I was invited to attend the media preview of the new Simons in Gatineau last night, that is set to open its doors at 11 a.m. this morning inside Les Promenades Gatineau shopping mall. The good news is that Simons is also scheduled to open an Ottawa location on Aug. 11, 2016 at the Rideau Centre.
One of Canada’s oldest family owned company’s, Simons is now being led by Peter Simons, CEO and 5th generation Simons family member. We had the pleasure of getting a personally guided tour of the store with Peter and had an opportunity to get cozy with Simons true Mission and Vision.
Here are 10 things that I learned last night:
Simons is one of the oldest Canadian family owned business, founded in 1812 by Peter Simons in Quebec City.
The Simons family business model is all about supporting local and doing world class business in Canada. Although this may cost them more, they are passionate about being a fully Canadian business.
Simons loves to experiment with different brands that offer a creative and fashion forward feel at a great value. These sub-brands will evolve as fashion trends do, but the Simon brands focus on remaining classic and timeless.
Simons is a large supporter of Canadian Arts and Culture and believes that they need to be integrated in their community. They also strive to support as many smaller initiatives as best as they can.
Every store has a creative Canadian collaboration, including Douglas Coupland and Julie Tremblay. For the Simons Gatineau store, Julie Tremblay has created “Metamorphique” a large scale art installation in the centre of the store, suspended between positive and negative spaces in the ceiling. This large piece was created in her Brooklyn studio and disassembled into 18 pieces to be relocated to the store. It took 1 year to create. The inspiration behind this concept comes from the patterns we see in the movement of nature, whether organic or inorganic matter. The textures and shapes in this piece also resemble the movement of textiles and fabric.
Every store is carefully designed with architecture in mind, to maximize the shoppers experience.
All clothing is available to purchase online, but their major focus is serving their clients in-store with a true Canadian customer service approach.
Although Simons doesn’t carry a specific Plus-Size line, their “Contemporaine” brand, targeted to a more mature crowd, goes up to XXL.
Simons is working on a few initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and provide more eco-friendly options. They are looking for discovery brands that are advancing environmental and social initiatives.
Simons approach to fashion is allowing women and men to mix their brands, which is why they carry a wide range of price point and style selection.
Thank you to Emily Lynne Smith from The Best of this Life for capturing some shots of me swooning over the purse section at Simons!
This is my total style crush, Emmi Snicker of Stockholm. I fell hard for her street style photos when I Googled “plus-size fashion blogger”. That’s how we met! I love this beauty’s style and how she rocks her curves, so I ask her a few questions.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Emmi Snicker and I’m currently living in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, with my husband. I’m a 23 year old blogger and organic makeup artist. I also run a small company through my blog, besides my full-time office job. Otherwise I love to travel, watch documentaries and hang out with my family and friends!
What’s your passion for fashion?My interest for fashion and beauty started at an early age – I remember I had a small collection of eye shadows (blue, pink and silver) for school discos in the late 90s. I also loved girl bands, especially their makeup and clothes. Growing up, my mother had her own hair salon where I spent a few hours every day after school. I would wait for her to finish up, while I painted and played with hair accessories and looked through her look books. Since then, my interest in fashion and beauty has developed a lot. I hope to find a full time career in the fashion and beauty industry in the future!
What XLusive tip can you share? My style tips for a chic style is to invest in basic clothing – oh, I know it’s so boring and you’ve heard this tip a million times before – but you need to build a small base to work with. Once you have your basics, you can then add pieces with that bit of “extra” and voliá, you can now create hundreds of combinations with all your pieces!
What’s your passion for fashion?I have loved fashion ever since I was really young. My mom was always really into fashion herself and loved dressing me up. I definitely credit a lot of my fashion sense and creativity to my mom and those early years.
What XLusive tip can you share?Have fun with fashion and try new styles/trends and go outside your comfort zone. You never know if something is going to look good on you unless you try it out. I love shopping at Winners, Zara, Gap, Old Navy and The Bay. Some local (Ottawa) shops I love to hit are Milk Shop, HepKat Vintage and Roadtrip. When I’m getting dressed I try to dress for my body shape (hourglass). When picking clothes I try to accent my assets. For dresses I like the fit and flare look or wrap dresses. A defined waistline goes a long way!
In this pic Kay wears: – Blazer (Forever 21)
– Peplum Top (Simons)
– Trousers (Smart Set)
– Heels (Old Navy)
– Bow (ALDO Accessories)