What were the big stories of 2021 for you?
As the year went on we started to see our customers’ voices shine through, though the year started a little more conservatively, given they were buying in the midst of lockdown. Chiffon Long Sleeve Floral Print Dress Early on it was more casual and activewear labels and sweatsuit labels—Rag & Bone, Colorful Standard from the contemporary world, but also luxury brands like The Row, Brunello Cuccinelli, and Jil Sander.
As the weather turned and vaccinations rolled out, denim really took off; people wanted the comfort but also the more tailored look denim can give. It was styled with sneakers, from more mass names like New Balance and Vejas, to designer versions from Saint Laurent, Gucci and Roger Vivier.
Halfway through the year, there was a shift, from casual to dressing up: Greta Constantine, The Attico and The Vampire’s Wife. That also saw the return of the pump: from Amina Muaddi, who we have wait lists for, and from Saint Laurent, Dior. Blue Backless Sundress The move to dressing up happened really fast. It’s not often you see things move at that pace. The look embraces different things: There’s the rise of Y2K, referencing things from the past, like the classic pearl necklaces from Vivienne Westwood, or denim paired with really embellished footwear.
Traditional evening codes are being thrown away. Our women are really mixing it up. We still have heritage customers going for Oscar de la Renta or Akris, but no matter who is dressing up, the approach is underscored with ease and functionality; it’s all about feeling as empowered and comfortable in the real world as you were at home.
Which labels and brands did well for you?
In terms of new names for us, I mentioned The Attico and The Vampire’s Wife, but one of our key initiatives was to underscore our heritage, with Canadian brands, like Greta Constantine. We also launched HotPot Variety, which started as a COVID hobby for the designer, Jess Papp; it’s all hand crocheted in Toronto. That sold out. We’ve been looking for new talent, and using our platform to support them. We did well with some collaborations we had in store: Fendi X Skims, the Gucci Hacker project. And as we close the year, we are doing so much business in the jewelry world—such as Anita Ko or Boucheron—which customers are really gravitating towards
Were there any surprises?
Honestly, I was surprised to see how much our customer was already looking for dress-up pieces at the beginning of 2021. In the midst of the lockdown people were buying Saint Laurent boots and Bottega Veneta bags. It was about getting your post lockdown look ready!
What didn’t connect so much?
We saw a big slowdown in feminine printed dresses. At the beginning of the pandemic, customers were shopping for a more minimal attitude. Coffee Long Sleeve T-Shirt Dresses The only brand that was the exception to that was Zimmermann; that was one of our shining stars.