Photos: Ian Warong
Words: Jen McNeely
Lauren Baker, owner of Ossington’s new consignment clothing store LAB, is most certainly who Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point, Blink), would describe as a ‘connector.’ Which is why the new boutique, that shares a space with Silver Falls Vintage at 15 Ossington, played host to Toronto’s most followed fashion trendsetters, an eTalk camera crew, every Queen West pretty young thing and k-os on the decks (no less), for its grand slam opening a couple weeks back. With stylish friends spanning the city limits, there’s no doubt that LAB will become a natural trading post with offerings ranging from a cute purple no-name summer romper to barely worn L.A.M.B, vintage PORTS blazers and perfectly weathered butt-hugging jeans. Better yet? Score some cash and bring in your sweet apparel for hanging.
Lauren relays that the idea first spawned in last year’s recession, “no one had any money. I couldn’t find a place that I liked, that would take my clothing.” Like us, she admits, “I don’t have a disposable income to be following trends and throwing away clothes. I don’t believe in throwing away clothes. It’s bad for the environment.” Whether rocking the latest trends or not, she has a phenomenal eye for great style and is currently smitten with Alexander Wang’s ready-to-wear Spring line while also giving an affectionate nod to Canadian designers, Rita Liefhebber , Jeremy Laing and Evan Biddell, “they are all doing terrific work.”
Toronto is home to a few noteworthy consignment stores but Ave and Dav’s Paper Bag Princess and Yorkville’s L’Elegante cater to a different echelon; ladies that lunch. LAB is for our tribe; the kind that wears Club Monaco on Tuesday, vintage on Thursday and every once in awhile pops into Holts to blow the bank on some hot pumps.
Have an overflowing closet? Here are the Do’s and Don’ts for potential consignees:
DO book an appointment (416.302.6739)DO NOT show up on a Saturday with a garbage bag full of your shit.
DO sort your potential wares at home. Lauren recommends three piles:
1. The Goodwill Pile – Abercrombie, American Eagle, mega-mall type stuff.
2. Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Aritzia type brands; which Lauren will take, depending on the item.
3. Designer pile and nicer vintage that has a resale value.
DO NOT think your stains, holes and blunders will go unnoticed, “My lights are so bright, so I can see every imperfection – which is awesome.”
DO put it on a hanger if it’s supposed to be hung.
DO dry clean it, if it’s an item that doesn’t get thrown in the wash.
It’s been a year of hard work, gathering the initial stock and growing the name of her brand but now she can sit back and enjoy what she loves most, which is you and I meeting her for an exchange, “I love getting new clothes every day. It’s like Christmas.” To that we cry out, REJOICE!
15 Ossington, Toronto