Apr 18, 2012

Fast fashion: Where to get your high-end retail fix this spring

By: Ava Baccari

Courtesy of M for Mendocino Author: Elle Canada Credits: Courtesy of M for Mendocino

Apr 18, 2012

Fast fashion: Where to get your high-end retail fix this spring

By: Ava Baccari
Like all well-executed pursuits, a successful outlet shopping venture requires a thorough game plan (and budget, too, if you’re into that). Check out our roundup of best locale-specific outlet shops to hit this season (this includes you, Tom Ford).

On a U.S. outlet shopping day trip

Tom Ford Outlet

What could be better than Tom Ford? Tom Ford with a sexier, significantly reduced price tag. The posh, perma-suited American designer, who charms us with his European candour, announced this week that his self-titled unisex fashion label will be opening the first—and only—Tom Ford Outlet at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in New York this summer. Mark your high-fashion calendars: the store is tentatively set to open July 15.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, 498 Red Apple Court Central Valley, NY, 845-928-4000
Literally a high-end fashion mecca located just a one-hour bus ride away from that other fashion mecca—only with to-die-for sale prices attached to over 220 of those covetable labels. With Bottega Veneta, Fendi and Diane von Furstenberg outlets, at 25 to 60 per cent off their regular prices, you may want to bypass Fifth Avenue and head straight for the discounted version on your next New York trip. True fact: ELLE Canada features editor Kathryn Hudson snagged a pair of Chanel motorcycle boots for $200 there last season.

Just outside Toronto

Holt Renfrew Last Call
, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr. Vaughan Mills, Vaughan, 905-886-7444
A dreamlike perusal of those gilded racks from your favourite Holts store except with real-life signage indicating 80 per cent off that pair of Jimmy Choos. Say what? This 8,100-square-foot space offers those same high-end labels carried by Holt Renfrew department stores, with 60 per cent off their original retail prices. Year-round outlet shopping, folks.

For Toronto outlet shopping hotspots, read on...
mendocinoshop.jpg Armani Exchange Outlet, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr. Vaughan Mills, Vaughan, 905-738-5749
Since you’re already in the mall, make a stop at the sleekly adorned treasure trove of the Armani Exchange Outlet. The youthful label was launched in 1991 by the designer behind the luxe, impeccably tailored couture house and is comprised of edgy accessories and unisex lines. A recent shopping trip revealed leather-accented tees for $15 and a pleated, khaki mini-trench coat for $70. Did we mention they’re Armani?

In Toronto

M for Mendocino
, various locations in the GTA. (
M for Mendocino, the fast-fashion spinoff retailer, continues its sister brand Mendocino’s mandate of offering quality, on-season pieces— at an affordable price point. Walk into any of the eight locations in the GTA and you’re more likely to notice the pastels and brightly coloured jeans over any specific, standout label. “That’s because [M for Mendocino] is trend focused, not brand focused,” explains Jessica Kaplan, brand director of both Mendocino and M for Mendocino, which carries an eclectic blend of international labels such as Only, Vero Moda and Garcia—to name a few.

The luxe-inspired retailer staffs a separate buying team for M to scout the varying looks that will stock the shelves each season. “It’s a daunting task,” says Kaplan, with a laugh. “I’m glad I’m not a buyer!” Skim through their newly launched online lookbook for the team’s culled picks for this season, which encapsulate the whimsical, juxtaposing trends of spring: bright, bold colours, neutrals and vintage, Peter Pan-collared pieces.

Look out for two more M for Mendocino locations this summer: at Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Ont., come June and at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga this fall. If you needed another reason to scout those neon jeans you’ve been coveting all season, we just gave you two.

Read more:
Spring fashion: Mint green
6 spring style swaps you should try
Spring 2012 runways: Return of the bombshell
Fashion trends: Festival chic accessories
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Fast fashion: Where to get your high-end retail fix this spring