Fashion-able: Pour la tête

Brrrr! While we hate to admit it, it’s that time of year again – time for hats!!! From headbands to furs, today on the fourth floor we’ve amalgamated some of our favourite pieces for the fall season. (Psst..click the link below each hat for where to buy info.) 

Ever since Kate Moss rocked that gold turban at the MET ball, we’ve been a little obsessed. Not to mention, it’s great for the days when dry shampoo won’t do the trick. 😉 We found a few knit versions online at ASOS that we’re itching to order. 




The classic toque is always a cozy go-to. Worn rolled up or slouched back, it’s easy to throw on and run out the door. 



Headbands give us that retro early-90s vibe – and we love it. 

A warm, luxe statement piece, a fur hat adds a little oomph to any outfit. 


For a different aesthetic, felt and velour hats make us feel like a really on-trend Carmen Sandiego. Bonus points because you can rock ’em all year long. 

                                            Bowler                                                                       Boater.
Bowlers and boaters are great options for the fall/winter season. The difference between the two styles? The width of the brim.
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JetSet: NYC

A few of us have been travelling quite a bit lately, so thought it would be fun to introduce a new blog category called JetSet. We’ll share our tips, ideas and insider info about restaurants, hotels, bars, attractions and anything else awesome we stumble across in our journeys!


When a Porter seat sale comes through our inboxes, we like to take advantage. One of our favourite weekend jaunts is to the Big Apple. New York City is just a short flight away, and there’s always something to do, plenty to eat and endless sales to check out. It was genuinely hard to narrow it down to a few, but here are some of our fave places to stop by while in the city that never sleeps. 

Where to eat
If you’re in Brooklyn and have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend you swing by DOUGH –
a doughnut shop with delicious, fresh creations including nutella, lemon meringue and hibiscus.


Café Cluny  in the West Village is a great place to stop in when you need a break between Maje and BookMarc. The cute French café/bistro is great for a light lunch or a glass of wine. Bonus: on occasion you can spot some celebs grabbing a bite. 


If you’re like us, food always tastes more delicious when it’s a little bit hidden, and totally unexpected. You know, like Mexican food from a basement restaurant marked only with Vietnamese signs in a Chinatown alley. Sounds random, but Pulqueria is all that and more. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. Their taco selection and margarita pitchers, not to mention their tower of salsas, make this an awesome spot to have dinner with friends. 

Expect the unexpected in NYC.

Rosemary’s, also in the West Village, has a slightly higher price point, but delicious Italian food (with ingredients from their rooftop garden!) and a good vibe. Be sure to start your meal off with prosecco, for the true Italian touch.


Where to party
Le Baron is the NY incarnation of the Parisan hotspot, located in Chinatown. It boasts three floors and has banned photography (sorry, no instagramming) – but you can tweet at them here: @LeBaronNYC.

To get into the ever-popular Jane Hotel, be sure to make a reso or get on the
guest list. Otherwise you risk being among the masses huddled outside – consider yourself warned.


Swanky hot spot, The Jane.

Honourable mentions go to the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hoteland if you’re a member, Soho House for poolside drinks and dinner. 
Where to shop
While Soho
is always a fun place for wandering, we recommend going on a weekday if possible, as weekends are a bit crazy. A few good starting points are Barney’s Co-Op, Neiman Marcus and the TopShop on Broadway to check out the sales. 

When in Brooklyn, stopping by Catbird is a must. Their adorable housewares, including an in-house line of candles, and beautifully curated jewellery makes this tiny shop a must-visit every time we’re in NY. 


For clothing, Bird in Brooklyn (no relation to Catbird) carries some great lines and does a great job editing which pieces are carried in-store. 


We highly recommend spending some quality time at Stella
Dallas
 a wonderful vintage store in Williamsburg. Bonus – there’s a houseware
store right beside it which is pretty neat, especially if you’re in the market for unique linens or blankets. 

There’s a reason we can go back to New York again and again and again, it’s because the city has endless things to offer. These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, so don’t be surprised to see us update you with our newest NYC discoveries. 

City Living: Boutique Shopping in Toronto

The need for a new fall wardrobe has us dreaming of the shops of New York, L.A., Paris and London. We’re not saying Toronto is lacking in the shopping department, our office is just a stone’s throw away from many great stores on Queen Street after all, but the appeal of stores like H&M and Zara begin to wear thin when you show up to work and three other girls are wearing the same shirt as you. Here are three boutiques that we think will satisfy your craving for a shopping vacation.

Uptown: Canopy Blue (2582 Yonge St., just north of Eglinton)


Image source.

For those of us who live north of Bloor, it’s always a bonus to be able to get our shopping fix right in our own area. Squeezed in between Gap Kids, West 49 and Chocky’s, Canopy Blue is a shopping oasis in a desert of big chains and family friendly stores. Since opening in 2008, owners Nicole Bitove and Candice Ilton have created a store with a laid back vibe and selection of designers that rival any boutique in L.A. From T-shirts to black tie, designers include Smythe, Herve Leger, J Brand, and Jay Godfrey, to name just a few.  

Midtown: The Narwhal (8 Price St., Suite 101, just south of Summerhill station)

Image source.

We think you’ll agree that The Narwhal has brought shopping in Toronto to a new level. Situated a little off the beaten shopping track, you can find the store directly across from the Summerhill LCBO in Rosedale. When walking through the doors of the Narwhal, you are immediately surrounded by all things beautiful, and we don’t just mean the clothes. With a background in interior design, co-owner Sydney Wills has created an environment worthy of the clothes it houses. With designers like Acne, Dolce Vita, Helmut Lang, House of Harlow, and Haute Hippie, we warn, you may want to take out a loan and buy everything in the store; we did.
Downtown: Jonathan + Olivia (49 Ossington Ave., at Queen)

We just about died when we heard there was going to be a store in Toronto that sold Topshop. Excited by the prospect of getting to shop at our favourite London-based store, we got there as soon as humanly possible and were not disappointed. While Topshop was the initial draw, the designers that continue to fill the racks like Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs and Pamela Love make it hands down one of the best boutiques in the city. 

When it comes to shopping, these stores really are a breath of fresh air. We guarantee you won’t miss the big crowds, annoying sales associates and impersonal experience of big box store shopping.  You may need to spend a little more, but it’s worth it. 

What’s your favourite boutique in Toronto? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below.

Media, Darling: Rita Zekas

Rita Zekas is an entertainment/lifestyle/fashion/decor writer. She originated the paparazzi page/gossip column Star Gazing for the Toronto Star and stalked bold face for decades, before returning to her former love — shopping — doing retail detail in her Store Gazing column in the Toronto Star. She can be found in better stores everywhere — usually in the shoe department.
 

Twitter:  @TorontoStar
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I was going to be a best-selling novelist, writing from a cliffside white-washed cottage in some random sunny port in Greece.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Reading in an oversized chair overlooking the olive groves in a mountain-top villa on the Tuscan/Umbrian border in Italy.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be prepared to work with little remuneration and even less sleep. Deadlines, baby.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I listen to CBC Radio and NPR when I can get it. I read the New York Times online and in print on Thursdays and Sundays — those two days for the Style Sections.

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Best is Betsey Johnson, who has such a great persona, she could have enticed me to turn cartwheels on the catwalk with her.

Worst is Ivana Trump, who spent most of the time screaming invectives at her minions over the phone.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t Google yourself.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Do your research and never spear the easy targets.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Don’t double dip. If you have snared an interview with a media outlet, don’t book another one with a different writer. It wastes everybody’s time.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Working with PR pros like Pru Emery, who was the doyenne of PR people and her successor, who I would have to say is Deb Goldblatt. They just grease the interview process so it’s in and out and no one gets hurt. Or bored.

I hate? 

Rudeness.

I love?
Shoes.

Reading?
Autobiographies. Everyone, even Einstein inevitably was dissuaded from following their basic instincts. And I read everything by David Sedaris, a comedic genius.

Best place on earth?
Italy.

Dinner guest?
I don’t cook; I reheat.

Hero?
Cancer survivors.

Favourite app?
I don’t app.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.

Voicemail or email?
Email.

Fashion-able: White Crow Online

As if working on Queen Street didn’t present enough shopping temptations, White Crow Online has opened up shop in the Burroughes Building.


White Crow has been one of our favourite online shopping destinations since it launched last December, so we were ecstatic to see them move into our building. This is White Crow’s first semi-permanent store front. Previously, they had a Valentine’s Day pop-up shop at Sleeping Giant Gallery and teamed up with LAB Consignment for a Mother’s Day sale at the Drake Hotel.

Owner Jin has a friend who helps her source styles and they import their clothing from Korea. Jin says she’d love to expand the store and offer wares from Australian and Europe, as well. White Crow’s offerings feel very fresh and of-the-moment. Best of all, the price points are really reasonable (most pieces are under $50), which makes lunchtime shopping sprees a legitimate concern.

Here are the pieces that top our shopping list this summer:



Jin says the plan was to stay in the Burroughes only for the summer, but the response has been really positive, so she may stay longer. Fine by us, we loving having White Crow here.

Check them out online or at 639 Queen St W. on street level. 


Store Hours
Mon-Wed: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thur-Sat: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun: noon to 6 p.m.

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A visit from….Joanna Track

We love a savvy business woman, so we were super excited when Joanna Track popped up to the fourth floor to tell us all about her latest venture, Dealuxe. Read on to learn more about this inspirational lady.

Joanna is the co-founder and CEO of Dealuxe. She has over 15 years experience in marketing, business strategy, branding and advertising.

After earning a BA in Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario and an MBA in Finance at Schulich School of Business, she worked in the marketing departments of a variety of companies including The Loyalty Group (AIR MILES) and Club Monaco, before landing at Ogilvy & Mather. Joanna built a career at Ogilvy over six years, working on key global accounts, including Amex, FedEx and SAP, doing everything from Brand Advertising to Direct Marketing to Web. Her stint at Ogilvy took her to New York City, where she worked for a year as an Account Director and honed her skills as a marketer, before returning to the Toronto office in the same role.

Joanna’s entrepreneurial spirit grew strong and in 2004, Sweetspot was born.  Seven years, three websites (Sweetspot, Sweetmama, Sweethome), six newsletters, and over 100,000 subscribers later, Sweetspot.ca is the ultimate destination for Canadian women to stay in the know about what’s new and fabulous in their city.  In July 2006, Rogers Publishing recognized this success and purchased a stake in the company, and then acquired the remainder of the company in early 2011.

Joanna has become one of the most well-known and respected digital entrepreneurs in Canada.  She is often invited to speak at business and consumer events and is frequently featured in the media on entrepreneurial and digital business matters.

Twitter: @DealuxeCEO

Where did your inspiration for Dealuxe.ca come from?
As a consumer I was always frustrated with the process of shopping in the US because of unknown duties, returns and shipping fees.  I realized there was a gap in the Canadian marketplace to offer a premier online experience eliminating the barriers from shopping in the states.


What is your idea of a “savvy shopper”?
1. High and Low – someone who knows how to pair investment pieces with the trend of the moment.
2. Versatility – know how to wear one item in many different ways.  Maximize your statement pieces.
3. Confidence – wear what’s right for you and avoid making impulse purchases just because something is trendy.


You were dubbed a “Yummy Mummy” by the Toronto Star. What are your fashion tips for moms?

Try to invest in items that fit well and are functional.  For instance, a classic trench coat, like the Smythe Double Breasted Nylon Jacket, or a pair of dark denim skinnies like the Rich and Skinny Sleek Denim.  


Accessorizing is also key.  It can take your outfit from casual to chic in an instant.


What is the first section of the newspaper that you read?

The Style section! Followed by the business section, of course.


You have mentioned that your grandmother was a shopaholic. What is one trend of her era that you would be timid to try out? One that you would love to try out?
Trend to try: super glam style. Heels, red lipstick, dresses, etc. They knew how to dress to impress back then.


Trend to avoid: I would skip the fur fetish. That was very popular in my grandmothers’ day, but not so much now.


Fave spots to shop in Toronto?
Dealuxe, Corbo, Nyla, Joe Fresh and Gee Beauty.



Thanks Joanna, we loved chatting with you. Come back soon!

*We’re giving away $50 to spend on wonderful items from Dealuxe.ca. To win, tweet us @rockitpromo and tell us what you’d love to buy!
UPDATE: Thanks to all who participated. The winner is @kristinabreckon. Congratulations!

 

My ‘hood: Christina

By Christina
 
I live near Broadview subway station, which is right off the Danforth – home to some of the best restos in the city! There are many amazing places to nosh.

One of my favourites is 7 numbers. This spot is great for a cheap, big, authentic Italian meal. My fiance and I consider ourselves calamari connoisseurs, and this restaurant passes with flying colors!

The restaurant is charmingly loud, with eclectic furniture, paper table cloths and an enormous chalk-board menu. A tip for dining here: when ordering wine, be sure to ask for a wine glass or your Merlot will be delivered in a plastic cup!

The Danforth is also a great place to shop. Enter Tabula Rasa (745 Broadview Ave), my new favourite store, located steps away from my house (dangerous!).

The owner, Jennifer Park, is amazing at helping me select a new look from their wide selection of new (like Wayne Clark and Ports), vintage and reconstructed vintage pieces.

Here is a photo of  our client Noah Reid (Score: A Hockey Musical) and me in a last-minute purchase from Tabula Rasa. Score!

The D-forth is also home to the Carrot Common, a hybrid grocery store that sells health food, flowers, minerals, gourmet coffee and organic juice, massage products, books, plants, unique clothing and much more…

They also sell freshly squeezed juice and smoothies. Great place to stop by post-run for some hydration!

There you have it – the Danforth is a lot more than just Greektown. Come check out some of these hot spots. Maybe you’ll discover something new while you’re strolling around the east end.