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Stylists and fashion rags advise mixing high and low fashion to create a signature look, and when designers like Alexander McQueen collaborate with Target we think, Okay, maybe. But this takes serious skill. Only the truly savvy pull it off to achieve an effortlessly chic look. Like Natalie Tersigni, manager of West Fourth’s Gravity Pope Tailored Goods. Her closet holds everything from vintage orange-tab Levi’s she scored at Mintage to a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. And a $1.75 white clutch (her go-to evening bag) from Value Village.
Scott Walhovd & Anthony Castro
Scott Walhovd was a full-time model, booking shoots with D&G, Moschino, Ralph Lauren, and Gianfranco Ferre when he met Anthony Castro, a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design, in New York. Walhovd wanted a career with more longevity; Castro dreamed of founding his own label. So they moved here (Walhovd’s hometown) and founded 212, a women’s clothing line and attendant retail space. 212 is known for clean, uncluttered lines—a European sensibility with a New York edge. Next up? A men’s line launches spring 2010.
After years of managing a Decléor beauty and spa counter, the enterprising Vivian Ko Gooch decided to strike out on her own. Wink, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary in the Koret loft building in Gastown, offers a reasonably priced selection of cult beauty products and spa treatments (manis, pedis, waxing). But it’s the semipermanent eyelash extension treatments that draw socialites (and drag queens) from all over town.
David Smyth’s sartorial career started with a bang. His first retail job, for U.K. clothing company Austin Reed in his native Belfast, came to an abrupt end when the store was blown up by the I.R.A. Offered a transfer to London, the young Smyth crossed the Irish Sea and never looked back. Night classes in tailoring at the London College of Fashion led to a manufacturing job with Burberry, but soon he and wife Catherine shipped off to Vancouver (where she’d lived as a girl). Smyth joined Harry Rosen and can now be found at its Pacific Centre location fitting suits from Coppley, Samuelson, Armani, Zegna, and Brioni.
Caroline Boquist and Daniel Kozlowski are masters of juxtaposition, showcasing items in their home-décor boutique (“Walrus”) that combine playful design with function and utility. These two friends share a love of all things European—they once considered opening a European-style coffee bar together—but the quirky items that line their shelves feel right at home on the newly revamped Cambie Street strip.
Shawn Von Diebitsch has worked at the Vancouver Bike Gallery since it opened three years ago, but his passion for cycling began when he was seven years old and learning to ride on a bike his dad built him. In his teens, he saved enough to buy a Giant Cadex ALM1 mountain bike. He took up racing: in 1995 he completed the World Cup, and 14 years later he can still be found competing in the North Shore Bike Fest and racing for Team Diabetes. Not surprisingly, his favourite buys fit his active lifestyle.
Fact: most women wear bras that don’t fit them properly. Diane Thomson took it upon herself to correct the problem and in 1983 opened her own lingerie store, specializing in expert fittings. But that doesn’t mean style isn’t a factor too: her South Granville boutique carries lacy underthings from collections as wide-ranging as Betsey Johnson, Lejaby, Princess Tam Tam, and her eponymous line.