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In the early days of Canadian fashion, most manufacturing was taking place in central Canada in cities like Toronto and Montreal, however with increased technology and a new rail system, it became easier to access international fashion trends that were popular in the rest of the country. It wasn’t until the last half of the twentieth century that Vancouver would really start to develop its own identity and produce world-class fashion and beauty brands.
As a bustling and vibrant international city, Vancouver has its fair share of luxury shopping, and if that’s your calling then be sure to check out downtown Vancouver for more classic designer brands or head to Gastown for high-end independent fashion and beauty boutiques. In Fairview you’ll find a plethora of premier independent boutiques for fashion, beauty, and art. Travel to trendy Mount Pleasant and Yaletown to find the hipsters along with a good selection of vintage shops. Finally, the Kitsilano beachfront area is where you’ll find the largest collection of athletic and outdoor shops in the city.
Famous fashion and beauty brands you may not know originated in Vancouver include Lululemon, Aritizia, Saje, Sappho, Smash & Tess, and Herchel. As an outdoor mecca for sporty activities, Vancouver’s fashion vibe includes plenty of athletic and leisure wear, but also an impressive number of high fashion brands. This cosmopolitan city manages to beautifully tie together casual wear, bohemian vintage, and upper class lux all in one.
You’ll find a strong presence of Indigenous beauty and fashion brands in the Vancouver area, along with the relatively new Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week which helps to support Indigenous design and recognizes local talent. The city also hosts the annual Vancouver Fashion Week which has the goal of celebrating multiculturalism and emerging talent. An offshoot of the Fashion Week is the Vancouver Global Fashion Collective which provides a platform for emerging and established designers to showcase their recent creations.