Quebec fashion retailer Simons just launched an all-Canadian online design market called Fabrique1840 — and it rules
Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Take Simons, the Quebec fashion retailer that started as a dry goods store in 1840 on Côte de la Fabrique in Québec City — a busy shopping drag once home to heritage moment stars like hatters, furriers, fabric merchants, and tailors.
The family-run company now operates fifteen brick-and-mortar stores across Canada and has its own fashion brand. And today, it’s sharing a slice of the retail pie (translation: tourtière) with young Canadian makers through an online marketplace aptly called Fabrique1840.
Embedded on the retailer’s online store, the collection stocks wares from local artisans from coast to coast.
“The level of design and craftsmanship in this country is truly remarkable. We want to support these gifted creators to ensure they can make living from their craft and contribute to the local economy,” says Peter Simons.
“Canadian design needs to be as celebrated as Scandinavian or Japanese design and we want to help tell that story.”
In total, there are more than 50 studios making everything from ceramics to furniture. Toronto favourites include award-winning lighting designers Anony, furniture whizzes Coolican & Company and Hollis+Morris, plus textile and interior expert Bookhou.
“Working with Simons,” explains Bookhou co-founder Arounna Khounnoraj, “gives us the opportunity to grow our business beyond our current reach.”
Fabrique1840 naturally carries an armload of talented studios to know from Quebec as well. On our radar is Allstudio, who explore clean, functional designs in metal (think a perfectly spherical tabletop mirror that reflects your visage just so) and HotelMotel, whose uni-sex leather sneakers – with rubber, alligator-tooth soles just topped our holiday wish list.
While we’re here, Emma Senft’s hand-carved spreading knives would be perfect for a rustic grazing table spread, as would the marble-topped vessels for butter, salt and garlic (pictured above) from Jarre.
Whether you’re shopping or just browsing the collection, one thing is clear: Canadian design rules.