montreal-based shoe company continues its development with two new stores, two relocations and one expansion in Canada. Over the next several months, Toronto will see two new locations at Don Mills and Sherway Gardens expected to open in May and July of this year. The existing Browns stores in Pacific Centre in Vancouver and Quartier DIX30 in Montreal will be relocated to more spacious locations with an implemented new store design. An expansion will also be taking place of the B2 location at Place Laurier in Quebec City. Browns credits its growth to a customer-service oriented environment and a wide selection of styles and sizes – if you can’t find your size in store, they will ship it to you free of charge! 

 

Sweden’s Second Largest Fashion Brand to Enter Canada
Popular Swedish fast-fashion brand, Lindex is preparing to launch in Canada as the company searches for an exclusive Canadian partner. The company is looking to open stores in major markets such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Founded in 1954, Lindex is a sustainability-focused company offering a wide array of products in women’s fashion, lingerie, kid’s wear and cosmetics. Their values of socially responsible business practices, reliable design and sustainable materials to increase product quality are sure to appeal to many Canadian consumers. Like H&M, Lindex has also seen success in collaborating with well-known designers to create capsule collections. Past collections have included works from Jean-Paul Gaultier, Matthew Williamson, Narcisco Rodriguez, and Missoni. Once Lindex has found a Canadian partner, plans for brick-and-mortar stores as well as a Canadian e-commerce platform will come into place.  

 

Inspirational Image:
Image courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

 

By: Laura Findlay, Vancouver, @lofindlay 

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Fashion Jobs – 5 Canadian Brands to Shop Now

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

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It’s easy to think of all the big designers who show at Fashion Week – the ones whose covetable pieces make it onto each season’s “It” list of must-have items. For this reason, it can be tough for new or local designers to make it into the mainstream. If you’re looking to support home-grown talent, there are plenty of amazing local designer that deserve just as much attention as the larger fashion houses. For exactly this reason, we’ve rounded up five up and coming Canadian designers to watch this season and beyond.

Lesley Hampton

Lesley Hampton

Lesley Hampton is a Canadian First Nations designer based out of Toronto. In her designs, you’ll find embellishments like stones and beadwork, lace, and graphic cut-outs. Hampton’s collections focus on women’s eveningwear, but she also designs chic athleisure as well. Most important though is Hampton’s use of diverse models in her fashion shows – hers are clothes truly created for women of every shape, size, and ethnicity. Available at: http://www.lesleyhampton.com/robust/

Hayley Elsaesser

Hayley Elsaesser

Hayley Elsaesser is another Toronto-based designer that has been gaining momentum in the Canadian fashion scene in recent years. Known for her bold and quirky prints, her line caters to men and women looking to stand out in a crowd. Her colourful designs have been spotted on the likes of Katy Perry, Lilly Singh (aka. IISuperwomanII) and Miley Cyrus. Most recently, the brand has collaborated with Annabelle Cosmetics for a capsule collection of lipsticks that are as colourful as Hayley herself.  Available at: https://www.hayleyelsaesser.com/collections/all

Triarchy

Triarchy Denim

Triarchy is one of Canada’s top premium denim labels that just happens to be leading the way in sustainable luxury. Every aspect of their denim production has been altered to be more sustainable, from the low water consumption wash cycle, to the nickel-free buttons used, to the recycled leather used to create labels on the jeans. Their creative use of vintage denim results in one-of-a-kind pieces that make a bold (and environmentally-friendly!) statement. Available at: https://triarchy.com/collections

Fellow Earthlings

Fellow Earthlings

Based out of Prince Edward Island, this eyewear company specializes in custom frame sunglasses. You’re able to completely customize the lenses, frames and shape of these sunglasses to create a personalized look. Each pair is made to order in Fellow Earthlings’ PEI factory, ensuring that no-one else will be seen wearing your design. Available at: https://www.fellowearthlings.com/shop/

Sentaler

Sentaler

Beloved by international fashion favourites like Kate Middleton, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Meghan Markle, Sentaler is definitely a Canadian label to watch. The brand has been featured in Vogue, Elle, USWeekly, InStyle, and Vanity Fair for its timeless designs that have caught the attention of high-profile fans. With prices that start at $1000, these outerwear pieces are definitely an investment – but be prepared to wait! With all the recent media exposure, many styles are back-ordered and will only be delivered in the months ahead. Available at: https://sentaler.ca/collections/all-items

 

Inspirational Images
Main image courtesy of HypeBae
Image courtesy of Lesley Hampton
Image courtesy of Hayley Elsaesser
Image courtesy of Triarchy
Image courtesy of Fellow Earthlings
Image courtesy of Sentaler

 

By Kate Mendonca, Toronto, @kate.mendonca

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Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, style jobs, retail jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Fashion News Recap

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

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Hit Me Kenzo One More Time
Guess who is the new face of Kenzo’s La Collection Momento for Spring 2018? None other than the queen of pop, Britney Spears. The new line is inspired by nostalgia and revisits looks from the 80s, Kenzo’s old label and even Britney’s iconic head-to-toe denim getup she so confidently sported at the 2001 American Music Awards. The cover shot for the campaign, photographed by Peter Lindbergh, features Britney in a cropped denim jacket, denim underwear, and denim lace-up thigh high boots. Kenzo creative director Humberto Leon refers to Britney as “the queen of denim” and said in a statement, “When we were designing the collection, I was like, ‘If I can have a dream person, who would I want to be in denim? It has to be Britney’”. The 36-year-old mom of two proves she’s still got it in this new campaign, showing off her envy-worthy body in colourful outfits that will be available online and at select retailers on March 21st.

 

Plenty Warehouse Sale Begins Next Week
Are you ready to get your down and dirty shopping face on, Vancouver? Plenty is hosting another long-anticipated warehouse sale next Friday, March 30th to Monday, April 2nd at the Vancouver Convention Centre. If you’ve ever hit these sales before, you know how wild it can get! Expect large lineups, overwhelming amounts of product and witnessing catfights over that last cozy cardigan. But it will be worth it – the Canadian brand is dropping regular prices by 60-90%. Shopper’s hint: it’s best to arrive early to ensure you get the first pick of the sizes as new stock will be arriving daily.

 

First Canadian Nordstrom Rack Opens
Off-price retail shoppers rejoice! Toronto has become home to the very first Nordstrom Rack location in Canada. Nordstrom entered Canada with a slew of full-line stores starting in September 2014 and has since expanded to six full-line stores in the country. The company is expected to continue its Canadian takeover with another 15 Rack stores. Six locations have recently been announced. Following their first opening, we can expect to see Rack stores popping up in Calgary, Toronto’s Bloor Street, Ottawa, Edmonton and Mississauga. Nordstrom Rack’s first Canadian location opened its doors at Vaughan Mills on Thursday morning and carried many of Nordstrom’s recognized brands at between 30-70% off.

 

Saint Laurent Unveils Toronto Boutique
Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street West’s “Mink Mile” has gotten a luxury boost with their recent opening of the Saint Laurent leased boutique. The opulent marble and metal decorated space is home to Saint Laurent’s menswear, women’s ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories collections. The street-level entrance has the sought after handbags facing out the front window and the boutique is accessible both from outside and from inside of Holt Renfrew. This is the newest development as Holt Renfrew continues to renovate and update in both Toronto and Vancouver.

 

Inspirational Image:
Image courtesy of Who What Wear

 

By: Laura Findlay, Vancouver, @lofindlay 

Fashion Jobs – Embroidered Jackets for Spring

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

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Embroidery is coming in hot for spring, as the trend continues to be seen on everything from outwear to handbags and even shoes. Jackets are a huge must-have for spring and a favourite item of most style enthusiasts as unlike winter coats or summer shorts, jackets get a wide range of use in later winter through to spring, and then again in the late summer until the last days of autumn. What is fun about embroidery is there are so many different materials to play with like beading, sequins and stitching. If you’re looking to bring the embroidered trend onto your spring outwear, our embroidered jacket picks are sure to get you swooning!

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Subtle Denim
For those of you who like to rock trends, but still keep it classic this subtly embroidered denim jacket is great choice! The oversized but still flattering fit is available in both their regular and plus sized ranges in the perfect shade of denim! The collar is trimmed with faux-sheepskin and the cute Lovers/Liars embroidering on the inner cuff can be flipped up or down depending on your mood!

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Embroidered Cuffs
Another embroidered cuff pick, Zara faux-suede jacket is great to take from office to after-work drinks as it can be worn both formally with trousers or dressed down with a tank and jeans. The high collar and beaded embroidery on the cuff is add a regal, luxurious look to this otherwise minimal jacket. Overall, it’s a classic look that will sure to be a favourite in your wardrobe!

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Biker Chic
With denim continuing to reign for yet another season, we couldn’t help but include another jacket to our list and this one is definitively to die for. This BLANKNYC jacket is oozing edgy with nearly every detail from the distressing, to the studs and even overall cut which is softened with a lighter coloured denim and feminine floral embroidery.

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Work of Art
Looking for something a little more exclusive, like a work of art? Well this limited edition military spring parka by Woolrich is definitely for you. Woolrich took their Prescott Parka and created a unique limited-edition version that encompasses their Spring/Summer 2018 collection inspiration. The Embroidered Prescott Parka is available exclusively at their Flagship locations and exclusive retailers worldwide including their Canadian flagship store at Yorkdale in Toronto.

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Flower Power Suit
You can take this spring-approved trend into the workplace with this feminine embroidered blazer from Forever 21. Plus, you can totally throw this over a cute slip dress on the weekend when you head out to meet your girlfriends for brunch.

 

Inspirational Image:
Image courtesy of Elle UK

 

Product Info:

  1. Liquor N Poker Girlfriend Fit Jacket with Embroidered Hem Detail, $92, available at ASOS
  2. Zara Embroidered Faux Suede Jacket, $79.90
  3. BLANKNYC Sea of Flowers Studded Denim Moto Jacket, $226.50, available at Nordstrom
  4. Woolrich Limited Edition Embroidered Prescott Parka, available at flagship locations and retailers worldwide, including Yorkdale
  5. Forever 21 Floral Embroidered Glen Plaid Blazer, $63.90

 

By: M.J. Elle, Toronto, ON (@TheMJElle)

 

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Fashion Jobs – Top 5 Transitional Pieces for Spring

Monday, March 19th, 2018

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The arrival of spring generally denotes shopping for a new wardrobe particularly for fashion fanatics. The tendency, however, is that we lean towards more summer-y pieces than transitional clothing once the positive temperatures hit. In other words, we tend to disregard that spring comes first before summer! Although many retail stores begin selling bare and lightweight pieces at the beginning of March, this doesn’t mean we have to splurge on such styles right away. We need to be more selective when it comes to buying spring pieces because not all countries experience a consistent positive temperature streak once the spring months hit. Here are five transitional pieces that are practical when the weather becomes bipolar.

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Basic Crew Sweater
You can never go wrong with a basic knit such as the crew sweater. It’s an easy go-to piece for the office or just for a casual day or night out.

 

Shop the look: Knit Sweater, $17.99, available at H&M

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Knit Culottes
These bottoms are perfect for those who are completely over “fabric overloading” in winter but are also thick enough to withstand those sudden temperature drops in spring.  

 

Shop the look: Izabelah Pant, $229.50, available at Club Monaco

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Knit Dresses
Knit dresses provide you with enough skin coverage and sensuality for a date or those spontaneous meet ups at the nearest bar. They are also appropriate in the office!

 

Shop the look: Ribbed Dress with Polo Collar, $79.90, available at Zara

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Trench Coats
Generally regarded as the best outerwear for spring, trench coats are both versatile and functional, providing a composed look anywhere you go.


Shop the look: Ellayne Trench, $229, available at Club Monaco

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Chelsea Boots
These boots are great staples all year around because of their convenience and style.

 

Shop the look: Pointed Toe Chelsea Boots, $45.90, available at Forever 21

 

Image inspiration:
Image courtesy of Fashionista

 

Product info:

  • Knit Sweater, $17.99, available at H&M
  • Izabelah Pant, $229.50, available at Club Monaco
  • Ribbed Dress with Polo Collar, $79.90, available at Zara
  • Ellayne Trench, $229, available at Club Monaco
  • Pointed Toe Chelsea Boots, $45.90, available at Forever 21

 

By: Franz Tabora, Mississauga, @phranzzzz

Fashion Jobs – Weekly Recap

Monday, March 19th, 2018

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Now that March is well underway, we wanted to kick off the start of the new week by recapping all our favourite Style Nine to Five articles from the week prior, just to ensure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the world of SNTF fashion. From a hot new trend to building a new workday uniform, here are the top articles of the week.

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5 Easy Outfit Formulas to Build a Workday Uniform
Choosing an outfit on a hectic morning should ideally be as quick as possible so you can begin your day with ease. This may or may not always be the case, so if you’re looking to simplify your mornings, you might want to consider a “workday uniform”. Read the full post here

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Trend Alert: Sheer Pieces
Transparency in clothes has been significantly contentious in the world of fashion for many years. However, thanks to millennial stylists and the avant-garde movement, the sheer style has become more universally acknowledgeable and is now conventional in high and general fashions. In addition, providing glimpses of the skin is not only perceived as artistically sensual by some people, but it’s also a manner in which an individual expresses great appreciation of their body. Read the full post here

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Weekly Retail News Recap
Each week we will highlight all the major retail news stories from coast to coast. This week’s roundup included a review of Asics first Canadian flagship, the loss of Hubert de Givenchy and more. Read the full post here

 

Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of In Style
Image courtesy of Who What Wear
Image courtesy of Style Caster
Image courtesy of Who What Wear

Fashion Jobs – Weekly Retail News Recap

Friday, March 16th, 2018

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Asics Opens First Canadian Flagship
The Japanese athletic brand, widely recognized for their footwear has started global expansion by opening new flagship locations. Following the opening of a flagship in Manhattan in December, Canada is joining the Asics crew with a 4,400 square foot, two-level Asics store on Queen Street West in Toronto. Sports-geared brands are becoming more prominent on this popular Toronto Street. The new Asics store is surrounded by the likes of Lululemon, Adidas and Reigning Champ and will be joined by a new Mountain Equipment Co-op location later in 2018.

 

Canadian Beauty Brand Launches into Retail
Toronto-based beauty guru, Brittny Robins has teamed up with retail expert, Bonnie Brooks to launch her skincare brand, Flawless by Friday into retail. They will be participating in 14 different pop-ups across Canada this month in popular areas in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Since 2015, when Robins founded her beauty brand, Flawless by Friday has been sold in approximately 100 retailers across North America, but this will be the first time the brand is stepping out on its own. Flawless by Friday combines effective skin-care ingredients with the simplicity of use to create confidence and “flawless” looking skin.

 

The World Waves Goodbye to Hubert de Givenchy
A great loss was felt in the fashion world this past Saturday when legendary designer, Hubert de Givenchy passed away in his home at age 91. The founder of the iconic fashion house, Givenchy, was famous for his elegant designs, his quintessential take on the “little black dress” and his creations worn by his friend and muse, Audrey Hepburn. Who could forget Audrey’s classic on-screen wardrobe from films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Funny Face? People will continue to look at his respected masterpieces and career as inspiration for years to come.

 

Kit and Ace Decreases Store Count in Canada
After closing all of its international locations in spring 2017, Canadian brand Kit and Ace has decreased its store count to just six locations and one coffee shop. Vancouver-based Chip Wilson and wife Shannon Wilson, the family that also owns Lululemon, founded Kit and Ace in July 2014 and took on a fast-tracked expansion internationally, bringing the store count to more than 60 stores globally. In March of last year, that number decreased to 41 stores around the world and the announcement came a month later in April 2017 that only nine Kit and Ace stores would remain open. Since then, locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto have closed their doors as well. The six remaining stores are currently operating in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Oakville. 

 

Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of Who What Wear

 

By: Laura Findlay, Vancouver, @lofindlay

Fashion Jobs – Q&A with Veronica Hosszu, owner of Elizabeth Noel

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

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Moving to London at the age of eighteen for university, Veronica Hosszu applied to work at a gift and ladies’ wear shop called Elizabeth Noel. By her early twenties, Veronica purchased the store from the now late Elizabeth Noel and transformed it into one of the most well-known evening gown boutiques in London. Veronica and her team of “dressperts” are always ready to dress their clients for the special occasions in their lives. Style Nine to Five had the opportunity to sit down with Veronica and Store Manager, Christine Petric to learn more about the Elizabeth Noel experience and what it takes to run a formal wear empire.  

 

SNTF: How would you describe the style at Elizabeth Noel?

 

Veronica & Christine: Elizabeth Noel is all about vintage pieces mixed with modern touches. We like to think of it as bringing back the Betsy Johnson style with our bright fuchsia pink colours and fun, relaxed environment. We wear t-shirts and sweaters with fun sayings and want our clients to enjoy their time with us shopping when for their special occasions. 

 

SNTF: What is it about the formal wear industry that appealed to you over more everyday apparel?

 

Veronica & Christine: We still carry tons of casual dresses and have even started stocking up on more evening wear. The evening wear was slowly incorporated into our stock as graduations started turning more formal. When we see a demand, we always try to find something to suit the need. Many parents comment on how they never had dresses with such extravagant details 10 or 20 years ago. 

 

SNTF: What are some of the challenges you had to overcome in order to establish Elizabeth Noel as a standout shop on Richmond Row?  

 

Veronica & Christine: Richmond Row is always buzzing with new people coming in which often brings clients to us. Our name carries and brings people from out of town as well. One of the challenges of being downtown is finding enough parking spaces which is why we moved to our current location. Unlike when we started concentrating on eveningwear, we now have more competitors in our niche so we continually strive to stay ahead of trends to make sure we stay relevant.

 

Trends come and go even faster these days with technology only one click away. In the current economic state, we hear of many evening gown stores closing. We often absorb new clients with our reputation as the need for gowns across Canada is seemingly increasing. We just recently opened up a new section in the store to try and accommodate double the change room space we previously had. The biggest struggle with this is trying to maintain the same level of customer service and one on one attention. If we could survive off our entire business being private appointments, we would love to do so.  

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SNTF: Elizabeth Noel caters to a younger demographic particularly for prom and graduation attire. What are some of the challenges and rewards that come with working with young women?

 

Veronica & Christine: During Prom and Grad season we see all kinds of young girls come through our doors. One challenge is keeping them engaged so that they buy through a brick and mortar location. Getting to come into our shop to find a beautiful dress you cannot wear every day and have that special time to feel beautiful can be a wonderful experience and we love helping these girls find the dress of their dreams.

 

Not all girls get the chance to do so, however, which is why Veronica started the Princess Program. We book private appointments for girls who have health challenges and cannot afford an expensive dress so that they still get to have that special experience and select a brand-new dress of their own. We are now reaching out to Make a Wish foundation and Canadian Refugees as well as children from the Children’s Aid Society.

 

SNTF: Elizabeth Noel has been serving the London community for over 45 years; what is the secret to such a long-lasting business?

 

Christine: Trying to stay current and being present in your business daily. Veronica is here seven days a week and is always trying to serve our clients the best she can. All of our staff are trained to come up with solutions and to help clients figure out exactly what they have pictured in their minds. We don’t call ourselves “dressperts” for nothing. We are dedicated to giving the best service we can and staying organized to ensure we know what is going on in and out of the store at all times. 

 

SNTF: How has the experience of shopping for formal wear changed over the years?

 

Veronica & Christine:  Not long ago it was very common to walk into a store and walk out with a dress off of the rack that required minimal alterations. In today’s industry, most girls end up ordering a dress which can take anywhere from a few days to be shipped to 24 weeks to be made. Once the dress arrives, they all come in dress sizes and standard lengths that often need alterations. Technology also keeps the trends moving so quickly you cannot sell last year’s dresses, so companies compensate by carrying less stock. This all means you need to shop earlier than ever to get the dress you really love. 

 

SNTF: Has the rise of online shopping made it more challenging to stay relevant?

 

Veronica & Christine: We get orders online and over the phone daily. We have sold internationally to countries like the USA, Brazil, Portugal, Russia and from coast to coast in Canada. We also launched our new website to make it easier to navigate and gain access to information.

 

There are so many fake websites on the market. Every year, many people come to us after a dress disaster arrives at their door from a fake website. Companies regulate their pricing so if a dress is online for $200 and is sold everywhere else for $700, the chances are that the dress is not going to show up with the quality of a name brand.

 

What most kids don’t understand is how the dollar conversion works as well and what duty charges are. As official dealers, some companies compensate duty and shipping charges for us whereas when someone else orders a dress online, they are actually paying extra at the door once the dress is converted from American to Canadian dollars. We are proud to say that we are often cheaper than most online stores to purchase from. We also tend to be cheaper than purchasing from a store located in the United States once all the costs are added up.

Elizabeth Noel

SNTF: Where do you find your style inspiration? How do you choose the looks that you carry?

 

Christine: Veronica and one of our employees travel a few times a year to the US to see the prom markets and fashion shows for the new collections coming out for the next year. They select basic styles and trendy pieces that they believe will do best in the upcoming season, trying to predict what will be popular before photos are even released online. They need to take everything into consideration from the different types of clients and occasions to what sizes and colours are most important for each style. We are always on top of purchasing new dresses throughout the year and have new shipments arriving weekly from September to June.  

 

SNTF: Do you find that social media such as Instagram or Pinterest affect the styles you carry at Elizabeth Noel?

 

Veronica & Christine: ABSOLUTELY! You cannot keep kids off of their phones! The first question we ask when a client walks through our door is “Do you have any photos?”. We also encourage bringing in style codes or photos of dresses they like online so we can get a feel for the style they are after. It makes our job easier to help pull the right dresses. 

 

The downside to sites like Pinterest is many dresses are actually poorly made knockoffs or sold-out styles that are impossible to get. We find it is easier to look at official brand websites or collections to see legitimate photos of new styles. 

 

SNTF: Can you describe a typical workday for you?

 

Christine: Veronica makes sure she gets the kids out of the house and to school with Coco (our store puppy) in hand. She sometimes stops to clear packages or to pick things up around the city. We arrive early to open and get everything ready to go. Usually, we have people lined up at the door ready to come in. The day consists of customers of all types coming in and staff members bouncing around helping each person and putting away all of the stock that is tried on. 

 

Every day is different when boxes come through the door, specials need to be called in, issues arise, or things need to be dropped off or picked up from alterations or the dry cleaner. At the end of the day, we stay late for final decisions and to close the store. Veronica is often here from 10 am to 9 pm especially since free private appointments run after-hours most of the week.  

 

SNTF: Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the formal wear industry?

 

Veronica & Christine: Having exclusive brands is key. This makes you different and avoids registry mishaps from other stores. You need to be dedicated and constantly on top of companies ensuring specials are coming in and correct. Humans sew the dresses and ship them so mistakes can be made. We have never missed a wear date and do everything we can to keep track of the dress and get it in on time. 

 

SNTF: What do you see for the future of Elizabeth Noel?

 

Veronica & Christine: We have been bursting out into contests, events, and being a social media leader. We intend to continue looking for ways to raise money for our charity and engage clients online and in-store with fun events that support the community and to make their experience more unique and fun.

 

We will constantly strive to uphold our reputation and look for ways to improve. Over time we hope to expand our sales and possibly incorporate new ideas into the business. This year brought bigger and better things for our charity with fashion shows, an upcoming adult prom, and a screening of “Mean Girls” at the Hyland theatre. We have our newest employee Coco, a photo wall, new change rooms, a new website, and plenty of new stock! 

 

By: Avery Lafortune, Toronto

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