Simons fashion preview

Now that everyone’s officially back from summer holidays and the kids are back at school, we were invited to preview the Simons fall and winter collection at their Park Royal location.

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There’s three core women’s labels at Simons (in case you’re not familiar with the iconic department store): Icône (the most fashion-forward of the three), Twik (for young women just getting into fashion) and Contemporaine (modern, classic lines for career women).

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[Simons also sells items by well-known, high-end designers]

Within the men’s department are the Le 31 and DJAB labels.

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This season, Icône pays homage to Vancouver’s sports scene, with layering, touches of neon, and a return of body-conscious pieces (bodysuits paired with oversized pants). Look for wrap-belt suits, plaids and corduroys (also heavily in comeback mode).

Jeans are going pleated and belted, a departure from skinny designs.

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Twik’s pieces are inspired by the trekking movement this season, with printed sherpas, cargo pants and skirts, even tactical vests with a ton of pockets, adding an unexpected twist for making a statement in young fashion this fall and winter.

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Satin also plays a key role in this year’s young fashion collection.

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Contemporaine pieces include a lot of royal blue this season, and tweed is popping up everywhere. Among the key pieces: long wool coats (with matching pants), inspired by the streets of Paris.

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For men, Le 31 is brimming with pieces inspired by That 70’s Show (think flared legs, stripes and bright yellow turtlenecks). Everything goes, from floral suits to preppy meets rowing club.

We saw rugby shirts, camouflage shirts and sweaters, head-to-toe colour (tan cargo pants with matching large pockets on the shirt), and the English heritage look in tweed with a colourful v-neck sweater, paired with trainers.

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Big within the men’s DJAB label this season is colour pop, serpent prints, twill oversized shirts — and colour-blocking.

Viewing the collections, it’s apparent that Simons inspires men to explore their fashion sense.

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The in-house team of 50 designers frequents fashion shows around the world; Simons currently has buying offices in Korea, Paris and Italy. Inspired by European design, most everything at Simons is designed in-house.

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As part of its fashion landscape, Simons is committed to Canadian designers and often collaborates with both up-and-coming and notable creatives. At the moment, Markantoine, a recently-graduated Montreal design student, and Icône have launched a branded collection heavily inspired by motorsports, manga and neon.

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Another facet of Simons is sustainability. During our preview, Richard Simons, Co-Owner/Vice President of Merchandise, pointed out that the fashion industry is moving rapidly to clean up its history of waste and environmental stress. The goal is to use no virgin materials. Up-cycling has become the new norm.

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Going forward, Simons will produce 40 to 60% of its lines using recycled products. Manufacturers such as Repreve are instrumental when it comes to sourcing used goods for clothing production. Simons undoubtedly wants their customers to feel good about their purchases without taxing our planet!

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Another Simons initiative is an online-only curated micro-community, Fabrique 1840, a space where 100 Canadian designers have the chance to sell their goods to Canadian and US shoppers. Items are durable and one-of-a-kind, avoiding the mass-produced look. Via Fabrique 1840, Simons helps support small-scale, artisanal entrepreneurs.

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Visit Simons online for fashion inspo, locations and opening hours across Canada.

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