1074 Ave. Laurier O, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
This clean, sleek, minimalist space mirrors its wares—lots of Dries Van Noten, Lemaire, and Acne Studios, which draw the city’s creative class (art directors, architects, and the like). There are plenty of pieces for both men and women, and the men’s rack has some pretty fantastic options for women, too. There’s a nice selection of accessories (wallets, backpacks, and totes) from WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, a line started by local twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart. There’s a second outpost in Old Montreal.
Élément de Base
534 McCaffrey, Saint Laurent
The Montreal-based furniture maker is a homegrown, direct-to-consumer outfit: It collaborates with local designers for its robust selection of sofas, armchairs, benches—you name it. And because it works in a smaller way that’s more integrated with the local community, it's able to offer competitive pricing on its pieces, too. The best way to peruse the selection is on the site or via the beautifully curated Instagram feed, but there are also two showrooms in Montreal where you can test out, say, a sectional, in person before you commit.
Editions de Robes
5334 Blvd. St. Laurent, Mile End
In a charming storefront in the boho Mile End enclave, shop owner Julie Pesant’s philosophy is simple: “In order for a dress to find its way into our store, I have to love it enough to want it for myself,” she says. It follows that the shop is a treasure trove of sweet, feminine dresses—everything from classic A-line silhouettes and shifts from the brand’s house line to one-of-a-kind vintage pieces Pesant has handpicked for the store, plus well-known styles from Tibi, Cynthia Rowley, and Elizabeth and James.
70 St. Paul St. O, Old Montreal
Denis Gagnon has an uncanny ability to work with leather in a way that feels sculptural and romantic at the same time. He works in a largely black palette, and no, his designs aren’t for the faint of heart—with details like exposed gold zippers, sequins, and cutouts on blazers, asymmetrical dresses, and blouses. Gagnon, also known for his thick black eyeglasses and heavy French-Canadian accent, was born in Montreal, so after spending years abroad working in Morocco in costume design, his return was a homecoming. The brand is adored for its eclectic ready-to-wear and custom one-off creations; the flagship store, located on a cobblestoned street in Old Montreal, has been around for almost a decade.
4357 Rue St. Laurent, Plateau-Mont-Royal
Ibiki first opened its doors back in 2011 and exists today as a kind of clothing/publications/stationery/housewares emporium for those with more minimalist leanings. There's an artful curation (largely greys, black, navy) of cult labels big and small, like Black Crane, Y-3, Oak NYC, Norse Projects, Converse x Play by CDG sneakers, plus books by D.A.P. Artbooks and MoMA Publications as well as copies of indie magazines, like Apartamento, Tunica, and Record—all of which are worth leafing through.
5253 Blvd. St. Laurent, Mile End
Les Étoffes' something-for-everyone edit for both guys and girls translates to pieces by Christophe Lemaire, Patrick Ervell, and Unis, each one lovingly picked by Diana Taborsky and Christopher Girard, who have run the shop together for almost a decade. There are small giftable items, too, like a selection of beauty products by goop-favorite Grown Alchemist; journals by Maya Assouad, which are handmade right here in Montreal; and Linda Farrow eyewear.
5155 Blvd. St. Laurent, Mile End
A delightful mix of contemporary design with a Scandinavian bent, the edit here focuses on both bigger furnishings (Simon Legald form chairs, HAY nesting end tables) and giftable decorative-but-useful objects from brands like Stelton and Good Thing. Be prepared to make some room in your suitcase.
1300 Rue Sherbrooke O, Downtown
With 180 years of fashion history under its belt, Holt Renfrew is to Canada what Bloomingdale's or Saks Fifth Avenue is to America—a storied luxury department store with a designer roster that hovers in the hundreds (from Mother denim to Margiela and everything in between). Special-touch services like on-site tailoring and monogramming are a lovely throwback to the store’s royal past (Queen Victoria was a fan).
Clark Street Mercantile
5200 Rue Clark, Mile End
This achingly cool, impeccably styled store is the kind of men’s shop that makes girlfriends, wives, and sisters jealous. That said, his-for-her enthusiasts will find a treasure trove of La Paz stripes, Bleu de Paname pullovers, and limited-edition kicks. The buyers put an emphasis on craftsmanship and storytelling over trends, meaning that every purchase is for keeps.
369 Rue St. Paul O, Old Montreal
Located in the heart of Old Montreal, this immaculate boutique has a decidedly minimalist bent. All-white shelving holds accessories by Mansur Gavriel and Commes des Garçons, while sleek racks are home to crisp, architectural pieces by Roland Mouret and Dries van Noten. The inventory is limited, showcasing only select items from each designer's current collection, which speaks to the fact that this is place to find investment pieces.
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