From unique concept spaces to multi-disciplinary hidden retail and cultural gems. WGSN’s Retail Editor Sidney Morgan-Petro reveals all in her new monthly column
Join us on the hunt for retail’s next big trends, as WGSN Retail Editor, Sidney Morgan-Petro, explores North America and beyond to unearth retail goodies from the truly talented to the wonderfully weird.
Destination: Montreal. As a first timer in Montreal I’m excited by the feeling of being foreign-yet-so-close-to-home. The rapid-fire bilinguality of the population is SO impressive and the allure of a brand-new retail landscape to explore intrigues me. While downtown offers the bulk of the commercial shopping experience, it is in Old Montreal (a picture-perfect historical district that feels as if you’ve been transported straight to France) where I really start to see the local flavour coming through. Taking in lunch at Olive et Gourmando (a must if you’re in the area) I’m intrigued by a shop across the street – Le Rhinocéros.
This revolving-concept space is run by Centre Phi – a multi-disciplinary arts and culture hub replete with a performing arts space and Virtual Reality Garden . The latest installment’s concept is Light Therapy, which the retail space translates via an array of neon visuals, sparkly bling and locally-sourced labels such as WRKDEPT that bring a sense of play and “light”heartedness to the space. WRKDEPT’s streetwear aesthetic and edgy denim pieces remind me of New York’s Chinatown vibe peppered with a bit of Jeremy Scott and Marques Almeida. The shop and the label immediately top my list of faves for the city.
Next stop: Detroit. Hailing from the Midwest myself, I had mixed emotions about the retail reality in Detroit. Was it going to be as cool as people have projected? Would it live up to the hype as a city on the rise? Yes. Yes, it does. The food is on-point, the music is insanely good, the art is literally everywhere – on every surface, every alley, every parking garage – and the shopping is getting good, really good. Local brands are heavily and proudly repped by Detroit natives – with a mix of streetwear labels such as Detroit vs. Everybody, Aptemal, and Not Sorry Apparel co-existing with many (recently opened) flagship locations from US labels such as Carhartt, Shinola, Will Leather Goods and John Varvatos. With the upcoming MOVEMENT festival happening Memorial Day weekend, there’s no time like May to get your own Midwest retail safari in motion.
Last stop: Internet trolling. Our latest Buyers Briefing report features the must-know retail trends to crop up around the globe, influencing what the average Joe will be buying in S/S 17. These reports take the most amount of research but are also the most fun, with a constant daily dose of new designers, trends to watch and inspiring images crossing our desks. Here’s a few things that are getting us pumped for next year that you won’t find in the report:
Hybrid Jewellery – is it a ring, is it a bracelet, is it art? Yep. All of the above. Shout out to Yunsun Jang for these awesome pieces.
Tall-Crown Hats – it’s been on everyone’s radar since Pharrell’s infamous Vivienne Westwood hat at the 2014 Grammy awards, but now it’s actually starting to look wearable. Like I-want-it-now wearable. Designers to watch Nora Lozza and Kristina Dragomir are dishing out some seriously innovative styles that are sure to impact retail in a major way next year, like these two gems:
Pom-Poms – attention festival goers! Ditch your floral crowns for these way cuter pom-pom versions like this one from South Korean e-tailer Stylenanda. Or go next-level on your cell-phone cuteness quota with playful pom attachments. Also, you will want everything from Stylenanda, and yes, they ship to the US.
Join us on our next retail safari in May when we travel to Miami to check out what’s getting South Beach all hot and bothered.
Love travel? Love shopping? Follow Sidney on her retail adventures here.
Join WGSN for the latest retail news, global brand strategies and up to date INstock data.