Lola Home & Apparel recently made the big move from Yaletown, where it resided for nine years, to Crosstown, soon to be Vancouver’s coolest neighbourhood. Joining neighbours like Dirty Apron cooking school, everyone’s favourite breakfast spot Medina, and hip lifestyle store Provide, Lola is now settled in the historic Sun Tower, possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in Vancouver. The store is now bigger and better while maintaining its original charm.
Lola is a brainchild of Christina McDaniel, a seasoned fashion veteran. She studied fashion design in Paris at the famous ESMOD, has worked for Kenzo and successfully ran her own label CMD before starting Lola. Initially, Christina ran her CMD and the store simultaneously, but eventually decided to focus solely on Lola and her work as a fashion consultant and forecaster.
After living in Paris and London, Christine wanted to bring an European shopping experience to Yaletown. At the time Yaletown was very much just being developed and she wanted to “create that neighborhood thing and the feeling of shopping as an adventure.” Now that Yaletown has become a little more corporate, it was time to move and re-conceptualize.
“When I first started Lola, it was definitely more about lifestyle. But now, it’s becoming more concept retail. To me, that’s expressing your point of view through your selection and how you are presenting your space. So the store is still very bare in terms of what I want to do with the concept,” says Christina.
Since Lola first opened nine years ago, Christine introduced many new lines to Vancouver: Meli‘ Melo‘ (read previous post), Mason, Jason Matlo (read my Q&A with the designer), Parisian perfumer Diptyque and Burberry Kids. She has a great instinct for buying and collaborating with designers. She works with Jason Matlo to create original pieces for the store. As she puts it, “I’m a designer, so we understand each other,” the result of a long-term business relationship. Lola also carries one of a kind pieces from one of Vancouver’s favourite jewellery designers, Dotted Loop. For local designer Carlie Wong, Lola did a special sample pop-up shop with a backstage catwalk concept and presented the clothes on a rail with matching runway cards and notes.
While maintaining her original concept of French whimsy meets English eccentricity with a New York chic twist, Lola is looking to do more feature collaborations with designers. Christine mentions that “I’ve got the space and I’m open to suggestions,” and is becoming one of Vancouver’s pioneers in concept retail.
3) L.A.M.B tuxedo jacket ($465 CAD).
Truly a dream ensemble, right?
Lola Home & Apparel
510 Beatty Street