Maison Kitsuné’s first North American store

September 1, 2012 - 7:37 pm

French music-meets-fashion brand injects its cooler-than-thou fashion appeal to the Big Apple. Paris-based fashion brand Maison Kitsuné has touched down in North America via the NoMad Hotel and are fashion types ever excited.

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The store (which opened in April) melds old New York architectural charm with French je ne sais quois:  the ambiance of an old Parisian apartment with towering steel framed oval  windows, classic custom made furnishings juxtaposed with luxe furnishings like silk carpets, polished marble, mosaic tiles and patterned  wood flooring.

Get your credit card prepared for sartorial favorites like: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, Monocle, Michel Vivien, Aesop and Maison Kitsuné’s own collections—all personally curated by Maison Kitsuné founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki. Oh, la-la!

*photos: courtesy of Maison Kitsuné

Eat, Shop, Stay: New York

June 24, 2012 - 8:41 pm

A multicultural melting pot of food, fashion and fun: there’s reason to say “I Love New York.” Manhattan and Brooklyn are becoming serious competitive contenders for hot places to go in the city that never sleeps. In this edition of Eat, Shop, Stay, I list The Big Apple’s sweetest culinary, fashion and hospitality successes: from upper crust restaurants to down-home delis; high-fashion haunts; and the latest luxe-and-lavish hotels. Channel your inner style globetrotter with these trendy top destinations! Chow down, drink up, shop-until-you-drop and then get a great night’s sleep in the “greatest city on earth.”


The Meatball Shop
If there’s one thing this kitschy-cool resto knows, it’s meatballs. With three locations—Greenwich Avenue, Stanton Street, and Bedford Street in Brooklyn—star dishes include the “Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad” (the name spells it out) and “Smash” (two meatballs smashed on toasted brioche bun, with your choice of mozzarella or provolone cheese). The no-reservation house is packed daily with tourists and locals alike. This summer, it’s delighting meatball lovers yet again with a new pop-up meatball “Tent Garden” in Williamsburg with a prix fixe menu.


French music-meets-fashion brand injects its cooler-than-thou fashion appeal to the Big Apple! Paris-based fashion brand Kitsuné has touched down in North America via the NoMad Hotel and are fashion types ever excited! Opening in April, the store melds old New York architectural charm with French je ne sais quois:  the ambiance of an old Parisian apartment with towering steel framed oval  windows, classic custom made furnishings juxtaposed with luxe furnishings like silk carpets, polished marble, mosaic tiles and patterned  wood flooring. Get your credit card prepared for sartorial favorites like: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, Monocle, Michel Vivien, Aesop and Kitsuné’s own collections—all personally curated by Maison Kitsuné founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki. Oh, la-la!


Wythe Hotel
This 1901 city structure oozes old-school turn of the century charm: located in the heart of Brooklyn, the eight-story Williamsburg waterfront structure is textile factory-turned luxury ‘It’ hotel. With 72 rooms and almost all of its original architectural gems— concave corner entrance, original pine beams, masonry, arched windows and cast-iron columns, 13’ high original timber ceilings, oversized windows, radiant heat concrete floors—the building is a chic history lesson and hotelier example as well. Vacation or staycation here before you ever book a room at a franchise.

Read the rest of my article on

photo: (c) courtesy of The Wythe Hotel


Michael Kors for Breakfast

January 24, 2012 - 11:30 pm

Last week, at the Toronto showroom HQ of one of my favourite New York-born brands, I started my day with breakfast at Michael Kors. What. A. Treat.  At around 9 a.m., over orange juice, I perused collections for the upcoming seasons and here’s the forecast fashion sleuths: Summer 2012 plans to be tie-dye heaven (read: maxi dress that I need right now, and wow-worthy handbags with groovy colourful prints) and Pre-Fall 2012 selects are a woolly wonderland (read: supple shearling and  mohair, mohair and more fabulous mohair). With temps hitting -8C, it was a welcome distraction from the frigid cold outside and a reminder that spring–and (gasp) even summer–is truly on the way.

And even nicer, at the end of what seemed like stepping right into a brief island vacation (I’ve got quite the imagination, readers) I received this lovely gift: a Michael Michael Kors keychain, with a leather mini cream-coloured picture holder. Totally key-chic. I’ve dubbed it my Big Girl Keychain, this beauty is now a grown-up friend to my Columbia University keychain (yes, the one that’s cleverly designed to also open bottles). Now it has a pret-a-porter drinking partner.





photos: (c) Glynnis Mapp,

5×5 = JBrand

November 3, 2010 - 2:44 am

J Brand has launched its “5 x 5 Collection” a unique collaboration with five rising British designers. Each designer worked tirelessly with the J Brand design team to create a unique J Brand style that will each be available at select luxury retailers in the UK: Christopher Kane for 5 x 5 will be available at Harvey Nichols, Erdem at Harrods, Meadham Kirchhoff at Browns, Peter Pilotto at Selfridges, and Richard Nicoll‘s inspired pair will be available at Liberty. Creating classic and sophisticated jeans, the brand has positioned itself as a leader in the premium denim market.  JBrand has been expanding its presence exponentially, especially since the expansion of its menswear line in Fall 2008, which reflected modern classics with a masculine sensibility. J Brand has expanded to include non-denim styles such as the Cargo Houlihan pant, which has been a cult hit and seen on celebrities worldwide. J Brand is featured in more than 2,000 specialty stores and luxury retailers in more than 20 countries. All styles will retail in the United States at Jeffrey New York and Intermix online.

*photos: (c) courtesy of JBrand

True Patriot Love

October 28, 2010 - 4:41 am

Stars of the silver screen, the catwalk and the stage took to the red carpet for the 13th annual tribute of Canada’s Walk of Fame, which aired on October 20th on Global and SliceTM. This year, the awards took place at the historic Canon Theatre and shut down a part of Yonge Street in Toronto! From one end of the rouge welcome mat to the other, the stars gushed about their stellar achievements and why they are truly proud to be Canadian.

*photos: (c) FashionTKTK

Howie Mandel, comedian and host of this year’s award show

Funnyman Mandel is on a mission: to bring some spontaneity and general recklessness to the producers of the annual Canada’s Walk of Fame, leaving no live scripted show behind! Last year’s inductee is this year’s host of the 13th edition of the tribute and he’s causing trouble all over town.

You were an inductee last year, how does it feel to be the host this time and to be in control of it all?
“It’s good to be back, to get dressed up, and it’s especially fun for me to get to host this thing. They thought this was a good idea, but they have no clue what they’ve got themselves into! I’m out of control.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

“I’d tell my younger me to stop worrying so much and that one day I’ll have my own shrink for that–and my very own star!”

What designer are you wearing?
“I’m wearing Armani head to toe, but what I really want to do is try to bring culottes back. I’m working hard on it.”

Sarah Polley, film maker, director, actress and inductee

Goodbye Avonlea, and hello Hollywood. Growing up in the ‘biz Polley has blossomed from a child actress to an acclaimed star, director and activist. Her directorial debut in 2006 with Away From Her catapulted her career as a film maker. Her recent role in sci-fi film Splice with Adrian Brody puts her in front of the lens again. Ever the starlet, Polley is at the forefront of Hollywood’s critical eye and a shining star on Canada’s very own walk.

What she said in her speech that got the crowd clapping:

“I feel really grateful to be able to work in Canada and I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to make a career in film and stay home. I’m proud of our humility and I think we as Canadians should be proud too—and stop beating ourselves up for beating ourselves up.”

Eric McCormack, actor and producer, former star of Will & Grace, inductee

He became the poster boy for a cultural phenomenon and the former star of hit sitcom Will & Grace is back in his hometown of Toronto to bask in his success in his very own city. And he brought his gorgeous family along to help celebrate.

What he thinks of the red carpet:
“This may be the very first time I’ve walked in the middle of Yonge Street!”

What it’s like to a part of a popular U.S. sitcom / cultural phenomenon?

“You really never get over it, especially when people say things like ‘that was so Will & Grace.’ It’s hard to take it all in objectively once people turn it into a microcosm!”

Nikki Yanofsky, singer at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, winner of the Allan Slaight Award

Montreal-born singer took the stage for one of the nation’s biggest displays of Canadian pride: the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Famous for the theme song “I Believe” that climbed to No.1 on Canada’s iTunes singles chart and made Billboard’s Hot 100, Yanofsky is one patriotic Canuck.
Why are you proud to be Canadian?

“It’s something indescribable, I think. It’s our sense of self and international pride. It’s sounds funny, but I sometimes really feel just like that guy in the beer commercial. I’m always proud to say that I’m Canadian.”

What are your two favourite non-musical sounds?

“I love the sound of the ocean, it’s so relaxing. And I love the sound of cooking, that sizzling pan and the clinking of glasses and plates, it reminds me of home—it reminds me of Canada.”

Who are you wearing right now?
“I’m wearing a dress from Topshop and Kate Spade shoes.”

Jill Hennessey
, actress, singer and songwriter, guest

She’s  a doting mother, singer, actress, and clotheshorse–there’s almost nothing Hennessey can’t do! This everywoman is most recognizable for her work in Law & Order, but while her schedule is “booked solid,”  Hennessey took a break from the land of yellow cabs,  managing to take some time to visit Toronto and reminisce about her days as a street performer and budding actress.

What it’s like to go from serenading on Toronto street corners to living in New York and starring on the silver screen:

“It’s really surreal! It’s hard to believe that’s where I started, but there’s a great sense of accomplishment from that. There’s something remarkable about playing music in the street, the live aspect of it, the reaction you get from people who pass by and hear you. Even now, years later, I still kind of miss it.”

What designer are you wearing right now?
“I’m wearing Cynthia Rowley, who is actually a mom at my kid’s school, how cool is that?”

Nelly Furtado, singer and songwriter, inductee

She’s the voice behind some of the world’s most popular hit songs. From “I’m Like a Bird” to “Promiscuous Girl,” Furtado has simply soared throughout her singing career, collaborating with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Bryan Adams and getting attention for fans around the world. With a new Spanish-only album entitled, Mi Plan, and a new single “Night is Young,” Furtado isn’t finished making her mark. In fact, she’s takes one for the team in new hockey-inspired musical flick, Score.

What it feels like to go from ‘I’m Like a Bird’ to Canada’s Walk of Fame and everywhere in between:
“I’m a little overwhelmed actually! I was shaking in the car ride over to the red carpet just thinking about it. Canada is a huge part of my story. My heart beats Canada.”

What designer dress she’s wearing:

“Herve Leger”

* For last year’s coverage, head over to


On the Avenue

August 11, 2010 - 7:07 pm

Last week, in between working the trade shows, I cruised along 5th Avenue to see what luxury retailers were displaying in their windows. Saks Fifth Avenue is undergoing a major face life at the moment, yet the scaffolding and construction around its perimeter is only making eager shoppers even more keen on getting inside. Framed within the metal and plywood are these beautiful store displays–an effective juxtaposition, I think.

While its neighbors Versace and Michael Kors have set their stages sans drill bit and traffic cone, Saks has done what it does best, despite being under construction, and shows off gorgeous collections from the late Alexander McQueen and beautiful pieces by Derek Lam.

*photos: Glynnis Mapp

The Trade Show Diaries: ENK Intermezzo & Accessorie Circuit

August 8, 2010 - 5:30 pm

While brands were wary about many things this season at ENK Intermezzo and Accessorie Circuit—the precarious Sunday start, two very different category shows on one floor, and the closeness of other ENK shows like Coterie and Vegas bound displays at Magic and Project a week away—still, the shows were met with much enthusiasm from buyers, fashion media, retailers and luxury clothing and accessory brands. Held from August 1 to 3, 2010 a the Javits Centre in New York (same schedule as Moda Manhattan and Accessory the Show) , the big retail boys and girls were all out on display (as usual) showing their Holiday 2010 and Spring-Summer 2011 collections. The first two days of ENK Intermezzo and Accessorie Circuit saw thousands of industry attendees, with a trickle of show goers towards the end, as expected. But Intermezzo (“intermission” in Italian) was exactly that: a collective pause and break from the season before and a subtle transition and look at what the future will have in store. Among the many brands that set up shop during the trade show, it was denim that spoke the loudest. Herewith, a few of the jean brands that are standing up and making buyers take notice:

Robin’s Jean

Robin’s Jean is the eponymous fashion love child of Robin Chretien, a disarmingly handsome Frenchman who decided that he wanted to make jeans more than he wanted to do, well, anything else! He began his love affair with American Indian nostalgia and jeans in 1996 when he came to Los Angeles and has never looked back. This season the brand shows off muted washes with emphasized whiskering and special details on win-shaped pockets to compliment the eagle wing design in the Robin’s Jean logo. From dark washes to lighter shades, the line reflects attention to detail and an importance on fit and style.

This season the face of Hudson is none other than Rock N’ Roll’s personal princess, Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger, the lead singer of The Rolling Stones. This season the brand pairs Jagger’s effortless sex appeal with their tried and true cuts and washes offering lighter than light blue hues and white denim to off set the dark and brooding trysts of their newest blonde bombshell muse. But the line doesn’t only include low rise and hip-huggers—although there’s lots of that—this season’s selection includes edgy yet comfortable high-waisted denim offering its one of a kind mix of UK fashion and American attitude.


Vince takes simple shapes and refines them for that favourite-pair-of-jeans feel. Focusing on its menswear, Vince sticks to its tried and true muted palette for Holiday, but dabbles in a little color—and even patterns—come Spring-Summer 2011. For the upcoming season, Vince has been working hard at the design table to infuse more dynamic approaches and colors for everyday separates and infusing even more technical savvy into the brand. Using tie-dye coloring techniques, blue, grey and lilac tones on cloud printed T-shirts and of course, offering and standard stock of everyday tops, Vince continues to wow denim junkies with its ability to make simple styles, cuts and fabrications truly special and extraordinary.


Instanbul denim brand Mavi started a jean revolution from the beginning. Even back when it was founded in 1991, the brand and its “Maviology” started to inspire many other brands to rethink denim in a new way. Offering superior fit jeans that play on traditional shapes and sizes for men and women, Mavi is one of many leaders in the market that are able to blend functional fit with current trends. Not only does it offer cool cuts for the youth and adult categories it plays on the search for that perfect pair using its “Denim Guy Fit Guide.” For the Spring-Summer 2011 season, Mavi offers incredible faded and dark saturated washes for denim pants and continues with its own initiative to help save the planet: Mavi Organic started in 2006 and still offers denim junkies an eco option: an organic line made with 100% Aegean Cotton. Jeans with heart!

Flying high on the success of several collection hits including the sold out Houlihan cargo pant and successful collaborations on the runway with Proenza Schouler, JBrand continues to be an undeniable denim leader. This season, the brand continues to power through on the womenswear front with its popular jegging styles (a jean legging), playing with the concept, adding hardware like zippers, buttons and making the jegging more like an all-purpose pant, a bottom that is ready for work and play: 9 to 5 and après-five all at the same time.

**more pics to come!!

*photos: Glynnis Mapp

The Trade Show Diaries: Moda Manhattan and Accessories the Show

August 3, 2010 - 3:10 am

Trade shows are abuzz this week in New York, making the Javits Center a hot spot for buyers, retailers and little trend forecasting reporters (like yours truly). This week, Moda Manhattan and Accessories the Show was located on all on one floor = bliss!

I trotted over in shoes that were habitually inappropriate for walking a convention centre for hours, and spent the day hopping from booth to booth and checking out hot and new brands.

The verdict? The recession is officially so 2009.

Retailers proudly displayed their baubles for the Holiday 2010 and Spring-Summer 2011 seasons and were as bright and cheerful as their wares.

Favourites include the  new casual diffusion line Mel, which offers signature PVC bubblegum-scented flats and sweet little wedges dreamed up by Brazilian footwear purveyors Melissa and a new collection from Glam Naturale, an eco-chic line. I also discovered California brand Toss, a line that boasts its chic totes and giftable Holiday bags and a gaudy yet gorgeous selection of sparkly accessories from Jimmy Crystal New York. They’ve taken a designer rookie Wendy Chen under their wing and she’s created spectacular sparkling star-shaped clip-ons, 4G iPhone cases and cute clutches bedazzled with Swarovski crystals.

My wholesale wish list is full!

I’m off to ENK Intermezzo later this week to check out some of the lux brands I saw in Las Vegas at Magic, Project and ENK there–I can’t wait to catch up with them!

*photos: Glynnis Mapp

Madewell is mad for Alexa Chung

January 20, 2010 - 8:48 pm

According to WWD, Alexa Chung has put pen to paper on a contract with Madewell, the cooler than cool UK brand under the J. Crew umbrella. Fancy that!

The MTV personality is slated to help create an inspired collection à la Chung, come Fall. And it’s no surprise: she has been much-lauded as the British fashion darling to watch, quickly becoming an international style maven and frequenting the front-rows of fashion weeks in New York, London, and Paris.

Born in Privett, Hampshire, Chung was named a fashion personality to watch in 2010 by VOGUE  back in 2008. Talk about fashion forecasting! The former model posed under Elite Model Management, did editorial spreads for ELLE Girl, Cosmo Girl and walked the runway for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring/Summer 2009 show. Looks like she’ll be a perfect fit for the job.

This firm fashion venture is good news for Alexa, who traded her Union Jack for stars and stripes last April, moving to New York to kick off her new MTV show, It’s On with Alexa Chung (billed as the replacement show for TRL). Shortly after, Chung’s show aired its finale episode on December 17 (!!!).While she’s still under contract with MTV, no word on any new talk shows or TV gigs yet. This could be just the ticket for Chung, who by all reports has the whole effortlessly stylish look down to a complete science. Also, Madewell staffers can’t count how many times they’ve seen Chung shopping in-store, civilian style. Maybe she can get a wholesale discount for being the first-ever celebrity face of the brand?

Check out the Madewell website for the evolution!



October 7, 2009 - 8:25 pm

She’s the 22-year-old leggy Japanese beauty with the trademark bowl-cut, ranked 26th out 50 supermodels in the world by Represented by tops agencies Supreme Management in New York and Women agency in Paris, Okamoto is a rising runway star.

She has stolen the hearts of designers like Phillip Lim, is a favourite face for Ralph Lauren and a regular page turner for VOGUE Nippon spreads.

In Harper Bazaar‘s 40th anniversary eight-page ode “From Seventh Avenue to Sesame Street,” Okamoto dazzled us again while donned in Thakoon, Francisco Costa and Rodarte, she hung out with puppet pals Bert, Ernie and Grover!