There’s a new consignment store opening in Toronto this spring, and some items are already available for sale online to the rest of Canada! LAB Consignment is an upcoming store owned by Lauren Baker, and from what’s been posted online, it looks like only the cream of the designer crop are going to make her high standards. At the same time, prices look completely reasonable – I’m droooooling over a grape-coloured, high-waisted See By Chloe skirt for only $75. Before the opening of her store, Lauren has been doing pop-up sales and online sales, and will be participating in Take Your Clothes Off, a group vintage sale, at 107 Shaw this weekend.
Designer items carried by LAB include labels like Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood, Christian LaCroix, Marc Jacobs, Prada and much more! I chatted with founder Lauren Baker about her vision for LAB.
SDTC: Why do you think Toronto needs LAB Consignment?
Lauren Baker: I feel like shopping options for fashionable women in Toronto who don’t make a whole lot of money are limited to Value Village or mall stores with poorly made fashions. LAB will cater to these women with a curated boutique of gently used and vintage wares, while encouraging them to place their neglected wares back into circulation. One person’s trash…
SDTC: How do you want to distinguish Lab from other consignment stores like Paper Bag Princess?
LB: I plan on being much more affordable and a lot less pretentious. I will also have monthly in-store art installations and featured Canadian designers.
SDTC:Where would you like the store to be located? And why?
LB: I’m really loving the vibe of Dundas West and Sheridan. Friends of mine recently opened my new favorite bar, The Henhouse, on that corner and I’d love to join the party. I really like the old storefronts and architecture in that hood as well. It just feels like where I should fit.
SDTC: What do see as problems in your average vintage store experience? How does a shopping experience with you differ?
LB: The vintage shopping experience is pretty much the same as a mall shopping experience except smellier. Shopping at LAB is a full circle experience. A shopper comes in to browse, learns that she is in a consignment store and finds prices of hand selected merchandise to be affordable and realizes that she also wants to consign her goods with LAB. Everyone wins! FUN
SDTC: You’re selling some of your friend’s pieces–why do you think people end up selling you some of their designer clothes and accessories?
LB: We all buy things for different reasons. Need, want, or impulse. Some of my clients are a) tired of looking at a specific article of clothing, b) bought an item and regretted it or it was/is ill-fitting for them, or c). needs the money.
SDTC: Do you think people are more into consignment stores right now because of tough economic times, or is it something that’s always in style?
LB: I’ve always sold my clothes on consignment wherever I’ve lived except for in Toronto as it’s not accessible in the west end. I think the recession and environmental factors are very appealing to the average woman. Consignment stores flourish in Vancouver, why can’t the same thing work here?
SDTC:: Would you rather be Rich and Skinny or an Imitation of Christ?
LB: What about a Rich Imitation of Christ? I do love Tara Subkoff’s Easy Spirit line. (I’m big on fancy comfort shoes, I have bad feet!)
SDTC: If you could keep any of your pieces for yourself instead of selling it, what would it be?
LB: So far I’ve kept a fuschia/purple mini skirt from the early ’90s and a black silk heavily shoulder padded bolero jacket with an original price tag of $450. It’s funny — my initial reason to start this store was I felt I had nowhere to shop and yet, now, I only ended up keeping two pieces of clothing out of the over 450 pieces I have picked.
SDTC: If you were a piece of clothing, what would you be? A slinky dress, a tailored suit, a shoe, a handbag?
LB: A classic heel. One that is comfortable, a staple, and goes with everything.