by Louisa Cohen
Yesterday a homeless man offered me a ride home atop his brimming shopping cart. After politely declining to take a spin with the soiled-though-charming street-gleaner I had few questions for myself: Was the bus ever going to come? (Should I have taken the ride?) and… How long have I been wearing this shirt? Is it really that obvious?
After calculating that I’d dressed in the same outfit to both work (and bed) consecutively for two and a half days – I realized my wardrobe needed a boost (and that I most probably needed a shower).
After spending some quality time with some Dove and my loofah, I walked up the street to chat with the ladies of Vincent Park, a new shop on the ever-evolving Main Street, run by two sisters, Lauren and Cara Stryer. The shop carries chic yet affordable pieces that make a statement, subtle or overt. It’s classy and clean and just the place to freshen your closet with clothes by Cheap Monday, Mined Rd Jeansmakers, LA Made, Amanda Uprichard, FluXus, MinkPink, and Fred Perry.
I love my hermana, but I couldn’t imagine owning a business together: sharing a passion is a hard thing to do. I asked the gals the same questions about VP – and though they come from the same gene pool – their answers were varied and dynamic.
SDTC: What three words describe your store?
Lauren: Current, directional, atmosphere.
Cara: Cozy, Engaging, Fashion Forward
SDTC: Who is the Vincent Park client?
Lauren: The vincent park customer wants to be fashion forward but remain comfortable and confident in the risks they take with their wardrobe. Our aim is always to help ease them into something new. We are lucky to be in a neighborhood that really supports itself.
Cara: Our customer is ultimately someone who loves fashion. Whether they like to take risks and push fashion boundaries, or try something out slowly, they want to be a part of what’s new and up and coming. They are still loyal to and dependent on their favorites, which is why they come back to buy their fave style of Cheap Mondays in every colour. We really do have something in our store for everybody, and it all depends on what they want to do with it to make it all work with their individual style.
SDTC: Best CD/soundtrack to work to is…
Lauren: Little Joy and She & Him are on heavy rotation in our shop
Cara: Davy by Coconut Records
SDTC: Male celebrity you would love to see walk through the doors is…
Lauren: Jack White. Tight pants, good shoes and my parents already got him in their antique shop, so its our turn, I’m thinking.
Cara: A toss up between Justin Long and Robert Pattinson. Vincent Park is the perfect combination of their styles. They can both rock skinny jeans and a cardigan, but make it look completely different.
SDTC: Female celebrity I would love to see walk through the doors, and why?
Lauren: Zooey Deschanel, she’s too cute.
Cara: Lauren Conrad. I think she has great style and always looks amazing.
SDTC: With the world’s eye soon to be on Vancouver’s façade during the 2010 Olympics, what do you want to see in your city?
Lauren: Moving back to Vancouver after almost 10 years in Toronto was exciting because I really felt like I was moving to an entirely new city. Vancouver feels new again, it feels young and I only see our neighborhood growing and becoming more exciting and eclectic everyday.
Cara: I have absolutely seen a lot of growth in Vancouver’s art scene over the past couple of years with more local fashion magazines, art shows, concerts, and events going on all around the city. I can only hope that it will continue to expand to create a more welcoming and open environment for all types of artists in the city. I get the sense that a lot of people are afraid that Vancouver isn’t the place to be if you want to work in a creative industry, but I really think that it’s changing and that there is a lot more going on in this city than people think.
SDTC: Favorite product in store right now
Lauren: Cheap Monday Jeans, always!
Cara: The Elise boot by Matiko that is coming for fall. It’s amazing.
SDTC: If we see you out on the town we’ll find you drinking a ….
Cara: Extra Dirty Vodka Martini
SDTC: When you wake up in the morning and put on your clothes, your choices are inspired by….
Lauren: We live in Vancouver so… the weather! I like stylish and comfortable… favorite white T shirt, Jean Jacket, ballet flats and a scarf always!
Cara: A combination of old and new. I love rediscovering older pieces in my closet but updating them with a more recent purchase. I like to try to be ahead of the trends, but do them in my own way.
SDTC: What advice would you give to up-and-coming clothing business owner?
Lauren: Don’t forget about the dirty work, its a fun job but you still clean, unpack boxes, mop floors…Stick to your style and don’t get pushed into anything you don’t love.
Cara: Follow your dream, but do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others that have done/are doing the same thing.
SDTC: Best/worst part about working with my sister is…
Lauren There are always dangers of working with family, but really, what could be better than having 100% trust in your partner. Its our differences in style that make the shop exciting.
Cara: The Best…we aren’t afraid to say anything to each other. Even though we have our differences, we are totally in synch. Its a sister thing.
With their shop at the newborn age of 6 months, these sisters show some serious professionalism when it comes to their work. I not only got answers to questions, but thankfully, took home some new threads.
If I ever see my neighborly cart-pusher again – I may in fact accept his ride. Well, no, I probably won’t – but I’ll be waiting for the bus in my tasteful new attire from Vincent Park. I adore my new high-wasted Cheap Monday shorts (I can barely take them off, actually), but don’t worry, Stryer sisters; I won’t sleep in them… at least not tonight.
Vincent Park is at 4278 Main Street.