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Known for its vintage/bohemian sensibility and free-spirited aesthetic, Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda has recently opened the doors of its first Canadian West coast location at Richmond Centre.

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This is the first Scotch & Soda store in BC and the first Canadian opening since 2011. The Amsterdam-based fashion company has a strong celeb following, counting Jessica Biel and J-Lo amongst its numerous fans.

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Scotch & Soda relates to discoverers and collectors, scouring the globe for that painting, poem, vintage piece, ruin or artifact that sparks a never-ending curiosity. Treasures uncovered on worldly wanders are poured into signature looks that clash eras, classics and places of inspiration, meshing unexpected fabrics and patterns.

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Men’s, women’s and children’s attire plus soft furnishings all begin at Number 22 in the heart of Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda’s canal-side design studio housed in a former church.

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The Richmond Centre location provides an intimate shopping experience and offers a curated selection from the original Scotch & Soda menswear line, Maison Scotch line for women and Amsterdams Blauw denim collection for men and women.

Beautiful displays, ambient lighting and an eclectic aesthetic join forces with the brand’s Amsterdam roots, honouring its globetrotting spirit.

Scotch & Soda's global ambassador Marcel LaFrance

I met one-on-one with Scotch & Soda brand ambassador Marcel LaFrance last week to learn about the brand’s DNA and new collection. Marcel brings over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry to the table.

He’s worked with Scotch & Soda for over six years and regularly visits the brand’s Amsterdam headquarters to participate in global meetings and brand presentations.

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LaFrance knows the collections inside and out since he regularly presents the brand and seasonal lines to key industry partners across Canada. He’s happy to see Scotch & Soda make its way to BC.

The design team travels and shops markets around the globe, drawing inspiration from fashion, travel and music.

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Originally a men’s fashion chain, Scotch & Soda began including women’s collections about five years ago to huge success. LaFrance describes the ‘peacock’ styling ethos, a colourful assortment of detail-oriented, lived-in and washed down items for an everyday wardrobe that’s never dull.

Looking around the shop, I notice buttons, beads, little chains dangling from women’s tops and sweaters as well as contrasting interior prints.

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By wearing some of these denim-friendly pieces, you’re actually travelling along with the designers, living their worldwide adventures and discoveries. I’m also told that new pieces arrive quite often so once a particular collection sells out, you may never find it again, adding a limited-edition facet.

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As I’ve lived in The Netherlands (and am Dutch by marriage!), I naturally chose a summery piece from their Amsterdams Blauw® denim collection. Amsterdam Blue defines a colour of paint that was used in the Golden Century (1500 to 1750) to paint Dutch porcelain.

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A tiny gold-plated chain with a dangling seashell charm accompanies my blue and white-patterned long-sleeved shirt, another aspect of the brand’s attention to detail. This piece will undoubtedly rock my summer wardrobe.

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Richmond Centre marks the fourth standalone Scotch & Soda store in Canada.

Scotch & Soda's Marcel LaFrance with Cait MacLachlan and Susie Wall
[Marcel LaFrance with Cait MacLachlan and fashion expert Susie Wall]

Scotch & Soda has over 150 stores worldwide and can be found in over 8,000 shops from high-end global department stores to small independent boutiques (in Canada at Nordstrom’s, Simons and The Bay). There’s an online store as well.

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About FAB Inc. – Freemark Apparel Brands

Founded in 2004, Freemark Apparel Brands (FAB Inc.) is well established as a storehouse of what’s hot in global fashion, partnering with leading and emerging global brands.

FAB is a resource for the country’s best retailers seeking innovative design, strong supply chains and cutting edge marketing. Fab Inc. is dedicated to remaining innovative and fresh while staying focused on building world-renowned brands for the North American market.

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