Image by: Getty
Perhaps predictably, February is the busiest month of the year for some wax bars. "It's like Christmas!" says Amy Finnegan Burns, director of operations for WAXON Waxbars. "People are going away on vacation, doing something for Family Day or celebrating Valentine's Day. With those three things combined, we are always fully booked after the sixth of February."
The most popular service for WAXON, which has six locations across Ontario and one in Nova Scotia, is still the Brazilian wax. "Everything bare" has consistently been the most requested service over the last 5 years, and makes up 70% of the brand's business. "The one thing that people do switch up depending on their mood or personal preference is leaving a landing strip," says Finnegan Burns. "We are seeing a slight growth in landing strips for women."
What has changed about the Brazilian wax are the people getting them. "What we’ve seen is a spread in demographic," she says. It's not just 25 year-olds requesting the service – clients are anywhere from 17 to 70 years of age. The most dramatic growth they've seen is in the 55+ age group, which increased by 10% for the company in the last year.
(A brief public service announcement: You need to wait 24 hours before engaging in sexual activity after having a wax. "That friction isn’t ideal for sensitivity and ingrown hairs," says Finnegan Burns. Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so that means you want to aim to wax – if that's your preference, we're by no means saying waxing or shaving is a must – Saturday, Sunday or Monday.)
The second most popular service for female clients? Arm waxing, which has seen a "massive increase" in the last two years, particularly in the summer months. "Nostrils is up there as well," says Finnegan Burns, who promises this is not as painful as it sounds. Hard wax is applied to a popsicle stick and spread on the outer and inner corner of the nostrils, then left to harden before being pulled out. "It is a quick 3 minutes," she says. "Among women and men it is becoming an incredibly popular add-on service. Five years ago, I don’t think [that demand] really existed."
Rolling around in Chanel lipgloss? Oui, s'il vous plaît.
After charming tout le monde when she closed the Chanel Couture show last month in a pink frothy wedding dress, Lily-Rose Depp is up to her darling ways yet again. And since it can only go uphill from being Karl's muse, why not make it even sweeter with a makeup campaign?
In this highly-addictive video below, Depp is living all of our dreams—rolling around in a pile of Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss, which lands on counter March 3rd. Depp is the newest face of Chanel makeup.
Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss is available in 24 shades—from the inky plum "Confusion" to "Melted Honey", a gilded beige. The collection also includes three lipstick topcoats. For those desperate to get the gloss in their makeup pouches before the launch (we feel you), head directly to Holt Renfrew in Toronto on March 1st. Aside from pre-launch access, you'll be able to lounge in the Coco Café—the chicest pop up that evokes a café in Paris. It will be bursting with all things Instagrammable, including a lip lollipop bar (we're listening), photo station, mani bar, nail photo booth and makeup classes.
As well, the stickers featured in this GIF will be available for purchase next month from the App Store. Chic!
Drake and Rihanna at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. Image by: Getty
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Chapter 4,372 in the Drake/Rihanna love story: Drake, arguably the world's friendliest ex, gave RiRi a birthday shoutout during his concert in Dublin yesterday. (MELTING.) And since nothing is private anymore, obviously it was captured on someone's cell and blasted out to the world for us to replay over and over.
"It's somebody's birthday today—somebody I have a lot of love for and a lot of respect for," he said. "So, instead of singing 'Happy birthday,' though, we just going to do this in Dublin. Instead of singing 'Happy Birthday,' we're going to set it off just like this..."
Do you see a reunion in their future? Is the whole J.Lo thing over? We only know this: so happy RN.
Holt Renfrew's Bloor Street store
Armed with a fresh vision and strategy, the 180-year-old Canadian department store is making a statement.
It’s a week before Christmas, and Holt Renfrew’s flagship on Bloor Street in Toronto is a buzzing hive of well-heeled holiday shoppers seeking out last-minute gifts and gowns amid the glorious chaos. Next door, 11 floors above, I’m sitting in a quiet, stately office with Holts’ president, Mario Grauso, and fashion director, Ketevan Gvaramadze. Both are new to the company—barely four months into their roles—but they are already reminiscing about the latest Fashion Month, spring/summer 2017. The industry’s biannual pilgrimage, running from New York to London to Milan to Paris, affects every business decision Grauso will make for the next six months. “For me, that’s where it all starts,” he says. “It’s where all the ideas come together.” This explains why, just a few days after starting at Holts, Grauso headed off to the shows—a glam but exhausting circuit of back-to-back presentations, re-sees (an opportunity for editors and buyers to have a closer look at the collections) and market appointments. It’s a full-on schedule that leaves you physically drained but creatively supercharged.
Unsurprisingly, one of the hottest shows on the fashion calendar made a major impact on Gvaramadze. “Oh, my God, Balenciaga...” she says when I ask what her favourite show was. “It was everything for me. It made my Fashion Week.” Grauso shakes his head. “But the girls couldn’t walk in the shoes!” (He has a point. Spandex-encased stilettos are tricky.) “Yes, but you have to dream!” she counters. “It’s important to look at things that inspire you.” Creative clashes are part of the process, it seems. Grauso admits it’s a bit “like a negotiation with your family about how you’re going to decorate the house.” After the pair returned home, many hours were spent debating fashion fantasy versus reality, for both the shop floor and their revamped spring magazine, a 195-page lookbook that serves as a snapshot of the season. And, being the first magazine under Grauso’s leadership, it will also act as his unofficial debut – Canada’s first glimpse of the new Holt Renfrew.
When Grauso was announced as incoming president last July, insiders weren’t exactly surprised. He is the former president of Joe Fresh—which, like Holt Renfrew, is owned by the titans of retail, the Weston family—and, with over 20 years of experience as a fashion exec at the Vera Wang Group and Puig, he is well known in the industry.
New appointments aside, big change was bound to happen one way or another at Canada’s oldest high-end department store. With Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom venturing north of the border and Simons expanding beyond Quebec, the luxury landscape in this country got a lot more crowded in 2016. It’s a new reality that Holts had been bracing for since 2015, when it began shuttering its smaller outposts—a strategy implemented so it could focus on multi-million-dollar expansions at its major stores in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto’s Yorkdale and Bloor Street locations as well as a massive merger with Ogilvy in Montreal and a swanky new opening at Square One in Mississauga. That one is an extravagant behemoth: 12,077 square metres with towering ceilings and marble floors, a personal shopping “apartment,” a master tailor and a leather artisan who will add custom embossing to your handbag. Grauso also promises that Holts will offer more concept shops showcasing the world of the designer: Look for Brioni and Loro Piana this year.
These changes allow Holts to offer a deeper assortment of products from a wider range of brands, but, much like other big retailers, it still has challenges to face. “Canada doesn’t have the large base of high-end shoppers that the United States does,” says Maureen Atkinson, senior partner at Toronto retail consulting firm J.C. Williams Group, who adds that in a market of limited growth size, the more you cut the pie the smaller the slices. “If all these companies are targeting the same established luxury customer, there certainly isn’t enough business for them all.” In other words, it’s not a bad idea to find another pie, a.k.a. a new customer.
This is partly why Grauso immediately thought of Gvaramadze when he found out he would be joining Holt Renfrew. The Georgian-born stylist, with her platinum pixie cut and penchant for wearing Gosha Rubchinskiy tees with oversized Céline trousers, is an unusually edgy choice for Holts. And that’s the point. “Ketevan is always pushing fashion,” says Grauso. “She has this eye and an ability to mix streetwear with more obvious designers in an interesting way.” In case you missed that, he said “streetwear”—which implies youth. It’s an idea that comes up again and again in our conversation. It’s also a deliberate shift away from the retailer’s more traditional persona. “We’re definitely considerate of Millennials,” says Grauso. “They love luxury, and I want them to see Holts as a place to look at fashion and get inspired – whether they’re able to buy it yet or not. How young people are shopping now is a new chapter that we, as a department store, have to consider.”
Speaking of how Millennials shop, Holts knows that it has to up its e-commerce game, stat. The 180-year-old retailer launched beauty online in 2015 and accessories in 2016, and the aim is to roll out select ready-to-wear categories later this year. “We got into it a little late, so we’re trying to play catch-up,” admits Grauso. “But it’s not just about rushing and getting things up; I want it to look a certain way. It has to be true to the new message of Holts.”
That’s one reason its magazine (and its toned-down aesthetic) is so important. “It’s more than just a catalogue,” says Grauso. “It informs everything else: the windows, the website, the ad campaigns.” Gvaramadze, who also handles the look and feel of their Instagram account, gives a definitive nod. “It’s our point of view,” she says. “It’s who we are.”
And who is that exactly? “Holt Renfrew has always brought the newest and best fashion to Canada; those are our roots,” says Grauso when asked about his vision. “We’re just going to be tougher [with the DNA]—editing the roster and bringing on new designers who are having a moment.” This will include investing in more boundary-pushing brands (Comme des Garçons, Sacai) and creating a dedicated space for them in all Holt Renfrew locations. “Young people are really thinking outside the box, so [creatively] advanced designers are going to be key,” says Grauso. “These are brands that touch both mother and daughter. When a collection can do that, it becomes really important to us. There’s something for everyone, but it’s an edited something for everyone.”