While most venture to downtown neighborhoods like Leslieville, Queen West, Parkdale, or Roncy to do their shopping, Toronto’s newest activewear & loungewear destination is located in Leaside and it’s called relevé.
Situated on Bayview south of Eglinton, relevé is the first retail space designed by celebrated Toronto design firm, MHouse Inc. and yes, it’s everything and you’ll never want to leave. The store opened last March briefly before COVID set in so the team shifted to an online presence. Now the store is officially open and it offers fashionable options that are easy, comfortable, and flattering for every day.
relevé carries luxury activewear and accessories brands including alo, lack of color, TKEES, The Upside, Solid & Striped, DAYDREAMER, LNA, Aviator Nation, P.E. Nation, Vitamin A and many more! I had the pleasure of chatting with relevé’s owner Gillian Medina to find out more about the space and what it’s been like navigating the wild world of retail during a global pandemic.
What’s the process of opening a store during COVID been like?
I think you always have to be prepared for unforeseen delays when building anything from the ground up and so I did my best to stay positive and focused my energy and mindset on the end goal. During lockdown, I worked hard to create the best experience I could for our online clientele at releveclothing.com – including a superior customer service model and flexible delivery options.
I had to learn a lot about e-comm marketing and social media strategy in a short period of time – both of which are important skills for our go forward plan as we welcome people back into the store and continue to grow our community and customer base.
How is the shop curated?
The brands and products we carry are carefully sourced to create a cohesive, one-stop shop for women who are looking for the best quality and style when it comes to athleisure and loungewear.
We look to source luxurious fabrics that are sustainably produced and are not only comfortable but also stylish enough to take you through your day – whether you’re working out, working from home, running errands, or heading out to a patio.
What was your inspiration behind the design of the space?
When designing the store, I wanted to incorporate all of the things that I love when I treat myself to a destination shopping experience. I envisioned a spa-like environment where our clientele could enjoy shopping in a casual but elegant surrounding. I also envisioned guests browsing through thoughtfully displayed clothing and trying on their selections in beautifully appointed fitting rooms. The window at the front of the store creates a welcoming vibe for passersby to come in and check us out!
What’s the meaning behind the name relevé?
I was a dancer while growing up and always loved the French term “relevé” which is a basic ballet move that means to “rise up”. This took on a whole added meaning for me while we hustled to open our store amidst a global pandemic! Ultimately, we rose to the challenge and so relevé has this added special meaning.
Who is the store designed for? – Who is the relevé customer?
relevé is for every woman who wants quality casualwear that is comfortable without ever compromising style.
Featured Image: relevé