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Canada Goose Opens First Flagship Store in Toronto

If you live someplace where you must endure freezing cold temps between the months of December and March, you have probably become very well acquainted with Canada Goose. I’ve collected various styles from the Canadian born Arctic luxury apparel brand over the years that has allowed me to survive some of the coldest winters in history and brisk spring weather without sacrificing style.

Canada Goose opens its doors in the city it calls home (CNW Group/Canada Goose)

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Last night Canada Goose opened the doors to it’s first flagship store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto’s premier retail destination, which is getting a ton of press lately for it’s highly anticipated luxury retail expansion. About 10x’s larger than it may have appeared on my Insta and Snapchat stories, the 4,500 sqft space features Canadian design elements that help to bring the brand’s story to life. Canada Goose Canadian roots are clearly on display in the store with bespoke design elements that connect the space to it’s Canadiana roots; like the ridiculously stunning, oversized single piece marble desk, which was commissioned all the way from B.C. Plus the handmade, down filled upholstered furniture from Montreal based company, Montauk Sofa. And there is no shortage of options to choose from inside – trust me! With well over 100 different styles in 40 colour ways, Toronto’s flagship will house the largest variety of product anywhere in the world.

Canada Goose opens its doors in the city it calls home (CNW Group/Canada Goose)

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

And if you’re going to drop upwards of $1000 on a winter jacket, you deserve a first class shopping experience, right? If you’re in the market for premium outerwear this season, you can expect nothing but first class service from the store’s brand ambassadors; who are also more than happy to hold your purchases while you continue to shop the mall and will give you store carry-out to car or ship-to-home service if requested.

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Opening Ceremony for Canada GooseWearing Opening Ceremony for Canada Goose exclusive black Chilliwack bomber

Photos by Jess Baumung

And I’m sure you’re all wondering whether or not special collaborations will be available in store. Everyone has been chatting about the brand’s recent work with Opening Ceremony and star Blue Jay player José Bautista and lucky for us Torontonians, both are expected to be available here in addition to exclusive in-store only styles, prints and colours. Get a glimpse at vintage pieces from the Canada Goose six decade archive and purchase both classic collections and new pieces at the flagship, which is open to the public now!

West Coastin’ in Canada Goose’s HyBridge Lite Jacket

Canada Goose HyBridge Lite Jacket

Although insanely beautiful, Vancouver is one of the trickiest destinations to pack for when traveling to it. Being a west coastal seaport city that’s close to the pacific ocean and mountains means that you can easily go through three climate changes in one day, especially if you’re into outdoor living and adventures.

Canada Goose HyBridge Jacket

Canada Goose HyBridge Lite Jacket_4

I recently went back to rediscover the city I briefly called home once upon a time and my Canada Goose HyBridge Lite jacket quickly became my favourite accessory on the trip. From scouting photo shoot locations, hiking Grouse Mountain, bike rides in Stanley Park, to long walks on the city’s Seawall, the HyBridge helped me tackle every activity that each came with a different weather element. When I no longer had use for my jacket when the day’s temperature was at it’s highest, the HyBridge brilliantly folds itself into the exterior left hand pocket, making it easy to store in a handbag or backpack.

Canada Goose HyBridge Lite JacketPhotography by Nathalia Allen Amillionminds.ca – Jacket c/o Canada Goose

Nobody can design outerwear for our Canadian landscape quite like Canada Goose. This jacket was carefully constructed for conditions that demand high performance, while still providing the necessary protection from the elements. Taking design cues from the original HyBridge, the Lite version is lighter and more fitted, allowing for a more flattering silhouette. With flexible fabric along the sides and weighing virtually nothing (less than half a pound), it’s the ideal piece for layering, active adventures and for fast packing. Not to mention, awarded “Editors Choice for Best Back Country Jacket” by Outside Magazine.

Click here for more information on the Canada Goose HyBridge Lite jacket. To view the entire women’s collection, head to Canada-Goose.com or follow the brand for style and adventure inspiration on Instagram and Twitter.

Getting To Know Ann Taylor’s Creative Director Lisa Axelson

Lisa Axelson

Not too long after launching my site I was blessed with the opportunity to partner with Ann Taylor so the company is very near and dear to my heart. Living in the U.S. for several years I was already familiar with the brand but became an official part of their family when I was named a Brand Ambassador a year and a half ago. Over the course of this time, I have seen the brand transform from creating classic workwear collections for the mature career women to really providing chic and comfy separates that fits into the lifestyle of every woman, of any age. Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the woman that dresses America (and now Canada), Ann Taylor Creative Director Lisa Axelson, and got to pick her brain as to what inspires her day -to-day, insight into her personal style, current obsessions, things she can’t live without and a sneak peek at the upcoming holiday collection!

SE: Each season I look forward to seeing a new twist on the brand with the launch of each collection, with of course a few classic mainstays. What can women expect to see with your upcoming Holiday collection?

LA: I grew up between Seattle and Vancouver and there’s something about the holidays that get me nostalgic about home. Rustic and authentic rugged textures are the main theme but it was important that we made it really modern and urban for today’s woman while keeping it comfy and chic. It is all about bringing the texture into the brand that was inspired by mountains and tress. You will really see my love of knitwear this season. Taking traditional woollens and tweeds and transforming them. We have a plaid coat in black, grey and white, very traditional colours, but the wool is brushed at the mill, pressed and the inside is bonded to neoprene. Neoprene is really huge right now and gives the jacket a really great sculptural look.

Ann Taylor Winter Holiday Collection 2014

SE: Let’s chat about fabrics. There’s seems to be a wide variety of them in your upcoming holiday collection. Probably more than I have seen in any of your past collections…

LA: I love fabric in general and doing new things with fabric, especially at our price point.  You always see fabric experimentation at the high end and I feel that it’s so hard to get that level of experimentation at a lower price point. You will see quite a bit of vegan leather next season…animal friendly AND at a great price point.

SE: I took a sneak peek of the holiday collection before our chat and clearly have my faves. What pieces are near and dear to your heart that you feel will be must-haves?

LA: We have a white textured sweater that I adore and I feel resembles cracked snow. There is also a backless tuxedo jumpsuit that I wore to this year’s CFDA’s. Olivia Palermo was my date for the evening and I felt so cool and chic in my look beside her which is amazing. The bootie is my absolute hands-down favourite shoe from the entire collection. You name it; the “Biker” bootie, the “Quilted” bootie…I love them all. The leather jogger will be my go-to travel pant this Fall with a cashmere sweater and trainers. I am not schlepping around Paris in high heels…I’m just not! *laughs*

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I love how passionate you are about these items. What are some of your other current obsessions these days?

LA: I am obsessed with all things comfortable. Sweatshirts in brocade fabrics, leather that is comfy and not restricted and outerwear. No closet is truly complete without a few key outerwear pieces!!!

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I have to be completely honest, I really love your style. You seem to have perfected the “Effortlessly Chic” vibe. Can you share more on your personal style?

LA: Some days call for me to be a bit more formal, so I’m more tailored and pulled together, while on other days I’m the happiest in jeans, a cool top, a jacket over top and some sneakers. I show up to the office looking different every day depending on my work day. There are those days where I have to dash off to a dinner party afterwards in which I throw on some jewellery and exchange the sneakers for a pair of heels.

SE: In the last year or so I have noticed the brand has gone from workwear for the corporate woman to now creating chic and comfortable separates that fit into every woman’s lifestyle for a much wider age demographic. Do you feel pressure to keep up and top every season?

LA: Yes and yes. I don’t know if any of us would be any good if we didn’t feel some sort of pressure. I’ve always felt some sort of pressure since my days at design school.  I frequently have that moment and say to myself, “Oh my God, what if I don’t have the next idea? What is I can’t come up with that moment, that colour, that something that lights my fire?” To help with the design process my team and I  frequently go through the different scenarios of a woman’s life to help in developing a collection that mirrors today’s woman’s lifestyle…which is a bit of a challenge with there being little separation between work, home life and social. And it can be daunting because the deadlines come faster and faster and there’s pressure to deliver for a brand this big but we just have to get passed it and not dwell on it so we can find the inspiration.

SE: Speaking of inspiration, I have always wondered how designers and creative directors do it; find inspiration that is. Do you go out of your way to find it or do you just let it come to you?

LA: I think every designer is different, but for me I almost always have to be out of the office, like away from deadlines, tasks, like out of the work environment and from people asking me questions. *giggles*

SE: That’s pretty funny…but I am guessing you are being dead serious…

LA: Yes…it could be 3am and I’m half asleep and something hits me, a trip to Europe or a week off on Summer vacation. I just find that I have to get away from it and let my mind relax and the ideas just float to the surface. Interior design and architecture tends to flood my inspiration a lot in credit to my parents. My Dad was an Architect who owned his own firm and my Mother worked for him. I was always around it so I often look to that to get my first spark of inspiration. I actually love starting with something that’s non-fashion related because it forces you to think more openly, instead of combing the catwalks because then you are just repeating something someone already did. So I prefer looking to art, books (I love to read) that get me thinking about a storyline. Hemingway’s Moveable Feast was the inspiration for a Fall collection a few seasons ago.

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: Outside of the collection, what are three things that you just couldn’t live without?

LA: Ha…there are quite a few things that I can’t live without. First, maybe Summer vacay. Family…because without them I would never get through the hard times and my iPad – the device for all things inspiring. It’s single handedly changed my life *laughs*. Maybe not for better because it’s with me all the time. Between blogs, shopping, email, music. I do so much research and get really inspired. I mean…forget about it…Pinterest! Once I start, I can’t stop. It is like the rabbit hole.  If it’s 3am and I can’t sleep, there I am tapping and pining my life away.

After viewing some of the key pieces and what Axelson believes are the pillars to the upcoming 2014 Holiday Ann Taylor collection, I am convinced that they will have all your office party, cocktails with the girls, date nights outfit needs and everything in between covered this holiday season. I will be sure to give more updates before the collection hits stores and online. For more information on Ann Taylor and to view their current collection click here – and make sure to follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter for some style inspiration!

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