When it comes to the world of fashion, the pandemic has made it extremely difficult for designers, store owners and customers to undergo the beloved retail experience. Over the last fews years, the world has gone almost 100% online, meaning that retail stores had to embrace the digital age. It’s not as easy as it seems and with this comes the need for businesses to develop new and improved modernized strategies.
The online world is powerful and nowadays without a presence online, you’ll get little to no traction. During the long lockdown months, Gotstyle, a Toronto-based boutique quickly re-vamped their online presence to allow the city to still experience all things Gotstyle. Founder and curator, Melissa Austria breaks down the brand’s history, how they were able to pivot using social media and all the fashion trends coming this fall.
Gotstyle has been a part of the Toronto fashion community for almost 17 years. They were one of the first lifestyle apparel stores to appear in the city. Their first location on King offered men’s apparel, a barber shop and men’s only spa. Their second location on Bathurst offered a barber shop and retail shopping. Melissa said that along with these amenities they had a, “lounge and a DJ. It was true lifestyle shopping for men at the time that never existed before.”
Initially an all-men’s brand, Gotstyle has now ventured off to include women’s fashion. They’re currently located at the Distillery District and are strictly retail only. Gotstyle’s mandate follows the fashion values of casual, social, business and formal. The majority of their pieces are curated from the various Scandinavian countries. Gotstyle is essentially a one stop shop, and Melissa wants her boutique to be a place where everyone feels welcome.
Pandemic Pivots: Upping Their Online Game
When the pandemic began, Gotstyle was lacking in the online, social media department. All of their attention was directed towards the in-person shopping experience, but when it was quickly taken away, they were forced to act fast.
“The pandemic forced everyone to step up their digital game. We had to add all our women’s products to our website and ramp up our social engagement.”Melissa Austria
During lockdown, they were posting IG live’s each day on both their men and women’s profiles. In addition, they were posting daily reels and feed posts. Melissa wanted to make sure they were ramping up their engagement with customers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Just because they lost the in-store experience, didn’t mean they had to lose their customer connection.
“We’ve really tried to make our staff like the store celebrities. They’re all over our social and it’s like they’re building their own identity within the store. Lindsay is always on our reels and she says wherever she goes people recognize her and say how much they love her reels,” Melissa said.
These reels are informative and keep you in touch with all the current fashion trends. No matter your style, you’re sure to find something at Gotstyle. You can even catch Melissa posting her own outfit of the week.
“In both our men and women platforms we’re always trying to educate as well as give our followers inspiration.”Melissa Austria
Gotstyle does Custom Women’s Suits
Not only does Gotstyle carry a wide range of clothing options, they also offer custom suits for women. Melissa wanted to take what she’s learned from men’s suits, and apply it into the women’s line. According to her, we’re in the #bossbabe era. Women are feeling more confident than ever, so who doesn’t want to feel good in a custom-made suit? Gotstyle’s custom suit tailor, Natasha Espinoza is killing the game!
Finding a place that does custom suits for women in Toronto is rare. There are so many things to consider like the right fit, colour, material, length, the list goes on. Most importantly, it has to be tailored to perfection! The hour-long consultation/fitting process involves discussing what you’re looking for, body type, choosing details like buttons and lining and picking the type of lapel and pockets. This process is what makes Gotstyle different from other suit makers in the city.
“Most places that do custom suits for men try to put a woman in a men’s pattern and quite frankly, that can’t work. We had to develop our own separate patterns for women’s bodies because we have boobs and hips, guys don’t have that. It’s a whole different ball game and we’re excited that we’ve perfected the pattern,” Melissa said.
To book a consultation with Gotstyle visit here.
Upcoming Trends For Fall ’21
Throughout the pandemic, most people were living in their tracksuits and the folks at Gotstyle believe it’s time for those days to be over. Melissa still wants to keep comfort in mind and Fall ’21 women’s trends include:
- Boldy casual: sweatshirts are adored with sequin lips, seeing eye or lightning bolts in bold colours
- Bye, bye sweats: replace them with an ultra pretty (yet super comfortable) pleated ombre or rainbow coloured maxi skirt
- Leather, leather leather: leggings, joggers, jodpurs, shorts and blazers in black or caramel leather is an easy way to combine edgy style and comfort together
Men have it a little bit easier as they can really play with comfort and style all Fall ’21. Melissa says that their new fabrics give men a 360 degree stretch and you can still feel like you’re in sweats while in office attire. If you’re looking to add more colour into your wardrobe look for shades of green and rich browns that work great together. You can even pair back with all the blue tones in your closet!
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Feature Image: Gotstyle