Friday, November 15th marked the first day Oak + Fort moved into their bigger retail space in Gastown at 355 Water St. The new location of this favourite local brand is approximately 4 times larger than their previous space a few blocks down on the same street. And it only took the team exactly one month to put the store together.
I love that the store has a bigger gallery space to display its products, which in their own right, are works of art. The ambience of the white walls acts as a white canvas for the shop; the wooden beams on the wall and industrial touch of the merchandising racks give the store a nod to its Gastown heritage.
Some of my favourite items in the store is the jewelry. Though it won’t last you a lifetime, Oak + Fort is definitely one of the best places to get stylishly subtle jewellery. Earlier this year I got one of my favourite rings there – and I’m seriously not a ring person.
On the left, the Jesidan sweater in beige is priced at $78, and on the right, the Edgar coat in grey with contrast sleeves is at $248. I love that Oak + Fort delivers progressive pieces easily integrated into any wardrobe at such great price points.
I was quite impressed with the fitting rooms; I felt that there were some really good details put into its design. For example, change room mirrors outside of the dressing room never seem to be big enough when there’s another person who’s trying to share the mirror with you. They’ve got this super tall and wide mirror can probably fit at least 4 or 5 people across. When I stood in front of it, I felt that its vastness made a difference because not only can you navel-gaze and see yourself, you can see yourself interact with the surrounding environment.
Another detail I noticed was the width of the opening of the fitting rooms. They are not your usual door width, and because of the narrower space, you feel more secure in the fitting room. The curtain rods extend past the opening so you feel like you can actually close it shut. This was something I failed to do at the previous location, so it was definitely noticeable at the new store. Mix it all together and you have a pretty shopper-friendly space.
What’s in the future for Oak + Fort? This brand quickly grew in popularity among the fashion crowd, and will now be growing to other fashion cities in Canada. Two stores in Toronto are expected to open in Spring 2014 on Queen Street and in the Don Mills neighbourhood. And if things go as planned, another location will be popping up in Calgary next spring too.
Though I didn’t get much of a chance to shop for myself, I’m sure looking forward to the next time.
Photos + Words by Miranda Sam