With the intimate apparel world in the midst of a shakeup, new brands such as Canada’s Knix are playing a key role in its evolution. Knix is a direct-to-consumer intimate apparel company known for comfortable designs for women available online. This fall, it opened its first standalone store in Vancouver followed by a second in downtown Toronto. If the brand’s wildly successful March warehouse sale in Toronto, where shoppers queued up outside, was any indication, it’s clear the demand for permanent retail spaces is there.
Knix CEO Joanna Griffiths founded her company in 2013 with the launch of her Leakproof underwear, an absorbent style featuring a built-in gusset liner. “Six years ago, no one wanted to talk about leak-proof underwear. Now we’re all so curious to try and see how it works,” Griffiths says. Since, she has expanded her offerings to include several bra styles, swimwear, a postpartum collection and Knixteen for the needs of her younger clients. “We’re on this mission to reinvent one product at a time,” she says.
The design of Knix’s first two boutiques, located in trendy lifestyle-focused retail hubs in Kitsilano and West Queen West, took inspiration from Knix clients, focusing on curves and round shapes. The stores’ colour scheme features six shades of the colour pink, meant to mimic a peaceful sunrise or sunset and paired with artwork by Toronto artist Leia Bryans. Griffiths wanted the emphasis to be on a clean, minimal design that would feel warm and inviting to customers shopping for intimates.
Knix Store, 2076 W. 4th Ave., Vancouver, 604-336-9261; 630 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-364-6060, knix.ca.
Hosted in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Toronto design festival, DesignTO, is Plated, an event taking place on Jan. 18. This intimate four-course dinner is limited to just 35 guests, who will enjoy their meal in a dining space outfitted with the work of local designers including Castor Design, Dear Human and Felt Studio. Prepared by chef Greg Laird of the Tempered Room, Plated will take place in the private residence of Shaun Moore, owner of Made Design. Following the dinner, the plates will move to the Tempered Room where they will remain on display for the duration of the DesignTO festival. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit designto.org/event/plated.
Montreal-based Ssense has debuted a new apparel category. As of Dec. 6, style-savvy pet owners can now shop dogwear for their canine companions on the platform. Ssense collaborated with brands to develop the assortment, commissioning harnesses, leashes, collars, sweaters and more from labels such as Burberry, Moncler Genius, Stutterheim and Versace. Prices range from $80 to $1,825. On its site, the collection is modelled by pets belonging to staff of the company and will expand in the spring to feature pieces by additional brands including Maisie Wilen and Thom Browne. For more information, visit ssense.com.
Global beauty company L’Oréal has made a strategic investment in Functionalab Group, a Canadian aesthetic medicine company. Functionalab has 15 medical aesthetic clinics located across Canada as well as the skin-care brands Dermapure and Project Skin MD. Based in Montreal, Functionalab offers non-invasive treatments such as laser, injections and skin tightening treatments via ultrasound or radio frequency. In addition, the L’Oréal-owned brand SkinCeuticals will now be distributed at all Dermapure clinics. For more information, visit functionalabgroup.com.
As part of its ongoing mission to offer sustainable fashion alternatives, Frank and Oak has introduced the Nevasca winter boot, its first sustainable style in the footwear category. This winter boot for men and women offers warmth without bulk in black and tan colours. It is made in Portugal of innovative materials that include coffee waste, plant-dyed chrome-free bio-leather, recycled rubber and felt and is lined with recycled wool. The Nevasca boot is available online through frankandoak.com for $249. Frank and Oak was established in Montreal in 2012 and is known for sustainable initiatives in apparel.