1000 Words: Hermes Fall/Winter 2016

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I don’t really believe in elegance. Ever since I first came to France many years ago to do the Chambre Syndicale course, I always felt I was somehow lacking, first of all being British – obviously a disaster! But I was also puzzled with this idea that you have to tie your Hermes scarf just right, or you can only wear black.

Suzy Menkes

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Esprit Re-launches Brand in North America

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Fashion brand Esprit has re-entered the North American market, having just opened its first two locations on the continent: Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall and Vancouver’s Metropolis at Metrotown.

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Metrotown storefront | Retail Insider

A grand opening launch on May 25 includes an in-house performance by singer and social media star Caroline Vreeland (granddaughter of fashion icon Diana Vreeland).

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Caroline Vreeland | @CarolineVreeland IG

The re-birth of the brand began with its partnership with Montreal-based Freemark Apparel Brands, which is coordinating the expansion of the company’s Canadian operations.

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#ImPerfect campaign | Esprit

Looking to reach a youth market, Esprit has launched a street-level #ImPerfect campaign which draws from party culture of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s and the above featured campaign billboards are dotted throughout Vancouver and the suburbs.

Man Repeller in Esprit #Imperfect Campaign

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Man Repeller getting her dance on | Esprit

This campaign comes hot on the heels of the earlier 2016 street-level campaign, with controversial blogger Leandra Medine (aka Man Repeller), which created a humorous series on how to create #ImPerfect dance moves imagery during your daily commute.

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#ImPerfect campaign in action | Esprit

Freemark’s vice president of sales and co-owner, Lawrence Routtenberg, said that Esprit’s previous store locations were often quite large and this time around, stores will generally be in the 1,500 to 2,500 square foot range to create more of an intimate boutique feel. The two stores also feature casual west coast-inspired interiors with natural wood finishings, which were designed in Germany, where Esprit’s corporate office is located.

Founded in California in 1968, Esprit has been a retailer for men, women, and children. Leaving North America in 2012 to focus on the European and Asian markets, the brand has collections ranging from casual to dressy.

Routtenberg revealed that long-term, the brand will look to carefully open freestanding Canadian stores, while being respectful to the brand’s roughly 250 Canadian wholesale specialty accounts. Ultimately, he said that Canada could see about 30 or so Esprit stores, though exact numbers would be contingent on opportunity and the economy.

Esprit wants only the ‘best’ locations for its stores and, as a result, top malls will be targeted. For example, this fall, Esprit is confirmed to be opening its third Canadian store at Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre. Urban street front locations may also be considered, with Robson Street in Vancouver, as a possibility. Eventually, outlet stores could be added to the mix, Routtenberg said.

(This piece by Helen Siwak was originally published in a shorter version in VancityBuzz.com)

SD: Best Sushi Restaurants in Vancouver

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Finding great sushi in Vancouver is no issue– the city is known for sushi (that many consider better than in Japan — sacrilege, I know!) and there are over 615 sushi restaurants to choose from. Whether your passion is over-sized jumbo rolls with deep-fried stuffing smothered with more sauces than you can shake a chopstick at or sashimi bowls topped with delicately sliced raw seafood, there is no shortage of options in this west coast city.

Minami in Yaletown

“Find joy in yourself by bringing pleasure to guests” is their corporate philosophy and so far, the one-on-on service has been impeccable. Try the innovative Aburi Sushi, which is flame seared, if you are really looking to impress. This spot has great ambiance and is a late-night-date-night kind of place.

Zen Japanese Restaurant on the North Shore

According to their website testimonials, Sarah McLachlan and Rae Dawn Chong, are exulted fans. Guests can sit at the sushi bar and have ‘omakase’ custom dinners prepared for them at the mercy of the chefs whim. Zen is stylish, fun and Ocean Wise for those looking for local fresh seafood options.

Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown

With private rooms and valet service, this ‘cafe’ serves the freshest seafood and is consistently given ‘Best Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver’ awards from those who matter. Don’t forget to join the Toptable Group mailing list to get in on all those highly coveted private events and tastings.

ShuRaku Sake Bar + Bistro in Downtown

A sake bar and bistro by definition, ShuRaku has elevated casual style with an architectural interior design concept which complements the whimsical izakaya-stylings of its menu. This spot is open 7 days a week in the heart of downtown with an expansive selection of both food and strong beverages.

Zest Japanese Cuisine in Kitsilano

Apart from their outstanding modern Japanese cuisine, Zest has cultivated quite a reputation for their refined wine and sake programs. Start with the freshest sashimi, follow with a few signature dishes, and keep room for the refreshing green tea tirmisu. Bottoms up on the thimble sized cups of sake and enjoy!

Hapa Izakaya on Robson, in Yaletown and Coal Harbour

With three locations, Hapa Izakaya is very popular and voted ‘Best Izakaya in 2016′ by the Georgia Straight readers and one of top 5 in North America by Bon Appetit Magazine. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, visit and delight in the 5-6pm Happy Hour, which not only includes adventurous cocktails but delicious menu selections.

The Eatery at Dunbar

This university student hang-out must be experienced to be believed. Affordable, yet deviant, delicious sushi in giant portions accompanied loud EDM, by zany pop-culture decor passing, yam fries inside the rolls and a pink mini-van cruising around hyping the hype.

Did we miss any of the best sushi restaurants in Vancouver? Share your spots with us!

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published with similar images in StyleDemocracy.com)