Haute Classics ** New location: 1454 Yonge St.** ♠ 416.922.7900 ♠ www.hauteclassics.com
Images taken at previous location: 946 Yonge Street
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jina Han, co-founder of Haute Classics, and Erika Hrycun, the store’s manager. As I walked through the door I honestly felt like I was entering a celebrity’s closet. I should clarify: I’m talking about a chic celebrity, think Victoria Beckham, not Ke$ha. Here’s the scoop.
The Place: Best friends Jina Han and Stella Kim ran an online store for two years before deciding to open this consignment boutique. This lavish store provides customers with gently used designer pieces at prices that won’t eat up your entire paycheck. If you’re looking to purge your closet of designer duds, head to Haute Classics, to connect your pre-loved items with new owners. The boutique also offers in-house styling. “We want to show customers how every piece in the store can go from day to day,” says Erika. This personalized customer service is just one feature that sets Haute Classics apart from other consignment stores within Toronto. There’s no pressure on the customer to make a purchase. Instead the staff strives to help you find the perfect item. “We are very blunt. We want customers to be returning customers, so we are honest when something looks terrible and will help you find something that will be flattering with your body figure”, says Jina. The store’s mantra ‘ it’s in the mix’ encourages customers to mix high and low end pieces to create modern interpretations of timeless classics.
Stocked with: An immaculate handbag and shoe collection. An impressive collection of accessories such as sunglasses, scarves and stylish keychains. High-end designer labels like Chanel,Vera Wang, Emilio Pucci and Prada that will be appreciated by true style mavens. “Our customers appreciate fashion and understand what goes into making these garments,” says Erika. The store also has a full rack of clothes priced at $50 and less, for those glamour gals looking to dress like Carrie Bradshaw on a tight budget. There is a constant flow of new items as fresh pieces from consignors come in on a regular basis. “It’s a small store,” says Jina, “so with the limited spacing in mind, we need to keep items seasonal in order to deliver as much as we can for the current trends.”
How it works: Consignors must make an appointment. For those who prefer working from the comfort of their couch, the store offers an online appraisal. An appointment will be scheduled to make sure your items meet the store’s criteria: Label, Authenticity, Condition and Demand. Once the pieces are accepted, an agreement is signed and the authentication process (by a third party authenticator) takes place. The store wants to make sure the consignor is comfortable with how the items are priced, and will work with them to set a price that both parties can agree on. The consignment service also includes high-quality photographs and descriptions on the store website. Any items that are not sold within the three-month period will be returned or can be donated to a charity. Consignors receive a 60 per cent cut from sold merchandise. This is the best rate available in Toronto for a designer consignment service.
What they want: Classic and timeless designer labels. “We have a reputation for luxury goods and carrying designer labels so we want to continue with that in order to properly serve our clientele,” says Erika Hrycun. Items have to be 100% authentic, new or in mint condition. Items should be less than two years old, except for classic vintage pieces.
What they don’t want: Scuffed shoes. Shoes cannot have any visible signs of wear. Damaged clothing will not be accepted.
Coveted items: I marveled over a pair of cork slingback pumps ($310) with a chain heel from Brian Atwood’s Resort 2011 Collection, a cropped DKNY blazer ($30) and a Gucci Sukey Medium Straw Tote ($625).
Hours: M-Sa 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Su Closed
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