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Old-world charm and luxe-lifestyle boutique WANT Apothecary (2956 Granville St., 604-731-4957, Wantapothecary.com) delivers sumptuous international fashion brands to South Granville patrons seeking fresh-off-the-runway and ready-to-wear garbs. Expect European labels like Filippa K and Maison Kitsuné (their fox-adorned sweaters take Anthropologie whimsy to a level of Yves Saint Laurent elegance), while WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie offers exquisitely crafted leather travel accessories for the refined jet-setter. The pharmaceutical concept hails from Toronto and Montreal locales, where remedial Ursa Major facial care and Stockholm-based Byredo Parfums candles line well-lit shelves. –Miranda Babbitt
Why we love it: Canadian owners (and brothers) Byron and Dexter Peart put function and cultivated beauty on the same pedestal.
And now, we sit down with jet-setting brothers/owners Byron & Dexter Peart and chat about their creative influences, motivations, and fave summertime destinations.How does Vancouver’s WANT Apothecary set itself apart from other localboutiques?We believe WANT Apothecary is a unique mix of the best international fashion, accessory and grooming brands for men and women, offered in a thoughtfully curated environment. For example, we carry Tomorrowland from Japan, Maison Kitsuné from Paris, Byredo Parfums from Stockholm, and many other inspiring brands from all over the world.
Where did you first get the inspiration for a luxe pharmaceutical store concept?We wanted to restore the concept of an intimate, trusted, neighborly shopping experience; the idea of the 19th century pharmacy kept resurfacing in our minds. Our iteration of creating a ‘lifestyle pharmacy’ involves getting to know ourcustomers on a personal level to better understand their needs and wants. We also have very personal ties to the brands we carry, and we’re careful to only stock lines that we love and use ourselves.
What was a defining moment for you in terms of the success of WANT Apothecary?We opened the first WANT Apothecary in our hometown of Montreal in 2011, and recently opened a second location in Toronto this past spring. The response we received in Toronto was incredible and we attribute some of it to the fact that many of our Toronto customers were existing fans of the Montreal store.
Who are your personal style icons and how is that exemplified through your own designs?Our inspiration often comes from furniture and architectural design, rather than fashion. Dieter Rams‘ Ten Principles of Good Design have influenced our design approach tremendously. We’re always analyzing and questioning what makes good design. Like an Eames chair, for example. What makes this item as relevant now as it was 60 years ago? We try to apply these principles to designing accessories so that it will be a bag you want to carry for years and years to come.
It’s clear you both have an eye for both fashion design as well as interior design. How do the architecture and interiors of a space reflect WANT Apothecary style?We wanted walking into one of our stores to be a transformative experience. For all of our WANT Apothecary locations we’ve partnered with Maria di Ioia, a very talented interior designer, to modernize our pharmaceutical concept. Each store incorporates similar design elements, such as herringbone wood floors, Bianco Carrara marble and brushed copper, while also offering something unique to each location. For example, in Vancouver, we’ve added a sink to the apothecary counter to enhance the experience of sampling the skin and body products.
With your travel-inspired line of accessories, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, I thought I’d ask – where is your favourite place to visit come summertime?Definitely Jamaica! We take our families there multiple times a year. Our family heritage is Jamaican so it feels like coming home. It’s our favourite place in the world to just relax and unwind.