Events

Jimmy Choo Fêtes Opening of First Boutique in Canada

Jimmy Choo is on a roll of late: in August, the luxury brand opened the doors to its much anticipated first boutique in Canada, and then just this past week went through with a highly watched IPO. Busy as the footwear and accessories design house may be, they found time to celebrate their first Canadian boutique at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto recently.

Guests of honour Waris Ahluwalia and Mila Mulroney were joined by the city’s social set, including FASHION Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, Cityline‘s Tracey Moore and Suits actress Meghan Markle, as they toasted the new boutique. The store reflects a new design concept being rolled out in expansion stores around the world, and will offer women’s and men’s shoes, handbags, sunglasses, small leather goods, and more.

Our favourite part of the new boutique, hands down, was the corner dedicated to the new made-to-order shoe service. The brand’s signature silhouettes, including the classic Anouk, Lance, Xenia and Tite styles, are available for customization for Choo fans looking for the bespoke experience. With a myriad of luxe materials and colours to choose from, we promised ourselves we’d return someday soon for a pair of personalized stilettos.

Haven’t yet had the chance to check out the fab new Jimmy Choo boutique yourself? Check out the gallery below for snaps from the launch party.


Waris Ahluwalia and Mila Mulroney


Meghan Markle


Cailli and Sam Beckerman with ELLE Canada Editor-in-Chief Noreen Flanagan (centre)


Ben and Jessica Mulroney

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Events

Diesel’s Newest Toronto Boutique Hosts Blogger Styling Face-Off, Featuring The Backseat Stylers!


Twins!

Diesel officially launched its third boutique in Canada last week, and yours truly was right in the mix of the celebrations. Or, rather, my doppelgänger was! I had been invited to participate in a blogger style-off pitting me against Jay Strut, Nelia Belkova and Julio Reyes-Cocka, and I’d dressed my little mannequin friend exactly as I’d dress, well, myself.

Having the entire spring/summer 2013 preview collection at my disposal, I started with a metallic black leather collar, added a white button-down and black pleated skirt with cool zipper detailing at the waist, and then finished the look off with a pair of metallic silver ankle booties, plus a double-wrap leather bracelet for good measure. Shera, as I’ve affectionately named her (after a flubbed PR email that addressed me as “Shera” – not my name!) looked pretty damn fierce, if I may say so myself.

She’s got tough competition though, between Nelia’s sequins and pleats, Jay’s denim vest outfit, and Julio’s leather and lace pairing. Give me – and Shera! – some support if you dig our black, white and silver ensemble by tweeting at @DieselCanada and letting them know that @backseatstylers‘ look is where it’s at. The contest closes on Black Friday, November 23 at 9:30 p.m., so vote before then and you’ll be entered to win a $1,000 Diesel shopping spree. Thanks in advance for the love and good luck with the giveaway!


Julio Reyes-Cocka, Nelia Belkova and me


Shoppers voting for Shera, obviously (yup, that’s the story I’m going with)


Jay Strut

xx, S

Image Credits: George Pimentel

Events

Swag For Days: TIFF 2012 Gifting Lounges


Limited edition Tiffany & Co. x Yorkdale Shopping Centre bracelet at Tastemakers Lounge

And there goes TIFF for another year. After 10 days of failed Ryan Gosling/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Zac Efron stalking and minimal actual film watching, all I have to show for my efforts is bags and bags of swag. #Firstworldproblems, right? Here’s a recap of my tour of the TIFF gifting lounges this year and some of my favourite swag items, not because I’m bragging but because I’m still in awe myself. TIFF was like Christmas in September for celebrities, VIPs of various sorts, and lucky media types like yours truly.

TASTEMAKERS LOUNGE

My first TIFF gifting lounge stop was at Tastemakers Lounge by rock-it promotions. “Keep calm and swag on” was the motto. Easier said than done; it’s hard to play it cool when surrounded by so much sweet swag. There were swanky Tiffany & Co. bracelets from Yorkdale Shopping Centre, cute bra and panty sets from La Senza, as well as Indeed Labs‘ full product range, including peptalash (longer, thicker and fuller lashes? yes please!). The team from John Allan’s men’s spa came out in full force providing complimentary services, while Demeter was on hand with its fun range of scents, including ‘Blueberry Muffin’ and ‘Laundromat’.

ESSENTIALS LOUNGE

Next up was the Essentials Lounge by Esther Garnick PR, where guests were treated to gluten-free food truck goodies by Gourmet Bitches, faux lashes by Winks Eyelash Boutique and even spray tanning sessions. We were also loaded up with 2 overflowing (and extremely heavy) swag bags, one titled “Survival” and the other “Recovery”. Inside were everything from a Flawless Complexion Makeup Kit by Benefit Cosmetics to The Socializer‘s Spotlight Exfoliator by Elizabeth Grant, all of which I can’t wait to try. A case of vitaminwater even showed up on my doorstep a few days later; as a Spark addict, I was overjoyed.

SWAROVSKI FASHION SUITE

My next stop was the Swarovski Fashion Suite at the brand new Shangri-La Hotel, where celebrities and their stylists visit to add the type of sparkle only Swarovski crystal can bring to their TIFF red carpet looks. There on display was the Kingdom of Jewels catwalk collection, as well as the Bond 50th anniversary and Skyfall (the next James Bond film) collections. As always, I was blown away by the ornate catwalk pieces and very tempted by the latest offerings for fall.

IT LOUNGE

NKPR‘s IT Lounge was the final stop on my TIFF gifting lounge tour this year. For the first time, the lounge featured a portrait studio where guests had their photos taken by the likes of world-renowned fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. After a much-needed makeup touch-up by MAC Cosmetics, I had the pleasure of being snapped by photographer Norman Wong, and was rather pleased with the results. I also scored some jewelry by lia sophia and beauty tools by Tweezerman, got a nail polish change and eyebrow clean-up, and even fueled up at the Yogurty’s frozen yogurt station.


Blogger Anita Clarke getting touched up by MAC Cosmetics before her close-up with Norman Wong

C’est tout! Thanks to these incredible gifting lounges, I have just about enough beauty and hair samples to last me until TIFF 2013. And then we’ll do it all over again…

xx, S

Image Credits: Images #1, 3 and 4 courtesy of rock-it promo; all others by The Backseat Stylers

Events

Happy Birthday to Us! We Celebrated Three Years of Style With Style Blog and The Souls of My Shoes

On Tuesday, August 7, we celebrated Three Years of Style at the Thompson Toronto Rooftop Lounge, co-hosted by Nelia Belkova of Style BlogKimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes and yours truly in honour of our joint 3-year anniversaries.  You came out for the festivities in full force and knocked our Louboutin stilettos off with your overwhelming support…and incredibly stylish get-ups!

We were honoured to celebrate our blog birthday with so many of our favourite fashion industry folks, including designers John Muscat and Jennifer Wells of LINE Knitwear and Monica Mei of Aime, many of the city’s fashion writers and PR superstars, a blogger contingent that included Anita Clarke of I Want – I GotJay Strut of the eponymous blog, and Richard Fabregui and Marc Piercey of Toronto is Fashion, and more. It was also a huge pleasure to chat with you lovely readers and Twitter friends, many of whom we were meeting in person for the very first time.

With all the love you showed us, we couldn’t let you go home empty-handed. The first 50 guests to arrive each snagged a rather epic (in our humble opinion) swag bag featuring Ardell eyelashes, an eLUXE discount card, essence cosmetics make-up, a copy of FLARE Magazine‘s August 2012 issue, Goody Double Wear elastics, John Frieda hair products, a Nella Bella handbag hook, a Roots iTunes playlist redemption code, Tweezerman tweezers, and a bottle of vitaminwater Zero.

We also awarded our most stylish attendees with $650 worth of prizes. Our grand prize winner, Aya McMillan, took home a $250 eLUXE gift card and a Nella Bella handbag, while Jessica ChiuLiane Fong and Diego R. each won $100 gift cards from Yorkdale Shopping CentreDanier Leather and Roots. And as if that wasn’t already enough, we also drew Wendy Leung‘s name in our draw for a fabulous $550 LINE Knitwear leather jacket. Colour us jealous!

After an evening of such fabulous fun, we’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all our readers and friends who celebrated with us atop the Thompson rooftop – it meant the world to us! Thank you too to all the brands who supported Three Years of Style, Sheila Hui for all her hard work, and You Just Got Spotted for the fantastic photos to remember it all by. Not to mention lots of love to our co-hosts, Nelia and Kimberly, the very best blogging BFFs we could ever ask for. An honourable mention to Mother Nature as well for providing a stunning sunset and perfect weather for a rooftop party.

The countdown to our 4th anniversary bash next year officially begins…now!

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Events

Ann Taylor Celebrates Canadian Launch With Exclusive Fall 2012 Collection Preview

Ann Taylor announced last month its plans to open the brand’s first international stores in Canada this Fall, and at last night’s exclusive launch event we finally got the juicy details you’ve all been waiting anxiously for. Mark your calendars: Ann Taylor is slated to open at Toronto Eaton Centre in October 2012, Yorkdale Shopping Centre in November 2012, and online in 2013!

We also got a sneak peek at the Fall 2012 collection, and there’s plenty to cheer about there too. Peplums, animal prints, and colour-blocking were all spotted in Ann Taylor’s on trend Fall line-up, but it was the accessories that really blew me away. I can’t wait to shop the eye-catching shoes and bold statement jewelry.

The brand’s apparel offerings are office-ready, as expected, but also perfect for after work cocktails. Creative Director Lisa Axelson, who previously designed for Club Monaco, Gap and Banana Republic, brings a younger, trendier feel to the Ann Taylor aesthetic that will appeal to everyone from the chic young professional to her stylish mother.

If you’re wondering about price points, by the way, rest assured that you won’t experience sticker shock when shopping Ann Taylor’s Canadian stores. The significant discrepancies between price tags north and south of the border, a sad reality with many U.S. chains that set up shop in Canada, aren’t expected to be an issue at Ann Taylor.

Get your pocketbooks ready though: between the colourful outerwear options, the cute bow-embellished leather gloves, the colour-block pony hair pumps and the bevy of other items you’ll be coveting – like I am already – your Fall shopping list at Ann Taylor is going to be a long one, so you may as well start saving up now.

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Fashion News

LOFT Announces First Canadian Location at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto

LOFT is coming to Canada! The U.S. brand announced today the opening of its first international store at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto in late 2012. The news comes on the heels of sister brand Ann Taylor‘s announcement a few weeks ago of the launch of their first non-U.S. stores in Canada this Fall.

“Canada represents a natural step as we move to expand internationally, and we are excited to open our first store outside the U.S. in such a vibrant city like Toronto,” said Gary Muto, Brand President in a press release. “LOFT offers women apparel and accessories that have great style, quality and value, and we believe our product fills a void in the market.”

For those of you who are not already long-time fans of LOFT, of which there are many north of the border, the retail chain offers “versatile, accessible, and affordable fashion with undeniably feminine appeal, special and unexpected details, and a flattering fit.” Sounds promising! Are you excited for LOFT’s arrival, Toronto?

xx, S

Image courtesy of LOFT

Fashion News

Ann Taylor to Open First Canadian Stores in Toronto in Fall 2012

After months of speculation, U.S.-based womenswear retailer Ann Taylor finally announced today the opening of the company’s first two international stores, both in Toronto, Canada. Slated to open in Fall 2012, the two new boutiques will offer a full range of women’s apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories that aims to dress women “across every generation from desk to dinner and workday to weekend”.

Brian Lynch, Ann Taylor Brand President said in a press release, “We are pleased by the strong awareness Ann Taylor already enjoys in Canada and look forward to offering our Canadian customers great fashion, quality and value in a new, exciting and aspirational shopping environment.”

The locations of the two new boutiques have yet to be officially announced, but a wayward floor plan and current job posting lead us to the conclusion that they will be opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Toronto Eaton Centre. Neither location is a surprise, as Yorkdale in particular has celebrated the launch of two significant first-to-market store openings in the last year with J.Crew and Tory Burch.

Are you excited to be able to shop Ann Taylor’s chic offerings north of the border in a few short months? Stay tuned for more news about Ann Taylor in Canada in the coming weeks!

xx, S

Image Credit: Lila Photo

Events

Tory Burch’s First Boutique in Canada Opens its Orange Doors at Yorkdale Mall

As soon as I passed through the orange lacquer doors into the packed press preview of Tory Burch’s first Canadian boutique at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, I knew I was in for a fun night. Within the gorgeously decorated space – filled to the brim with what the designer herself describes as “beautiful things that don’t cost a fortune” – fashion aficionados intensely debated what their first Tory Burch in-store acquisitions on Canadian soil would be.

Bold colours and delightful prints were enthusiastically embraced by the more sartorially adventurous. After careful deliberation and polling, Nelia Belkova of StyleBlog.ca settled on the coveted Robinson Mini Chain Bag in an eye-catching orange. Meanwhile, Liv Judd, Shopping Editor for LOULOU Magazine, is reportedly enjoying the spring weather in her new pair of Tory Burch flats, made in a to-die-for yellow snakeskin.

In addition to all the vibrant colour, there was a strong selection of classic garments and accessories in pastels and neutral tones. I myself was drawn to the Small Suede Briefcase and the Owen Jacquard Dot Pant, though I ultimately went with an Angelique silk blouse (one can never have too many blouses). The thoroughly enjoyable shopping experience I had was in no small part due to the tremendously friendly, helpful, and efficient staff.

The Tory Burch boutique is now open to the public, so be sure to pay a visit!


The infamous mirrored accessory wall, a feature of all Tory Burch boutiques


Flare Magazine’s Mosha Lundström Halbert


S would love these whimsical cherry-print pumps


Blogger Gracie Carroll giving the Owen jacquard dot pants a try


Flare Magazine’s Ryan M. Cheung, undoubtedly texting his friends about the iPad-equipped seating areas

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Contests

Tory Burch’s First Canadian Boutique to Launch at Toronto’s Yorkdale – Win an Exclusive Sneak Peek!

Back in March, it was announced that New York-based contemporary designer Tory Burch‘s first boutique in Canada would be launching at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in May. Since then, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for more details, and finally they’ve come: the brand spanking new store will officially open its doors on May 4!

Have you been admiring Tory Burch’s popular Reva ballet flats or 797 leather satchels from afar? Here’s your chance to finally get your hands on them! With Burberry as its neighbour, the luxurious, 2,500-square foot boutique will stock a full range of Tory Burch’s chic and preppy clothing and accessories.

We can’t wait to see the new store. The brand has built some very luxe boutiques around the world (check out the gallery below), and we’re excited to see what the fabulous Tory Burch store format (orange lacquer doors, mirrored walls, Lucite fixtures) will look like with a Canadian twist.

The very best part of this big news? You may just get the chance to visit the new boutique sooner than you think. The Backseat Stylers have been invited to get a sneak peek of the new store before it opens to the public and enjoy 20% off full price purchases…and we want you to be our guest!

To win this exclusive opportunity to visit Tory Burch’s first Canadian boutique before anyone else, simply enter our contest by April 29 (see contest rules below). Good luck, ladies! In the meantime, peruse the Spring 2012 lookbook and start working on your wish lists, Toronto!

Contest Rules [CLOSED]:

1. To enter, leave us a comment on this blog post and ‘like’ both Tory Burch and The Backseat Stylers’ Facebook pages here and here.

2. For one (1) extra entry, follow both Tory Burch and The Backseat Stylers on Twitter, and tweet the following: “The first @ToryBurch store in Canada opens May 4, and I want to win a sneak peek with @backseatstylers! http://bit.ly/I2T92Q #ToryinToronto”

3. Entries must be received by April 29, 2012 11:59pm. The winner will be selected randomly from the submissions using random.org and will be announced on April 30, 2012. The winner will be notified by e-mail.

4. The date and time of the store visit (before May 4, 2012) is at the sole discretion of Tory Burch. If the winner is unable to attend at the appointed date and time, a new winner will be selected.

5. The prize is for one (1) guest only, and does not include transportation to/from the store or any Tory Burch products.

UPDATE:

We’ve selected our winner using random.org. Congratulations to…Emma! We look forward to shopping the new Tory Burch boutique with you before it opens. Thanks to everyone who entered!

xx, T & S

Image Credits: Tory Burch

Retail Therapy

First Topshop Store in Canada Opens at The Bay Yorkdale

My fellow Torontonians, Topshop has finally landed! At The Bay at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, that is. And since I so irresponsibly and selfishly skipped the media preview earlier today in favour of work – the horror! - this post is my attempt to make it up to you. I know you’re all dying to stop by the brand spankin’ new store when it opens tomorrow, October 5, but in the meantime I’ve pillaged the Twitter feeds of my favourite tweeps for photos for you. So here you go – a sneak peek of the very first Topshop store in Canada!

Ready to get your (Top)shop on?

xx, S

Image Credits: @YorkdaleStyle@Topshop_Canada@TIF_Richard@JayStrut

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