New Herschel Flagship Store Opens Next Week in Gastown

Backpacks for all!

Backpacks for all!

It seems odd that an omnipresent brand like Herschel would even have a need for a flagship store: sometimes it feels like Vancouver is just one big Herschel boutique. And with a presence in shops across the world—dozens of countries and counting carry its backpacks, duffels, wallets and other travel-adjacent wares—it’s not even like a store in tourist-heavy Gastown would act like an introduction to the tourists swarming by: they’re just as likely to be toting a Little America pack as a local.

And yet, when the brand new North American flagship shop opens its doors June 16, it’s more than worth a visit. “The space is a celebration of art, architecture and design,” says Lyndon Cormack, who founded the brand alongside brother Jamie. Designed by Omer Arbel, it’s a place that tweaks the retail model ever so slightly into something more magical: a statue garden stands where mannequins typically would; the cash desk is reimagined as a cave, surrounded by chunks of coral-like metal.

Here, you’ll find the biggest selection of Herschel products in the world (including just under 800 backpacks and 1,000 wallets on display), and the space will likely be the launchpad for collaborations and exclusive events going forward. The very back wall is made of windows that open fully to the Vancouver harbour. “For tourists and locals alike, there’s a connection to outdoors. We worked hard with the city to allow us a sliding door system, that lets us look onto the SeaBus, Grouse in the distance, the planes, the cruise ships, the trains,” says Cormack. “It just feels like we’re part of the city.”

Herschel’s new flagship store opens June 16 at 347 Water Street. 

In Photos: A Look Inside the New Herschel Flagship in Gastown

A video screen of travel images greets you right at the front door, followed by a long wall of backpacks—just some of the 800-ish options available at the new flagship location.
The cash desk is surrounded by coral-like metal pieces designed by Omer Arbel.
The North American flagship store will open June 16.
  In the centre of the shop is a mirrored box where suitcases reflect into infinity and a video screen overhead shows planes flying by.

Local sculptors were invited to create pieces that will fill the showroom floor, inspired by the people passing by—tourists and locals alike—on the Gastown streets. Custom furniture, clothing racks and hangers were forged from steel.