The Vancouver fashion scene these days is really suffocated by major companies like H&M and Zara. Because of this, I find that styles are not as diversified as it could be, and local boutiques & brands have a hard time getting into the ether. It can be especially difficult for us guys out there that are in search for peculiar and exceptional options out there. So, I compiled a list of lesser-known boutiques that standout to me.
1) Roden Gray
First on the list – and also probably the most well known – is Roden Gray. They carry some of the hottest young designer street wear brands right now including Yeezy and Thom Browne. Their style consists of mostly young designers who are at the forefront of men’s street-wear today. I personally like the variety of brands they’ve curated from locals like Native Shoes to overseas Japanese brands; they’ve even established a couple of in-house brands, No. 8 and Mr. Gray. It’s a great place to look if you’re in search of high-end street-wear.
NEIGHBOR is a small boutique located in Gastown that possesses the perfect mix between streamline minimalism and technical sophistication to their merchandise. They carry a combination of veteran and budding designer brands as well which is always reliable in offering a full range of looks. NEIGHBOUR is for the type of person that wears a non-flashy, non-gimmicky, minimal but technical and high quality style. And they’ve really done a spectacular job of fine-tuning that vibe for their demographic.
Simons is a Canadian retailer that opened a branch in Vancouver earlier this year. But, I’ve been shopping with this brand for quite a few years now after discovering it in Edmonton. I was astonished at just how wide of a selection they have to offer. They’re similar to H&M or Topman in that they’re truly designed to be a one-stop-shop as they carry everything from basics to designer suiting. Their in-house brands carry a straight-forward-to-the-point style to them. While also housing an eclectic collection of designer brands from Comme de Garcon to Versace. Because of this, they’ve done a good job at covering all grounds and offering something for everyone.
Livestock is an urban street-wear store that has a heavy emphasis on fashionable sportswear. With three locations in Vancouver currently, they’re best known for their impressive collection of sneakers. Accompanying the shoes is a collection of fun, quality apparel that doesn’t overdo it. The brands range from well known giants like Adidas to Arc’teryx and even their own in-house brand, Livestock. If your style gravitates towards urban-sporty, this is a place to lookout for.
5) Board of Trade
The words “peculiar” and “quirky” come to mind when I think about Board of Trade. Don’t be fooled by the minute size of the store or the small collection of merchandise. The brands’ really run with the “quality over quantity” motto. First of all, every brand they carried was new to me which was extremely refreshing. Their overall store collection pairs simple staples with high quality and unique details. It doesn’t try to do too much, which I like. The brand really shows that you can dress simple and still be fashionable with quality and choice pieces.