By Craig Patterson
New York City-based fashion brand Michael Kors has unveiled renovations to its Yorkdale Shopping Centre flagship in Toronto, which is the first in Canada to carry the luxury-priced Michael Kors Collection for women, and the second in Canada to include men’s ready-to-wear. The 5,719 square foot store opened last week and is currently the largest Kors store in Canada to date.
The flagship features the latest store design for Michael Kors, which its says is similar in design to its Regent Street flagship in London. The interior features displays of brushed and polished stainless steel and a spectrum of finishes such as dark oak wood, Venetian plaster, and Calacatta marble. The palette of soft browns and grays is mixed with warm woods. The store is divided into several rooms that include a range of fashion, footwear, bags, fragrances, watches, eyewear and accessories for both genders.
Lines carried include MICHAEL Michael Kors for women as well as the women’s elevated Michael Kors collection, along with a curated selection of menswear in a separate department.
The Yorkdale location is the second standalone Michael Kors store in Canada to carry the brand’s menswear line, following the opening of a men’s store at West Edmonton Mall in October of 2017. Some of the pieces carried for men are straight off the runway, differentiating the selection from wholesale accounts such as Hudson’s Bay.
The Yorkdale Michael Kors is also the first standalone location in Canada to feature the luxury-priced women’s Michael Kors Collection, which includes some fashion pieces that are priced into the four figures. The Michael Kors Collection was previously carried in selected Holt Renfrew stores and is positioned similar to brands such as Max Mara. The Michael Kors Collection includes fashions as well as footwear, handbags and accessories.
One of the reasons Yorkdale was chosen to be the first store in Canada to include the pricey Michael Kors collection is because the mall is seeing a surge in luxury retail sales. Mono-brand luxury stores continue to open in the mall — Bottega Veneta opened its first standalone Canadian flagship last week, and Valentino will open soon next to it. More big names are said to be on the way. The mall’s Holt Renfrew store is also highly productive and is in the process of expanding to add larger concessions for Dior, Fendi and Gucci, the latter which will unveil a ‘World of Gucci’ concession in early 2019.
Yorkdale’s Michael Kors relocated several months ago to a temporary space while its location along the mall’s original ‘luxury run’ was renovated to add the new lines. Michael Kors moved into its current retail space, located between Kate Spade and David Yurman, in September of 2014 (replacing Eddie Bauer). Prior to that, Michael Kors occupied a 3,080 square foot space in the mall which was Kors’ third store in Canada when it opened in early 2008.
Michael Kors himself answered a few questions about the new store, as well as his overall impression of Toronto, which is positive. Here are a few question and answer quotes.
Q: Why did you choose Yorkdale Shopping Centre as the first location for Michael Kors Collection in Canada?
A: It’s a great place to shop and we knew that our Michael Kors Collection line would be in good company. We think the Yorkdale shoppers will appreciate the luxury and quality that they find in our store.
Q: How would you describe the Michael Kors Man? And why do you feel it’s the right time to invest in the men’s fashion landscape?
A: Our man is confident and connected, with an easy, modern edge. For us, it felt like the right time to expand our men’s presence because the truth is, men are more interested in fashion than ever before.
Q: What do you think are staple pieces for the Canadian man?
A polished coat—because in a city like Toronto, your coat really becomes your calling card—a cashmere sweater, a great pair of jeans, a standout watch and a pair of aviators.
Q: What do you love about Toronto?
A: I love the multicultural spirit—the mix of people and styles you find on every street is endlessly inspiring. And the art and restaurant scene mean that there’s always something new to do.
We’ll be following up with the brand in 2019 as it will be making a flagship announcement, with details to follow.