Walking into Aritzia’s brand new space on St. Catherine’s, shoppers will be greeted by the Canadian brand’s biggest store in its home country to date—a 10,000 square foot building with high ceilings, yet an incredibly intimate feeling. Attending the opening this past Wednesday, The Main got a chance to speak with Maripier Morin, the evenings host, as well as Aritzia’s fashion director, Tiyana Grulovic, and chief marketing director, Oliver Walsh.

Aritzia4Ms. Morin—popularly known as the counterpart to Montreal Canadiens left winger Brandon Prust—introduced the space. She believes the St. Catherine’s location will bring Aritzia to the center of the action in Montreal’s downtown, enabling it to reach more people, and bring the brand to Quebec’s attention—if it isn’t already.

She is especially happy to see a Canadian brand doing so well, and recalling it’s origins, she described the space’s airy feeling: “it recalls the forests of Vancouver; the clothes and the atmosphere are natural and comfortable.” Despite the obvious climatic difference, Morin sees Aritzia as a good fit for Montreal, which she thinks of as incredibly “fashion forward.” Remarking on Montrealers’ ability to wear the same items in so many different ways, she noted that one root of Aritzia’s popularity is the clothing’s versatility with “fabrics that are flowing, natural; soft pastels. No one else is doing this.”

Aritzia2When asked what kind of shopper she is, Morin laughed, “I’m compulsive, I don’t try anything on, and when I see something nice I just want to give it all away to my friends.”

Aritzia6Moving through the store to the sounds of local musicians Milk & Bone—and later No Joy—one could see how Aritzia was embracing Montreal. As a Canadian company, Oliver Walsh explained their desire to reach local markets and embrace what’s going on at home. He was the second person of the night to say, “[Montreal]’s a very fashion forward city.”

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“I’m a Brit working for a Canadian company…and  I just have a huge respect for Canadian fashion.” — Oliver Walsh, Chief Marketing Director of Aritzia.

Tiyana Grulovic described the collection as spacious but intimate—“there’s a newness to it.” Despite being the company’s fashion director, she explained, “it feels like I’m seeing things for the first time, and people are coming in as if they’d never experienced Aritzia before.” And with Aritzia’s broad appeal and numerous brands and styles, it seems possible for someone to experience it in a new way every time. However, the store is still tied together by overarching themes: “minimal, ethereal, romantic, the similarity is the ease and effortlessness.”

aritzia14When asked what they bring to the store, Walsh referenced Tiyana’s “flair, real knowledge, and penchant for interpretation,” while she described Walsh’s “digital and fashion expertise” that has brought the brand even broader exposure.

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We’re excited to see how this Canadian brand evolves out of their new downtown location. Tweet @TheMain to let us know what you think.

All photos by Sonia Primerano.