Canada’s premier luxury retailer celebrates 175 years!

September 27, 2012

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On September 6th, the Toronto fashion landmark celebrated their milestone with a chic street party on Bloor Street


In Toronto, the month of September signifies the end of summer, the return to school, for some, chilly weather and last but definitely not least, TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival – for those film buffs and celebrity crazed individuals such as myself). However, this September is different as it marks the 175th anniversary of Canada’s most upscale retailer, Holt Renfrew. And how does the Country’s go-to for designer threads celebrate, one might ask? By throwing the most fab, month-long birthday bash ever!

The celebrations commenced on the 6th of this month and the HOT@175 Mobile Tour began it’s cross country trek with travelling pop up shops with planned stops in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Throughout this mobile fashion fun-tour, if you will, the specialized truck was stocked full with limited edition sweatshirts ($75), by seven world renowned graphic design artists: Justin Broadbent, Joachim Baan, Jonathon Mak Long, Andrew and Matt McCracken, Alex Viau and Jamie Webster.

Now, Holt’s wouldn’t be Holt’s if they didn’t enlist some of their fashion-heavyweight friends to provide drool worthy, exclusive souvenirs – Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Michael Kors, Armani, Paul Smith and Manolo Blahnik, just to name a few. The HOT@175 magenta hued collection consists of a myriad of items for the well-heeled traveler, fierce fashionista or the daper dude. In the event you have been living under a rock for the entire month, here is a peek at a few epic pieces from the HOT@175 collection:

Limited Edition – Christian Louboutin Lady Peep Platform Trash Pump: With real envelopes addressed to Mr. Louboutin himself, stamps, the iconic HR magenta sticker and grey HR gift wrap ribbon. Truly a piece of art



Limited Edition – Canada Goose Trillium Parka with magenta lining : Style and warmth; the perfect match


Limited Edition – Kate Spade New York polka dot iPhone case


Alice + Olivia Magenta Peplum Dress: Lust-worthy label + quintessential dress shape of the season + magenta = PERFECTION


Valentino Couture Bow Pump: Exclusive to Holt’s, these dimensional open toe pumps are a MUST-HAVE


To view the full collection, Click Here

Think you know all there is to know about Holt’s? Here are some fun, historical facts to make you a well-educated fashionista…

Let’s take it back to the retailer’s humble beginnings in 1837 where William Sammuel Henderson opened a hat shop in Quebec City, originally named William Ashton & Co. About 20 years later, the owners moved on and the store’s name changed to Renfrew & Marcou. The Quebecois shop started to make a name for itself in fashion and was appointed to be the Queen’s royal furrier. If it’s good enough for the Queen, then it was apparently good enough for Sir John A. MacDonald, who was spotted purchasing a fitted overcoat – which he was wearing in his parliamentary portrait in Ottawa.

In the span of a century, fashion and accessory lovers were enamored with the timeless classic pieces the store carried, which can now be found in their antique catalogues – the first debuted in 1891. In order to commemorate the birthday of the century-old company, another location was opened in downtown Montreal. Fast forwarding to recent years, Holt’s has proven to be a force in the fashion world and is often compared to the likes of other well known luxury retailers such as Selfridges, Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. After opening various locations across the country and the Weston family taking over ownership in 1986, Holt’s is Canada’s go-to place for couture designs.

Happy Birthday Holt Renfrew and we look forward to another 175 years!



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