FASHION ’s shopping guide to the coolest vintage and consignment boutiques across Canada.
The country’s best vintage and consignment boutiques.
ANNEX VINTAGE 56 St-Viateur St. W., Montreal, 514-903-4404, annexvintage.com. Gen Heistek owns this hot spot, along with two other Mile End shops, Local 23 and Empire Exchange. With over a decade in the “rag trade,” Heistek hand-picks stock from her secret sources, culling mainly from the ’90s but also the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Racks are organized by theme, such as floral dresses and shorteralls (shorts x overalls). The shop also stocks an inhouse line of up-cycled items, which currently includes crop tops cut from vintage blouses.
CITIZEN VINTAGE 5330 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, 514-439-2774, citizenvintage.com. Friends and owners Rebecca Emlaw and Lara Kaluza started out doing pop-ups and have quickly garnered a devoted following with their vintage shop. The two up-cycle items to suit current trends. “Once we make a few alterations, that crazy ’80s dress becomes something totally wearable,” says Emlaw. This Mile End boutique also doubles as a stage/gallery for neighbourhood talent, welcoming a new artist every month to overhaul the showcase windows.
ERA VINTAGE WEAR 1001 Lenoir St., Montreal, #514, 514-543-8750, eravintagewear.tumblr.com. Owner Elaine Léveillé often refers to clients, many of them celebrities, as “her girls.” Of course, there is also the occasional boy shopper, like Jean Paul Gaultier, who first stopped by in 2009. Léveillé is a passionate curator and designer who tastefully reworks pieces from the 1920s to the mid-’80s. Her selfdubbed “crossbreed clothing” is a magnet for style mavens seeking the unpredictable.
FRIPE FABRIQUE 388 St-Zotique St. E., Montreal, 514-271-8989, fripefabrique. com. One of the newer shops on the vintage circuit, Fripe Fabrique celebrates three years this September. And owner Michelle Hutchinson and her team often have fun, quirky stories to share about the vintage pieces they stock. “We look for pieces that are playful, colourful and well-made,” says Hutchinson. Bonus: The boutique offers monthly DIY workshops where you can learn the art of reviving yesteryear finds.
THE LITTLE SHOP 1002 Ogilvy Ave., Montreal, 514-992-3364. The Little Shop is Montreal’s biggest vintage secret (originally, it catered to an appointment-only clientele). A familyrun business for over 50 years, the jungle of designer clothing, shoes, accessories and home decor items is perfect for vintage shoppers who love the thrill of the hunt. A favourite haunt of international visitors, this boutique is also much-loved by stylists, set designers and interior decorators shopping for items dating from the turn of the century to the ’70s.
BOUTIQUE MONIQUE 1024 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto, 647-345-3446, boutiquemonique.com. A former art director whose passion for tailoring prompted her to open this namesake boutique, Monique Nanton’s favourite finds include her collection of 1940s blazers made of fine linens and cottons. Constructed during wartime, these jackets feature couture quality, as evinced by French buttonholes and handmade workmanship, which is why they’ve held up so well after decades of wear. CABARET VINTAGE 672 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-504-7126, cabaretvintage. com. A go-to for cocktail frocks, this Queen West boutique has expanded its vintage-inspired dress collection for those who want a 1920s flapper dress or a wasp-waist tea-length frock.