Labour Day Sales – Top 5 Vancouver Fashion Destinations

Shopping the boutiques in Yaletown, one of the Top 5 Vancouver Fashion Destinations.

Labour Day weekend is just a week away, which means all of Vancouver’s top shopping destinations will be having sales on end-of-season fashion, back-to-school fashion, and more.

Top 5 Vancouver Fashion Destinations for Labour Day Sales

1. Brand Name Shopping: Robson Street & Downtown
Vancouver’s most famous shopping mecca is downtown’s Robson Street, along with the Pacific Centre Mall and department stores around Granville Street & Robson. If you love big, international brands, this is the place to go. And don’t forget to check out the luxury Canadian department store Holt Renfrew. End-of-season sales are the best time to find deals on Holt Renfrew’s (otherwise very expensive) high-end designer fashion and accessories.

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Labour Day Sales – Top 5 Vancouver Fashion Destinations

Vancouver Fashion Week April 12 – 17, 2011

Photo: Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is back for its 17th season April 12 – 17, showcasing collections for Fall/Winter 2011. Since its start in 2000, VFW has become the premiere fashion event on the West Coast and a major platform for Canadian and international designers. VFW is also applauded by fashion insiders for its focus on culturally-diverse design and for acting as a platform for up-and-coming talent, including local Vancouver designers.

Despite being an industry event—VFW’s shows are packed with designers, buyers, and fashion editors—VFW is extremely friendly to consumers and fashion lovers of all stripes. Individual shows are just $25, or you can get a day pass for $75; if you love being in the forefront of fashion, that’s a small price to pay for seeing emerging designers whose clothes are both cutting-edge and (often) actually affordable.

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Vancouver Fashion Week April 12 – 17, 2011

Eco Fashion Week Vancouver 2011

Lights, Cameras, Models! Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver has kicked off in a fierce way.

Myriam Laroche pulls her notes from her phone just before she addresses the media at the press conference at the Shangri-La Hotel on Feb 23rd. She’s the president of Eco Fashion Week after all so she didn’t want to print them off.

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Eco Fashion Week Vancouver 2011

Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part III: Portobello West

100% recycled line of knit pullovers from Kdon, available at Portobello West

On the last Sunday of every month, over 110 artists and designers come together to sell their unique creations at one of the best spots for finding local and independent fashion in Vancouver: Portobello West Fashion and Art Market.

Created in 2006 by Vancouverite Carlie Smith and designed to mimic European artisan markets, Portobello West is one of the Top 8 Places to Shop for Fashion in Vancouver. A huge success in Vancouver—the market averages over 1,000 shoppers per event—Portobello has been a boon to local designers, offering a showcase for both well-established brands and up-and-coming talent.

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Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part III: Portobello West

Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part II: Gastown

dutil "Quintessential Skinny" with contrast stitching

Vancouver is a fabulous place to shop for fashion, you just have to know where to find it. Sure, downtown Vancouver’s brand-name-packed Robson Street and high-end department stores (like the designer Holt Renfrew) are understandably famous Vancouver shopping destinations, but they don’t have the freshness or edge of our local and independent fashion scene. For that, you can hit Main Street or, just a few blocks east of Robson, Gastown.

Gastown has changed enormously over the last ten years. Experiencing a renaissance of style and design, this historic district is now home to some of the best local and independent fashion boutiques in the city. More high-end (and thus more expensive) than Main Street, Gastown is the place to shop for upscale local fashion.

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Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part II: Gastown

Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part I: Main Street

Local and Canadian Fashion at Life of Riley, Main Steet

While Vancouver’s famous Robson Street is great for shoppers looking for big name brands, it isn’t the best place to find fashion from a fresh, unique perspective. To get that, you need to look for fashion that’s part of Vancouver’s up-and-coming fashion scene, that’s made or designed here, or that’s from independent Canadian designers. So where to start on a hunt for Vancouver’s best local and independent fashion? Start just south of downtown on Main Street.

Known as “Mid Main,” Main Street between 20th and 23rd Avenue is home to some of the best fashion in the city, period. It’s also the place to shop for local and independent Canadian designers, and—one of the best parts!—the fashion here is extremely reasonably priced.

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Vancouver’s Local & Independent Fashion, Part I: Main Street

Vancouver Shopping – 8 Places to Shop for Fashion in Vancouver

Shopping in Yaletown

When I first moved to Vancouver, I fell instantly in love with the city’s independent fashion boutiques.

Don’t get me wrong—if I had the money, I would totally Carrie Bradshaw-out on designer-label goods, but I would always make room in my wardrobe for locally-designed pieces. Inventive, gorgeous, unique fashion is a mark of both the truly stylish person and the truly stylish city, and unlike many places that do have the big names (in department stores, malls, etc.), Vancouver is distinguished by its own, thriving fashion scene.

The following is a list of my favourite fashion spots in Vancouver. I’ve included the “big name” spots along with the local boutique areas because the local boutiques can be more expensive (though not always) and they don’t carry (sadly) as wide a range of clothing sizes.

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Vancouver Shopping – 8 Places to Shop for Fashion in Vancouver