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)

Massimo Dutti launches in CF Pacific Centre

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Massimo Dutti opened its first west coast stand-alone store and newest global store concept at CF Pacific Centre this week. A carefully selected location in the heart of downtown core located within one of the highest ranked shopping malls in Canada.

It is the first Massimo Dutti store to open in Vancouver and the new flagship will house women’s wear, men’s wear, foot wear, and accessories all within the sizable 7,432 square foot store.

The new store concept strays from the European image of the company of the past, and is based on a progressive evolution of the original boutique style. The change is interiors based and primarily focuses on finishes and shapes that aim for warmer, more contemporary spaces and environments.

Walnut wood, brass, leather and serpigiante marble are the dominant materials in the new architectural design that blends modern lines and classic details, which are the signature of Massimo Dutti.

New SS2016 at Massimo Dutti

Massimo Dutti Women consists of several lines of casual yet comfortable pieces, not only in fabrics, but also in accessories and fragrances. All of these make up a common style as regards the trends, styles, colours and textures.

Massimo Dutti Men reflects an urban, cosmopolitan profile of an independent man who enjoys paying attention to details, culture and staying classy.

The Spring Summer 16 Collection features impeccable cuts and finishes and the whole new season collection will be available at the new Vancouver store.

With this SS16 collection, Massimo Dutti once again worked on a very special collaboration with photographer Mario Testino, a fashion industry icon. For SS16, Mario Testino tells a very fresh story, with the help of two characters portrayed by models Anna Mila and Jon Kortajarena.

Massimo Dutti - 2 Models

Image: Mario Testino for Massimo Dutti

The brand was created in 1985 in Spain, and was originally limited to men’s wear. In 1995, it launched its first women’s wear collection, with a variety of styles from casual to sophisticated and timeless.

It has a commercial presence in 65 countries between Europe, America and Asia with over 666 store and belongs to the Inditex Group which also owns Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe.

(This article and photography by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)