Canadian fashion brand SMYTHE makes things permanent with new flagship

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Breadcrumb Trail Links Style & Beauty Shopping Essentials Life Fashion & Beauty The company is celebrating the opening of it first branded bricks-and-mortar store in Toronto. A look inside the Smythe store in Toronto. Photo by Patrick Biller Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may […]

The company is celebrating the opening of it first branded bricks-and-mortar store in Toronto.

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Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe started the brand SMYTHE in 2004 with the ambition of creating the “perfect women’s blazer.”

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Citing a shared ambition to “embolden the women who wear them through advanced styling, meticulous tailoring and impeccable construction,” the duo’s made-in-Canada pieces became fast-favourites of the style and celebrity sets.

“We are targeting women who care to look fashionable and relevant, and who are also willing to make an investment,” Smythe explains of their designs. “It is the quality of the fabric, the construction of the garment and the thread of classicism in the design that ensures a SMYTHE piece will last for years to come.”

SMYTHE even found a fan among the British Royal Family, a tie-in that served to boost the brand significantly after Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore their navy-blue blazer during her Royal Tour of Canada in 2011.

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“We can’t deny that our brand equity grew exponentially,” Lenczner said in an email of the so-called Kate Effect that drives shoppers to buy what the popular Royal Family member wears. “Incredibly, The Duchess Blazer is still a bestseller so many years later. We liken it to a friend you know you can count on — a perfect foundation piece, like a great pair of denim or a white shirt.”

Fifteen years since its start, the brand’s focus has shifted beyond just blazers to include a full collection of ready-to-wear pieces such as shirts, trousers and sweaters.

From left: Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe are co-founders of the Canadian brand SMYTHE.
From left: Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe are co-founders of the Canadian brand SMYTHE. Photo by Patrick Biller

“Since Day 1, the brand and our ethos have remained: to design and execute beautiful pieces that empower when worn,” Smythe says. “Of course, fashion continuously evolves and therefore, so does SMYTHE.

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“When we started, everything was tailored to be very close to the body, now, oversized blazers and bold shoulders with lots of layering pieces feels more current. Next season we’ll be doing something slightly different again.”

Available through domestic and international retail partner stores such as Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom, along with the brand’s own ecommerce site Shopsmythe.ca, the company is celebrating the opening of it first branded bricks-and-mortar store in Toronto.

Located at 1116 Yonge St., the store offers the full assortment of SMYTHE designs including the SMYTHEHOUSE collection of pieces, which originally launched in fall 2020 and sees the brand’s most recognizable silhouettes, such as the Rifle-Patch Equestrian Blazer, “reimagined in seasonless fabrics and colours,” according to Lenczner.

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To mark the flagship opening, Lenczner and Smythe have created their first fragrance for the brand in partnership with Argentine-based niche perfumery house Brand Fueguia 1833.

“During lockdown, scent became such an important factor in creating a sense of hope and optimism,” Lenczner said. “Donning perfume, lighting candles and incense, and using pillow and room sprays, literally lifted our mood.

“To celebrate the milestone of our first brick-and-mortar store, we wanted to design a scent, hoping to recreate this same sense of exhilaration to layer into the SMYTHE customer experience.”

Described as a “woodsy,” “feminine” fragrance, the eponymous scent “is anchored in sandalwood with primary notes of cedarwood and patchouli,” according to Smythe, with mid-notes of clove bud and bergamot.

“(It’s) made using globally sourced natural ingredients in small batch production quantity,” she adds.

The fragrance launch signifies a growing interest between the duo to expand the SMYTHE brand reach beyond the ready-to-wear realm, according to Smythe.

“We’d like to spend some time focusing on travelling and finding the best partners with whom to enter new brand categories,” she says.

Fashion fans, stay tuned.

[email protected]

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