We love Montreal for a lot of reasons—its exciting and continually evolving food and drink scene, its festival-filled summer and youthful party spirit, its winding staircases and cobblestone streets—but the thing that most sets the city apart, for us, is its fashion sense.
Montreal is known for being one of the most stylish cities in Canada (ok, let`s be honest, it’s the most stylish city in Canada) and more often than not we find ourselves lusting after the mix of chic and creative looks we see on the streets and wondering just where in the city they came from (and, more importantly, where in the city we can get them). Well now, thanks to a new personal shopping service, Montreal Shopping Tours, we can find out.
Designed to share the city’s best boutiques and insider fashion secrets, Montreal Shopping Tours is the brainbaby of Janna Zittrer, Montreal Fashion Editor of FLARE Magazine and one of the city’s leading lifestyle journalists. Her tours guide you to and through the choicest shops in Montreal, removing the guesswork that comes from being in a new place and wanting to find more than the common chain store offerings. Janna takes you under her wing and leads you to the best places for your particular interests, providing you with personalized shopping itineraries, store recommendations, exclusive discounts and even style tips to give you the most out of your experience. It’s the kind of information you’d only get from that super stylish, always-in-the-know friend. And, being a born-and-raised Montrealer, and a super chic one at that, Janna knows the city like the inside of her rose gold-studded Alexander Wang Diego bag, so like, there you go.
The tours are divided into themes but you don’t have to stick to just one: you can select two, three or as many as there are and Janna and her team will create your tour accordingly and pick the stores they’ll take you to based on your preferences. There is Shop Like A Fashion Editor, a focus on stylish staples and seasonal updates; 9-to-5 And Beyond, for putting together a great work wardrobe; Montreal Designer Marathon, a spotlight on the city’s established and emerging tastemakers; Sweat-Worthy Style, for fit workout gear; Vintage Treasures, a comb through the cool vintage shops for one-of-a-kind pieces; and Teen Dream, which focuses on creating great outfits for back-to-school or a first interview. And, in addition to the tours, the exclusive discounts and the professional style advice (no bigs), complimentary transportation and gourmet snacks are a part of every package. Anyone else ready to sign up right now, orrrrr…?
Janna tells us a bit more about herself and the service (plus gives us a little style advice), below.
SDTC: How did you get your start in the industry?
Janna: I started working at FLARE magazine in Toronto after graduating from Ryerson University with a degree in journalism. Shortly after moving back to Montreal in 2007, I took on the role of Montreal Correspondent for the magazine, and things basically blossomed from there!
SDTC: What inspired you to create Montreal Shopping Tours?
Janna: The idea actually came to me this past December when two girls stopped me randomly on Ste-Catherine Street to ask for shopping recommendations. It hit me right then and there: Why is there no guided shopping service in Montreal? After looking into it further, I realized no one was in fact offering such a service, and I decided I should be the one to do it. I’ve been covering the city for FLARE for more than four years now, and one of the major aspects that sets Montreal Shopping Tours apart from even shopping tours that exist in other cities is the credentials I bring to the job: By creating the “shop like a fashion editor experience,” I’m giving people the chance to get shopping tips and fashion advice they’d normally read in a magazine, but in person and right there in the stores. Plus, Montreal has a great shopping scene, but you need to know where to go and how to get there. Montreal Shopping Tours not only takes you to all the right spots but also hooks you up with exclusive discounts and/or gifts with purchase to boot!
SDTC: What excites you most about the launch?
Janna: I’m particularly excited about supporting the local business community here in Montreal. I don’t take a commission from the stores for that very reason. Also, this city has so much to offer fashion lovers, and I’m thrilled to be working together with the stores to share that with the world.
SDTC: What makes Montreal’s fashion scene different from other fashionable cities? What sets it apart from Toronto, New York or Paris?
Janna: I love that Montrealers aren’t afraid to experiment with fashion or to mix things up in new and offbeat ways.
SDTC: Best fashion advice you’ve ever received and/or given?
Janna: Don’t buy it unless you absolutely love it.
SDTC: What do you think is the key to good style?
Janna: No matter what, you need to feel confident in what you’re wearing. The ultimate outfit strikes the perfect balance between who you truly are and the self-image you want to project. It’s a propitious cycle: When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look good.
For more information and to book your tour: montrealshoppingtours.com
~ Lindsay Tapscott