Once known for its hippie history, Kitsilano has evolved to become the iconic neighbourhood symbolic of Vancouver’s healthy West Coast lifestyle. Among the yoga studios, juiceries, and float spas is a great mix of boutiques unique to this colourful beachside neighbourhood.
C by Chelsea is a hidden gem for some of the best locally made party dresses in the city. In addition to the eponymous in-house label, you’ll find a great selection of Italian brands. At C by Chelsea, there’s something for everyone: flirty and feminine dresses, modern and edgy trend pieces, contemporary basics, and more.
Vancouver-based athletic leisure-wear company Public Myth brings rock’n’roll spirit to workout gear, and does it with a conscience too. All garments are designed and manufactured in North America. Public Myth also makes an effort to use eco-friendly fabrics (bamboo) or super durable materials (thicker Supplex), either way you’ll make an environmentally better choice. Check out their popular lynx print pieces, racy teaser legging (with a diagonal mesh stripe across the front and back of the thigh), and comfy bamboo tees.
Kitsilano is the only place in Canada where you’ll find a Miz Mooz store, and where you’ll come across some of the most funky and colourful shoe designs. The store offers a variety of flats, sandals, and even their most popular winter boots during the summer because they’re that highly sought-after. With many styles made in countries such as Italy and Portugal, you’ll get quality, style, and a bold dash of colour in each pair of Miz Mooz.
Although JNBY keeps a low profile in Canada, this Chinese company operates over 700 retail stores across China. From the store design to the clothing itself, the brand is all about modern architectural design. Think of it as an experimental Club Monaco with slightly higher price points. But just because there are never any sale signs to be seen, don’t assume the clothes are not within budget. JNBY often offers discounts, and you’ll only find out by talking to the staff.
Gravity Pope is one of Vancouver’s premier high-end shoe retailers. You can get a lot more than Rachel Comeys here – shop (or window shop) Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Trippen, Coclico, and more. For a limited time, Gravity Pope has teamed up with designers like Fly London to produce a 25th anniversary collection in only black & white. And don’t forget, sister clothing store Gravity Pope Tailored Goods is next door!
Kate French is a cute little shop that offers affordable L.A. brands. There are also some great local labels, such as Dish Jeans (check out the performance denim with tencel) and Tastemakers, a Vancouver-based eco-activist brand. Although we can’t always have Paris, we’ll have Kate French in Kitsilano!
Inspired by an imaginary wanderlust customer who sends home postcards from her travels, XO Bella has one of the best store concepts in town. This is the place to get your trendy fashion fixes. Instead of going to mass retailers like Forever 21, shopping at XO Bella means each style comes in limited quantities. One of the best things about this store is the constant merchandising updates. For the first time XO Bella shopper, be sure to check out the Kitsilano mural and the Vancouver beach inspired change rooms.
Kitsilano is rife with outdoor apparel stores, but none as stylish as the newly launched Vancouver Running Co. The minimal store design is reminiscent of the Apple store. Most noteworthy is the strong product selection: curated brands display both function and style. Check out Oiselle, the highly popular, but hard to find, women’s-only running line, or Canadian brand Ciele, which offers UV-reflective running hats deemed “the new ‘it’ running hat” by Running Magazine.
The Style by Fire Neighbourhood Shopping Guides are produced by Miranda Sam and Aurora Chan. Use them to explore Vancouver’s shopping scene and discover all the unique designers and boutiques this city has to offer. For more great shopping guides and retail news, check out StylebyFire.ca