On Wednesday morning, I was invited to be one of the first to walk through the latest extension of the COS brand at their Bloor St. location, marking Canada as the 27th country to rep the minimalist staple. Having been fortunate enough to travel to Paris, London and New York on more than one occasion, COS was always made a destination spot before returning home–
an “excursion”, so to speak. Whether it be down Rue Montmartre or the brick side streets in SoHo, wandering into the breathtaking art and design fusion that is COS, almost garners as its own gallery. Beautiful, contemporary tailorings hang exactly so, while high ceilings and staircases boast cutting-edge art installations.
One particular aspect of the COS Toronto store is its ability to make the customer–although I prefer to think of them as more of lifestyle embodiers than mere “wandering window shoppers”–feel complete comfort. Wood board and batten walls and plush-grey benches ward off any uninviting coldness that concrete walls may ensue. Womenswear designer, Karin Gustaffson, explained that morning that comfort and ease are not only executed in her design process for effortless wearability but in every aspect of articulating a COS store, right down to the very dressing room seats themselves.
To my surprise, there’s been nothing altered for the Canadian market–just one, universal collection. “In Japan, for instance, we have to change the amount of outerwear jackets but other than that, it is the same,” says Gustaffson. As someone who admires the brand’s design outlook and their incorporation of diverse artistic arts, I’m both entirely ecstatic and skeptic at the brand’s new home in Canada. On one hand, I very rarely ever shop locally due to limited access to the brands I love, so the convenience is certainly an invaluable factor. On the other, I think back to my sheer joy when entering a COS storefront abroad, knowing I’d find something completely unique and authentic–without the over-saturation of say, a Zara or H&M. And maybe that’s me being selective and greedy and wanting it all to myself. We all have our moments; I’m fine with COS being mine.
If you haven’t already, make your way to the old Tiffany building on Bloor to check it out! Now open to the public. But if I see you wearing the same shirt as me…pretend I never said anything. 😉