For months last fall, the former Williams-Sonoma plot on Bloor was disguised as a giant orange box, wrapped up like an Hermès scarf, as workers stripped the space to its bones. The label’s new 6,000-square-foot home is over double the size of its previous digs down the street, and contains all manner of luxurious finishes and celeb-approved accessories (though you still have to be an actual celeb to get your hands on a coveted Birkin bag). The official opening last November involved an unabashedly extravagant carnival-themed soirée at the Brick Works, with a surprise performance from noted handbag addict, Drake.
French architecture firm RDAI, who have been designing Hermès stores since the 1970s, was in charge of transforming the space into two floors of pure Parisian elegance—with a few Toronto touches, of course. “Every Hermès store takes into account each city’s distinct climates, people and traditions,” says Jennifer Carter, president and CEO of Hermès Canada. They’ve also added a line of Toronto-only products, like a customizable hockey bag and hand-crafted hockey sticks. Indoors, they used lots of natural materials and added incredibly warm lighting (there’s no danger of catching your reflection in harsh light here, heavens no). In addition to silk scarves, leather handbags and patterned tableware, shoppers can also, for the first time, score pieces of furniture and the brand’s line of wallpaper.
The swirling staircase is the most striking (and, evidently, most Instagrammed) feature. It’s has a leather handrail and marble stairs, and is Carter’s favourite part of the store. “It reflects the story of the House: it’s beautiful and emotional while also designed for purpose and function, she says:
Here’s the view from above:
Glass cases in the jewellery section display items, like this leather cuff bracelet($900):
For watches and fancier pieces (like this $13,800 rose-gold ring set with 66 diamonds), there are desks at which shoppers can sit and chat to an expert:
There’s also a fragrance section on the first floor:
The leather “universe,” on the second floor, is where shoppers will find all sorts of styles—except the staggeringly priced Birkin bags:
New to Toronto is the brand’s home line, which stocks furniture, lighting, wallpaper and objets d’art, like this equestrian-inspired paperweight ($580):
Menswear is also up here. The walls are decorated with pieces from the Emile Hermès collection as well the Hermès collection of contemporary photographs. “Emile was an indefatigable collector, gathering objects, works of art and antique books throughout his life,” says Carter:
The walls of the private shopping salon are lined in an iridescent fabric that looks like shimmery silk:
Here are the limited-edition hockey sticks we mentioned, for anyone who wants to upgrade from their old Bauer model (a mere $2,700 each):
100 Bloor Street West, 416-968-8626, hermes.com.