Club Monaco crosses the pond… finally!

In Fashion, In the Know on February 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

While doing my daily jones on the fashion news circuit, I was a tad surprised to learn by British Vogue that the former Canadian fashion brand Club Monaco, was being introduced to the European market via UK retailer Browns. To attract the fashion crowd, they’ve teamed up with fashion elite such as Lou Doillon, Lauren Hutton and artist Jade Berreau. Hmm, interesting.

Lou Doillon in a Club Monaco dress via British Vogue.

Club Monaco was founded in 1985 – in Toronto – by Joseph Mimran, a rather local but notorious fashion celebrity, and his brother Saul. The line seemed to be a reflection of the minimalist side late `80s fashion: stark white architecture, monocromatic suits. When the ’90s recession hit, it went into complete severe mode with a strong black and white palette, and its signature crisp-white dress shirts. The Mimran brothers was ‘parented’ by Ralph Lauren, a great financial move with expansion into New York, Japan and South Korea, but a clash with management saw Mimran out the door a year later.

While Mimran went on to enjoy success with his grocery store brand Joe Fresh Style, Club Monaco, for the most part, seems a bit stagnant. The headquarters, its first Queen Street West location, and it’s monsterous bloor stoor are still there, but the brand itself, as an entity doesn’t seem here, nor there. Just there.

When I had told some people at prestigious publishing companies about Club Monaco, the most I got was a doey-eyed stare. I sure hope that upon announcement of its European launch those same people can at least say “I’ve heard of that brand from somewhere.” 😉

via Club Monaco

None the less, I find this all quite funny because, this is a brand that, for me, is the equivalent of walking into a local H&M – not in a bad way, of course. But it’s just so common. It’s one of the stores I make a conscious effort check out regularly, because I always find security in their sever designer-conscious garments. Which tells you a bit of how I prefer to dress. Matter of fact, I’m wearing a pair of their leggings right now. OK. I wear them almost everyday.

via Club Monaco

Joceylyn Short via Club Monaco.

I did however, always find it a bit overpriced for what it is. Mind you, they do tend to use a lot of cashmere blends and silks, but, I always seem to prefer heading to the sales racks as oppose to buying the clothes at full price.

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