During the winter months, our fashion is limited to whatever keeps us alive. Unless you're Kim K, a coat, boots, gloves, and, sometimes, three layers of pants are the standard. But despite the cold, winter makes us all feel hopeful about the balmy days ahead, when the beautiful people of Montreal strut their stuff on the concrete runway.
So, before you go shopping for your spring/summer wardrobe, consider one of these 12 locally grown Montreal fashion houses to find your next coup-de-coeur.
TL;DR We present the Top 12 local Montreal fashion houses that you need to know about. See the list below.
Where: Online, showroom [by appointment only], Sachika Boutique [5264 St. Laurent]
Mercy House Studio, by way of Mile-End, has established a singular and unique take on streetwear. They pride themselves on encouraging "open-mindedness and challenging gender-specific norms catering to those who just want to fuck shit up." Mercy House has some seriously cool pieces such as their signature fanny pack and technical pants.
2) Lowell MTL
Where: Online, Espace Lowell ST-LRNT [5298 St. Laurent], Espace Lowell CHMPLN [66 Blvd Champlain (Q.C.)]
Lowell MTL specializes in handmade unisex leather-goods such as handbags and wallets, made right here in Montreal. They use leather sourced from small, environmentally friendly farms in the U.S. to create timeless fashion accessories that "echo the city's unique personality." Classics such as their Atwater tote and Fairmount backpack highlight their commitment to stunning design and impeccable quality. Btw vegans, Lowell MTL also offers vegan options for their most essential silhouettes.
3) atelier b
Where: Online, atelier b boutique [5758 St. Laurent], Evelyne Boutique [5127 Sherbrooke W.], and many locations in Montreal and across Canada.
Inseparable friends and local Montrealers, Anne-Marie and Catherine are the designers and founders of the renowned atelier b. Anne-Marie, Catherine, and their team operate from a workshop in a Mile-End studio to produce elegant and minimalist clothes made from natural fibres. They specialize in unisex essentials such as toques and raincoats, along with a range of womenswear, and even baby clothes.
4) ça va de soi
Where: Online, Laurier boutique [1062 Laurier W], Westmount boutique [1361 Greene Ave], with locations in Ottawa, Toronto, and Quebec City.
A Montreal family business for 40 years, ça va de soi uses the finest wool, cotton, and cashmere to create timeless and comfortable knitwear, tailor-made for modern life. For the designers, it's all about "experiencing an emotion" when it all comes down to it. Pieces like their Odeon turtleneck and the Auteuil cardigan punctuate their quality craftsmanship and breathtaking designs.
Where: Online, ANR boutique [4632 Rue Notre-Dame O]
Arguably one of the most recognizable brands outside of Montreal, ANR, started in 2009, has quickly taken the fashion world by storm. ANR is a "collective of creatives" that provides fashionable folk with a signature aesthetic and innovative designs. They most recently collaborated with Puma to design a stunning range of unisex streetwear. If you consider yourself a Montreal fashionista and haven't yet visited the ANR boutique, run to it as fast as you can.
Where: Online and showroom [9250 Ave du Parc #611]
Mélissa Nepton's dream came true when she was cast in Quebec's Project Runway equivalent, La Collection. Following her success on T.V., her career took off when she presented six collections at Montreal and Toronto's fashion weeks in 2012. Nepton specializes in creating ready-to-wear couture for the modern woman. Her spring/summer 2019 collection will be released soon!
7) Rad Hourani
Where: Online and showroom [231 Rue Saint Paul West #100]
Rad Hourani is distinguished for creating the first ever fully gender-neutral fashion line in history. Hourani is a multi-talented designer, artist, and film director who made his mark on the fashion world in 2007 at the age of 25. In 2013, Hourani was invited to show his collection at Paris Couture Week, becoming one of the few Canadian designers to do so. His latest collection features stunning outwear pieces like this unisex jacket.
8) Eve Gravel
Where: Online, Atelier Eve Gravel [5425 Ave Casgrain #801A], nine independent boutiques around Montreal, and many locations across Canada.
Eve Gravel founded her Montreal boutique 15 years ago. With a focus on classic silhouettes and unique details, Gravel's versatile collections are made for a diverse range of women. Every piece is made in her Mile-End workshop, meticulously crafted and locally-sourced by hand. She just released her latest collection. Check it out here.
9) Denis Gagnon
Where: Online and Boutique Denis Gagon [170 rue Saint-Paul W], La Maison Simons [Canada-wide]
Denis Gagnon is one of the most influential names in Canadian fashion. In 2004, he gained international recognition when he became one of Holt Renfrew's chief suppliers. With an avant-garde sense of style and design, Gagnon has established himself as one of the premier artists and designers to come out of Montreal.
Where: Online, MMSP Flagship store [2081 de la Montagne], and many locations across Canada and the U.S.
After 30 years of fashion excellence in Montreal, Maison Marie Saint Pierre knows a thing or two about modern design and pioneering fashion sense. From their huge studio on Chabanel street, Maison Marie Saint Pierre and their team of 60 highly skilled artisans produce unique pieces that transcend seasons and trends. Their Spring/Summer 2019 collection was recently released.
Where: Online, M0851 Sainte-Catherine [1181 Sainte-Catherine W], M0851 Saint-Laurent [3526 Saint-Laurent], with many boutiques across Montreal, Canada, the U.S., and even Japan
Since 1987, M0851 have prided themselves on designing smart, contemporary leather goods, accessories, and outerwear. 90% of their creations are made and designed locally in Montreal by a team of artisans that use raw materials, ensuring only the best in quality and workmanship. You've probably seen their best-selling knapsack gracing the back of many Montreal fashionistas.
12) Frank & Oak
Where: Online, F&O Stanley boutique [1420 Stanley St], F&O Mile-End [160 rue St. Viateur E], locations in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Quebec City
Established in 2012 by Ethan Song and Hicham Ratani, Frank & Oak is built on a foundation of ethical and sustainable fashion designs. With 50% of their products coming from recycled and environmentally conscious sources, Frank & Oak recently launched their "Give a Shi(r)t" campaign that collaborates with grassroots organizations across Canada to recycle over 5000 clothing items. Frank & Oak doesn't take shortcuts on quality, though. Jackets made from recycled plastics and low-impact denim jeans are as stylish and durable as they are Earth-conscious.
Don't let winter get you down! Better fashion is just around the corner, Montreal.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These fashion houses have not paid to be featured in this article.