Tag Archives: guildford town centre

Style Seen: Privilege Clothing Grand Opening

On Friday, September 6th, Privilege Clothing threw a grand opening party for their opened at 3rd location at Guildford Town Centre. And it was a success – with 6 winners taking home over $3000 worth in prizes!

Privilege is a store that carries premium labels such as 7 For All Mankind, BCBGeneration, and Free people to suburban markets. Owner Donni Rae’s idea behind her suburban strategy is to offer non-generic styles to suburbanites without the added cost of gas and time traveled downtown.

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New Store Alert: The British Look

The British Look-3

The British Look is your one-stop shop for fancy party dresses that you can dress up or dress down. Proprietors Alice Maker and Michael Burley opened up shop on August 28th, part of Guildford’s new launch. The idea behind the store is to bring British style into the form of BCBG-esque dresses without the high price tag. Brand that they carry include Lipsy, Lipsy VIP (higher-end line that’s hand sewn with lots of embellishments), TFNC (also sold at Topshop downtown), as well as their locally designed and manufactured in-house line, TBL aka The British Look. The initial TBL collection featuring 20 styles in 2 different colours. You can expect to find stylish pieces that focus less on embellishment and more on giving you the perfect fit.

The boutique takes  out all the guess work and hours of dress-hunting frustration. During this past month I attended 4 weddings in 3 weeks, so you can imagine how much ‘fun’ I had when forced to shop for a specific occasion. I’ve never been a fan of occasional dresses (you wear ’em once, and then?!), but I seem to have found my go-to store in The British Look.

Almost every style I saw, I liked. Each piece has lots of interesting detail, is totally on trend, and the price is definitely right. For the ones I picked up, the prices ranged from approximately $89 to $139 – not bad at all for a unique dress! All dresses come in small size runs, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Already, during opening day at least one style had sold out.

The British Look-17

Here’s a short Q&A with The British Look owner and designer, Alice Maker:

  1. How did you come up with the idea of a British style dresses store?
    Coming from the UK I’ve always loved British fashion and followed brands such as Lipsy and TFNC. We moved to Canada 2 years ago and noticed a gap in the market for bang on trend dresses and evening wear that currently wasn’t being offered.  Out of all the dress stores that I visited when I came to Canada BCBG stood out as my favourite but some of the items were a little too high priced for me. We are just lucky that the brands that we carry are of equal quality but slightly more reasonable.
  2. You mentioned your background has mainly been in sales. What about fashion fascinated you since you were young? As a young girl growing up in England fashion was as important to me as fish and chips or a cup of tea! From a young age I can remember getting the train into London of a weekend with my Aunt, excited to see all the latest trends Oxford Street had to offer. As I got older and started going out to pubs and clubs with friends I got to experience fashion is a whole new context. Girls will spend their Saturday’s trapsing the high street in search of the perfect dress to wear out that evening! The style is a lot more dressy and getting ready with big hair and make-up is all part of the fun! I took for granted the social lifestyle and bang on trend style. It wasn’t until moving to Vancouver in 2011 I realized how lucky I had been! In opening The British Look I hope to give others the chance to experience what I have.
  3. TBL is designed and made in Vancouver, I love that! Can you tell us more about that? We wanted to stock a more reasonable house brand along the same style as the other brands we carry and rather than have it made in the UK or another country and shipped in we decided to make it here instead. I design the clothing along the same style as the other pieces we carry, and brands I’ve grown up with! For the month of September the staff have a challenge to design their own dress!

As for the growth of the store, Alice says, “We are currently in talks with a few other brands from the UK. We hope to grow over time but stick to offering quality dresses and women’s apparel that’s unique and suitable for every social occasion.” The British Look is located at Guildford Town Centre in Surrey across from Sephora.

Be sure to check out their launch party this upcoming Thursday, September 5th from 6pm – 9pm. Everyone who attends gets entered into a prize draw, and exclusive discounts and promotions will be available in store!

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Q&A with Lisa Roy, Designer for 13 New Guildford Stores

spacelift by lisa royIn this very special post, we speak with Lisa Roy of Spacelift, who designed the window displays for 13 stores at the newly expanded Guildford Town Centre. Lisa has a wealth of experience in retail design (past projects include Chanel, Oakridge, Metropolis) and currently also does home staging for “the spatially challenged.” We’re so excited to bring you this Q&A with a local retail design expert!

  1. How did you get into store design? I started right out of high school as a full time junior display tech with Tip Top.  Their windows back then were like small stages.  We were flown into Toronto 4-5 times a year to work together as a team, led by an extremely talented creative director.  I learned so much in my 5 years with them.  I then decided to start a freelance business and have never looked back.  I have been able to continue growing my business to include hundreds of clients and can honestly say I have enjoyed almost every one of my projects.
  2. Which are the 13 stores that you worked on? The British Look, MVVZ, Affluence, Privilege, Funk & Frost, Brow Art, Forever Flawless, EB Games, Go Games, Beach Basket Gifts, The Cannery, KRC Perfume, Lazy One.

    Funk n Frost at Guildford

    Funk n Frost at Guildford

  3. Do you design the stores with the retailer in mind? I originally met with each of the retailers to better understand their target customer.  Once this was determined and we were able to see the store front design they were assigned by the mall, a preliminary concept for the front window displays was formed.  Each window display was designed specifically for that store, including the style of mannequin, signage and propping.
  4. What’s it like designing for so many different retailers? How do you come up with a range of designs that suit each retailers’ brand? 25 years of experience makes it a lot easier.  Once we had the budget to work within, coming up with ideas is fun.  It is really important to make sure that the displays reflect the retailer and their target market, so understanding that is important. The great thing about a project like this is that there were so many unique retailers, so it wasn’t hard to come up with different ideas for all of them.
  5. What are some interesting design elements for these Guildford stores that you’ve used? For the props, we had some fun with sourcing interesting pieces.  Just about everything is a potential prop.  Funk & Frost windows have actual carousel horses in the windows, painted to match their store colours, fun for a cosmetic store.  We have some old tires collected from the tire recycling for EB Games as they were promoting Grand Theft Auto in the windows.
  6. What’s your favourite part of the window design process? Coming up with the initial concept is always fun and the most creative part of the process.  But I think it is the very end for me, window completed and seeing the reaction from the store staff.  It’s very satisfying to see the original idea come to life.
  7. What are your thoughts on Guildford’s new expansion? What are your thoughts on all the other malls’ previous or planned expansions (ie Oakridge, Richmond, Park Royal) The new expansion is beautiful!  Guilford really stepped up and customers won’t be disappointed.  The mall needed a lift, retail is so competitive and expectations are high.  It is so much about the experience with today’s shoppers.  They want to be “entertained” in every way, from the stores to the food court and even the bathrooms.  Park Royal will be amazing when it’s done, a very much needed reno for sure.  Richmond has a great new food court that is quite impressive.
  8. How do you like retail design compared to home staging? I love them both.  The concept is the same, show something at its best so it sells.  After taking interior design at BCIT for a year, I decided there were aspects of interior design that didn’t appeal to me.  The parts that did were the space planning and working with furnishings and accessories.  Home staging takes the part that I enjoy about interior design and combines it with the retail display and merchandising background which lets me love going to work every day.

Thanks for answering our questions, Lisa! We especially loved the theatrical designs at Funk&Frost.

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Forever 21 Grand Opening at Guildford – You’re Invited!

Guildford Opening Day-5


  • Date | Saturday, August 31st
  • Time | 10am
  • Location | Forever 21 @ Guildford Town Centre
  • Perks | First 200 customers receive a gift card!

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Guildford Town Centre’s Grand Opening Day

Guildford Opening Day-1

Was it worth the drive to Whalley? It sure was.  But from what I remember about Guildford the one time I drove all the way out there when Off the Wall was still popular was that it if it weren’t for one item I had on hold, I wouldn’t have spent the time.

After a $280m investment by Ivanhoe Cambridge, the new side of the mall does not remind you at all that you’re in Surrey. Retailers like Aritzia, Forever 21, H&M, RW&Co, Bootlegger, Browns, Town Shoes, Saje Natural Wellness, the Lego store and more bring their A game. You see glossy storefronts with well thought out merchandising displays. At times when I wandered from store to store, I quite honestly forgot about the product because I was so in awe with the theatrics of the boutiques.

According to one of the retailers, when the mall first opened in the morning they literally had to step back inside their store because the masses were racing down to Forever 21. On the east side of the mall, there was constantly a long lineup to what I only assume to be to enter your name into the $1000/week at Guildford for a year contest. With all this activity, I don’t doubt it was madness at Guildford today! When shoppers needed to take a break, the washrooms had a nice touch of scented moisturizers and mists from Saje Natural Wellness.

Though I really wanted that Sephora tote bag, I decided that what looked like a 30 minute minimum lineup was not worth the wait. Instead, I checked out The British Look, one of the few local retailers (well, local is debatable since they are British!). More to come in an upcoming post about the brand new store.

I’m not sure what the plans are for the older half of Guildford, but with the way Ivanhoe Cambridge is working on Oakridge and Metrotown, I’m sure they will be doing everything they can to bring that Metrotown shopper back to Surrey.

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Guildford Town Centre $280M Expansion Launches Today

sephora guildford centre opening august 28, 2013

sephora tote bag

Many of you have come through Style by Fire yesterday wondering when the Forever 21 in Guildford Town Centre is opening up.

Well the grand opening kicks off today, Wednesday, August 28th. Sephora is offering

Beauty Insiders a special tote bag, while Guildford itself is offering a lucky winner $1000/week to spend at the mall for a full year. I’m happy to announce that I will check out the mall for the first time today!

Fore more information, check out this article from the Vancouver Sun.

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