By Craig Patterson
Italian luxury brand Versace will open its Canadian flagship store in early 2019 in a purpose-built retail complex on Yorkville Avenue in Toronto. It will be Versace’s second store in Toronto and its third in Canada, and will be the latest addition to Yorkville Avenue, which is finding its place as one of Canada’s leading luxury retail addresses.
The two-level Versace store will span 3,000 square feet over two levels at 106 Yorkville Avenue, and will be located between new Brunello Cucinelli and Jimmy Choo stores in the 102-108 Yorkville Avenue building that is currently under construction. The Versace store is expected to carry its iconic fashion collections for both men and women when it opens and will also be LEED Certified.
First Capital Realty is developing the 102-108 Yorkville Avenue block, now fully leased, which will also feature a location for chic entertainment concept Her Majesty’s Pleasure on its top level. A high-end Japanese restaurant will also be announced for the lower level in the coming weeks. Brunello Cucinelli will span about 8,200 square feet over three levels at address 102-104 Yorkville, and Jimmy Choo will occupy 2,250 square feet at 108 Yorkville Avenue, which is across a laneway from luxury brand Chanel. Chanel opened its store at 98 Yorkville Avenue in November of 2017 and the beautiful 8,550 square foot store features a heritage facade that was once part of the Mount Sinai Hospital (First Capital Realty also owns that building, as well as several neighbouring properties).
“We are very pleased to welcome Versace’s Canadian Flagship to its home in Yorkville,” said Gregory Menzies, Executive Vice President, First Capital Reality. “Yorkville has long since been the city’s go-to for luxury fashion, and the neighbourhood’s ongoing revitalization makes it the perfect community for a globally-known brand like Versace. 102-108 Yorkville will be a destination to experience a growing list of iconic brands, restaurants and retail.”
Across the street from Versace and the other retailers is Canada’s only standalone store for French luxury brand Christian Louboutin, which opened at 99 Yorkville Avenue in the summer of 2016. The entire Yorkville Avenue is seeing an influx of luxury brands — pricey streetwear brand Off-White opened at 83 Yorkville Avenue in early 2017, joining the likes of Kiton and Richard Mille, which recently relocated to a stunning second-level space at 135 Yorkville Avenue.
Mr. Vyriotes and Mr. Wedemire of brokerage DWSV have been instrumental in transforming the area into a luxury retail destination. They represented Chanel in the deal that saw it move into 100 Yorkville Avenue, and they represented Jimmy Choo and Brunello Cucinelli to move into retail spaces next door. They also represented high-end streetwear brand CNTRBND when it relocated to 135 Yorkville Avenue last year.
Landlord First Capital Realty also owns and operates the Yorkville Village centre across from CNTRBND, which was formerly known as Hazleton Lanes. After an overhaul, the centre now boasts a roster of retailers and restaurants, including standalone locations for Canada’s first Belstaff store as well as North America’s first location for Italian luxury brand Eleventy.
Versace’s first standalone Canadian boutique, spanning 2,820 square feet, opened in the summer of 2014 at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in the mall’s original ‘luxury run’ which is tenanted by the likes of Tiffany & Co., Moncler and Jimmy Choo. Versace’s second Canadian store, measuring 1,875 square feet, opened in December of 2015 at 747 Thurlow Street at the base of an office tower at the edge of the city’s Alberni Street ‘Luxury Zone’ that also houses Canada’s first standalone Brunello Cucinelli store. Mr. Vyriotes and Mr. Wedemire represented both Versace and Brunello Cucinelli in the Vancouver deals.
The Versace brand, which was founded by the late Gianni Versace in 1978, is seeing a resurgence globally that also includes an expansion of its home furnishings division. In the summer of 2014, Versace partnered with a local Vancouver group to open the world’s first Versace Home flagship store in Vancouver’s Gastown area at 310 Cordova Street. A licensed Versace shop-in-store has also operated at multi-brand luxury store Leone at the Sinclair Centre on West Hastings Street in Vancouver since 1987.
Founded in 1978, the Gianni Versace S.p.A. is one of the leading global fashion design houses. Under the Artistic Direction of Donatella Versace since 1997, the Gianni Versace S.p.A. designs, manufactures and distributes fashion and lifestyle products including haute couture, women's and men's ready-to-wear, jewelry, watches, accessories, fragrances and home collection.