Specialty women’s clothing brand, Free People, will be expanding into Canada next month with the arrival of their first free-standing boutique on August 3rd, 2012. The tri-level, 1500 sq. foot store will be located in the heart of Toronto, ON in the bustling shopping district on Yorkville Avenue.
Currently, with 72 stores in the United States, the store opening not only marks the company’s first boutique in Canada, but also the first in an international market for the Philadelphia based brand. The second Canadian Free People boutique is slated to open in Calgary on August 31st, at the Chinook Centre.
Free People will be kicking off this exciting launch with a grand opening event to be held at the Toronto store location on August 2nd from 6-8pm. Ally Dean, Associate Editor of Elle Canada, will be at the event providing fashion expertise and styling tips for guests to ‘get the Free People look’.
The new Toronto store was designed with the lifestyle of the Free People brand in mind and will emulate the décor of the brand’s U.S. boutiques. Elements of hand carved wood and reclaimed brick create a loft-like setting, while keeping a quaint feel that fits perfectly with the Yorkville location.
Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by a staircase leading up to hand-painted dressing rooms and seating area in the mezzanine level. The lower level of the store has a separate entrance, only accessible from the street. This area is dedicated to the brand’s FP Intimately line – made up of slips, bras, undies, lounge jackets, and layering pieces. The shop-in-shop is also a first for Free People.
The store’s assortment of unique apparel and accessories will include pieces from the brand’s labels including FP One, New Romantics, and We The Free, among others. Racks and shelves will be stocked with Free People’s famous assortment of dresses, denim, tees, and transitional fall product.
The brand’s heavily sought after vegan leather fashion pieces, and must-have accessories will be available at the location as well.
“We are incredibly excited to begin our retail expansion into the Canadian market,” said Beth Wehagen, Free People’s Director of Stores. “Our choice of Toronto as the first store in the market was an easy one given the city’s history as a forerunner in driving fashion and culture throughout the country. We love the architecture along Yorkville Ave and feel it truly captures the eclectic and creative nature of our brand.”
Additionally, as part of the brand’s expansion, FreePeople.com is making it easier for Canadians across the country to shop and enjoy easy access to Free People’s exclusive online product. At checkout, customers will be offered the option for Direct Duty Payment upfront. This will enhance the overall shopping experience and remove any post purchase charges.