It's a great day when Vancouver-founded businesses are able to open their first brick-and-mortar location, and even better when they're able to expand or create new flagships.
It means that there is a hunger for local business and enough love and support from the local fashion community to keep it thriving.
Such is the case for four of the entrants on this list. The other two are American brands expanding into the Canadian market but they chose Vancouver over Toronto when establishing their first outpost north of the border.
Vancouver is slowly but surely setting itself apart as a city to be reckoned with in the world of fashion. These six new stores are worth checking out and supporting to keep that movement going.AllbirdsAllbirds began as a sustainable shoe brand in 2016 made for everyday low-impact wear.Since they have expanded their product offering to include high-performance running and hiking shoes; there's also a capsule collection of workout and athleisure clothing. Made from natural fibres like merino wool, sugar cane, and bark, the green fashion brand prioritizes comfort and environmentalism.Allbirds opened its first Canadian store in Kitsilano on West 4th and Vine because they felt the neighbourhood fit best with the brand's ethos.
To this day, the Women's Tree Runners remain the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. It's like wearing a sock it's so lightweight and soft, and the best part? They're machine washable.
Location: 2262 W 4th Ave.AthletaIn between Sephora and Indigo where the Miniso and Little Burgundy shoe store used to be, there is now a large Athleta flagship.
It's still boarded up but it's set to open later this summer.The Gap-owned certified B-corp specializes in athletic and athleisure apparel. The clothing selection is massive and ranges from standard yoga and running attire to casual dresses and rompers, with swimwear, outerwear, sleepwear and children's lines as well. All of the designs are effortless throw-on pieces made with soft fabrics that can be worn around the house or out running errands. The idea is to be versatile.
Location: 1035 Robson St.
Anna Kosturova Surf Lounge Pop-upFor a limited time this summer, Vancouver designer Anna Kosturova (best known for her elevated crochet and tie-dye resort wear) is bringing the beach to Gastown with a brick-and-mortar pop-up that is part boho lounge and part surf shop. From now until the end of August (although if we're lucky it may even stick around until September) Kosturova's clothing will be available to check out in person alongside other summery women-led businesses.
Location: 164 Water St.
Oak + Fort
This modern Vancouver-based fashion brand curates thoughtful basics, from apparel to objects, and has done amazingly well since launching in 2010.The clean neutral designs are well-made in sturdy fabrics like linen and complement the minimalist millennial aesthetic. Oak + Fort has over 30 locations across Canada and the US but has just announced they will be opening a new 5,000-square foot flagship storefront in Gastown, the site of their original store. This bigger and better location will carry the full womenswear, menswear, accessories, jewelry, and homeware collections as well as the environmentally conscious collection, OAK Refined.
The store opens to the public on Saturday, August, 13.
Location: 151 Water St.
FableFable is a Burnaby-based dinnerware company that is beloved on social media. Since launching with dinner plates it has expanded to all things needed to throw a party: napkins, glasses, flatware, and pasta bowls. They even have a few vases to decorate the table and a scrub brush to clean up afterward.
They have recently taken over a South Granville storefront where Exposure used to be. Across the currently-shuttered windows of the new space, Fable writes "Great history is written over great meals," almost as if it's heralding the opening of a restaurant instead of a store. The words are paired with old photos of famous meals. And on the door is a QR code that leads to the Fable website.
There is no sign of what the space will look like when it's open for business nor any mention of an opening date but it will sure to be one worth checking out when the doors do finally open.Location: 2843 Granville St.
BloodlineThe edgy yet classic silver jewellery brand Bloodline was founded as a wholesaler in Vancouver almost 30 years ago and has since made it big in Hollywood. Despite numerous pop-ups and a dedicated fanbase, the brand never had a physical storefront, until now.Opening in September, the Kitsilano store on West 4th will become a flagship for Bloodline. It will be designed in "vintage modern" black and white and reflective of the owner and jeweller Malcom Norman's street-style roots with touches of street art, bright electrics, and neon.
Location: 2005 West 4th Ave.