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8 Global Fashion Brands Vancouver is Missing

DH Vancouver Staff Feb 24, 2014 6:21 am

Vancouver is maturing out of its worst-dressed days of old and beginning to own its role as a veritable fashion capital. Part of this transition has meant the arrival of top brands from around the world in growing numbers. From the smashing success of Topshop to the impending arrival of big players like Nordstrom, La Maison Simons, and Saks Fifth Avenue, our best dressed days are clearly ahead.

The fashion world is grand, however, and there are plenty of global brands that haven’t yet arrived on our shores. With our ever-increasing travel and communication habits, once-unknown foreign companies like Uniqlo and Primark are now gaining fans and followings in fashion-forward cities like ours. Thus, when mapping out their expansion plans, these eight great labels may be wise to consider entering our market and reaping the benefits of Vancouver’s style revolution.



Founded: 1969 | Headquarters: Ireland | Collections: Womens, Mens, Kids, Shoes & More

Primark is budget fashion royalty in the U.K. and Ireland, and is swiftly making its mark across Europe. With a broad product line including affordable lingerie and cosmetics, the store has proved itself a hit with price-motivated shoppers. A Vancouver presence would compete head on with Canadian success story Joe Fresh and global powerhouses H&M and Forever 21.

Open in Canada: No.
Primark has yet to open a store in Canada or the United States.

Online orders ship to Canada: No.
eCommerce isn’t an option yet. They’re still only a brick and mortar retailer.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Low.
Although the company’s in good financial shape and expanding into new countries like France, entering the North American market isn’t currently a priority for Primark.


Pull & Bear

Founded: 1991 | Headquarters: Spain | Collections: Womens, Mens, Shoes

The people who bring you on-trend goods at Zara have a swath of other brands in their roster, but the majority haven’t opened up shop in Canada. One stand-out is Pull & Bear. Describing itself as “an ever young community”, Pull & Bear pushes the hottest urban style at the lightning speed Zara is famous for (the company’s design concepts can hit shelves in as little as two weeks, compared to a six-month industry average).

Open in Canada: No.
Zara’s parent company Inditex has not given Canadians the gift of Pull & Bear just yet.

Online orders ship to Canada: No.
Pull & Bear operates an online store in select European markets.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Low/Medium.
Given the success of Inditex’s other brands in Canada, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to pilot Pull & Bear in Canada.



Founded: 1984 | Headquarters: Spain | Collections: Womens, Mens, Shoes & More

A young company from the fashion mecca of Barcelona, Mango has begun to pop up on high streets all over the globe. The brand has featured A-listers like Penelope Cruz and Kate Moss and boasts a youthful, dedicated design team committed to quality items and original design.

Open in Canada: Yes.
Mango has opened a store each in Montreal and Quebec City.

Online orders ship to Canada: Yes.
Mango offers free standard shipping on Canadian orders over $150.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Medium.
Should they sense the west’s thirst for fashion, the company could open a store in the Lower Mainland.


Scotch & Soda

Founded: 2001 | Headquarters: The Netherlands | Collections: Womens, Mens & Kids

From the idyllic canals and cobblestones of Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda offers exquisite fashion rich with detail and craftsmanship. You’ll find unique, well-tailored pieces among basic favourites, including their popular chinos. Their Dutch forward-thinkingness shows itself in decisions like simply shrinking their best mens styles for the kids line, resulting in very well-dressed Dutch boys.

Open in Canada: Yes.
There are official Scotch & Soda stores in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, but their clothes are available in select Vancouver boutiques, like Chickadee Boutique, Boys’ Co, and Hills of Kerrisdale.

Online orders ship to Canada: Yes.
Orders over $200 qualify for free shipping.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Medium.
Stores are open in our neighbouring province, so it wouldn’t be crazy to see a Vancouver store in the future.


Massimo Dutti

Founded: 1985 | Headquarters: Spain | Collections: Womens & Mens

Massimo Dutti is another from the Zara family, but boasts a more high-end appeal. The brand turns out top-quality, classic goods at an affordable price point, but without forgetting to be on the leading edge of trends made possible by Zara’s uber-speedy supply chain.

Open in Canada: Yes.
There are stores in Toronto’s Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Centre

Online orders ship to Canada: Yes.
Massimo’s Canadian online store launched on August 22rd, 2013.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Medium
As the first of Inditex’s non-Zara brand to be opened in Canada, Massimo Dutti could be expanded to the west coast earlier than brands like Pull & Bear.



Founded: 1985 | Headquarters: United Kingdom | Collections: Womens & Mens

It’s a brand that’s hard to miss on the streets, and given the amount of Superdry you can spot in Vancouver, you’d think we have a store of our own. Bold Japanese graphics crash into vintage Americana styles, and the result is a dynamic and oh-so-desirable selection of hoodies, jackets, and more. It’s atypical, asymmetrical awesomess.

Open in Canada: No.
While the company previously allowed independent stores to carry their products, Superdry has since stopped granting distribution rights here and is currently figuring out whether its US or UK division will spearhead a proper Canadian entry.

Online orders ship to Canada: Yes.
Their dedicated Canadian site ships orders for free.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Medium/High.
Once the logistics of their Canadian expansion are settled, we’ll likely see a Superdry Store in Vancity.



Founded: 1984 | Headquarters: Spain | Collections: Womens, Mens, Kids, Shoes & More

Clearly not fans of straight lines, the people at Desigual put out some of the most distinctive and colourfully patterned garments the world has ever seen. Loud, proud and different, this Barcelona export is like a technicolor paint party, in the very best way. It’s safe to never expect boring products from a company whose slogan is “Desigual is not the same”.

Open in Canada: No. Yes.
There are currently a handful of Desigual stores in the US, and a limited line is carried by Hudson’s Bay and other local boutiques.
UPDATE: Desigual has franchised its first spectacular Canadian store in Montreal. Thanks to Retail Insider for the tip!

Online orders ship to Canada: No.
The online store is limited to the 50 states at this point.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: Medium/High.
Desigual is the type of retailer that could be attracted to YVR’s new luxury outlet mall as a splashy entry to the Vancouver market.



Founded: 1949 | Headquarters: Japan | Collections: Womens, Mens, Kids & More

In a dizzying world of fast fashion and changing trends, Uniqlo brings us back to basics with its trademark Japanese sensibility. The focus here is clean clothing staples in styles that will continue to be relevant years down the road. From cashmere sweaters to polos, Uniqlo is where you fill your closet with mix-and-matchable goods that will wash and wear well for much longer than a few weeks. Arigato, Japan!

Open in Canada: No.
The company has expressed interest in our market, but has yet to make a move.

Online orders ship to Canada: No.
Uniqlo does e-commerce in the USA, but does not ship north.

Likelihood of Vancouver store: High.
The rumour mill has churned for years around Uniqlo’s possible tenancy right below our beloved Topshop. It’s a deal that Hudson’s Bay would love to strike, and if we keep wishing, they will come!


Which international fashion brands would you love to see in Vancouver?

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DH Vancouver Staff
Daily Hive is the evolution of Vancity Buzz, established in Vancouver in 2008. In 2016, the publication rebranded and opened newsrooms in Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. Send story tips to [email protected]

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