We want Diane von Furstenberg, D&G, Marc Jacobs, Isabel Marant, Givenchy, Hervé Léger and pretty much all other designer wears, but let’s be honest, this economy makes a closet full of design duds a luxury for people living bigger than most. We can’t all shop like Mrs. Beckham, and not all of us are willing to fake it ’till we make it.
But there are alternatives, what are they you ask? Well talk to Lauren Baker of the newly opened LABConsignment. Yes, consignment is where it’s at if you want designer wears, but can’t really handle the designer price tag.
Baker started LAB Consignment as an online shop in September 2009 and opened up her retail location on May 19, 2010 in the back of Silver Falls Vintage and Antique shop on Toronto’s Ossington strip. She saw a gap in the market of people who want designers pieces, but can’t necessarily afford them, but might like the idea of consignment, because she always has.
“I think people are comfortable here too, because I am friendly,and pretty easy going. It’s cozy here and it’s not uptown, which can sometimes make people uncomfortable,” says Baker with her trademark big smile.
“I have this amazing pair of Gianni Versace black pumps with a geometric print on the heel from the late 70’s that have never been worn, they are selling for $300,” says Baker.
But do note, LAB is a consignment shop, NOT a vintage shop.
“I am 100 percent consignment, I do take vintage on consignment, but it has to be fairly special,” says Baker. “The rest is contemporary, I try and stay within the last two years unless it’s spectacular or it’s a name I know people will be drawn to and don’t care if it’s four years old.”
So how does she find her product you ask? Ninety-five percent of it comes from friends, or friends of friends. Prior to opening LAB Consignment Baker worked in the music industry and has close personal ties with some of Canada’s fashionable songstresses. Who you ask, well that she won’t tell you, because they are friends and she wants to keep them that way! But trust me, you want their clothes, shoes and bags.
You would think with all these goodies at her finger tips Baker would be scooping them up for herself, but she reminds herself that this is her business and she wants it be profitable! She also wants other people to have them.
“I had a pair of Taryn Rose riding boots that had never been worn,I think they were consigned by a stylist and had never worn outside of the shoot and couldn’t be returned,” notes Baker “I had my eye on them, they fit me. Taryn Rose is made for my feet, and I sold them last week. I even sold them at 20% off, because they were there for 30 days, and if things are there for over 60 days they go to 40% off.”
Baker has a list of ladies queuing up for designer bags, and the reaction to her shop has been nothing but positive, but that is not by chance. Baker has a background in fashion merchandising and worked in retail for 10 years, so she knows how to pick the right pieces, and it shows.
One of her favourite pieces is a little black dress, but it’s not just any little black dress and Baker tells us why.
“There is a D&G balck dress that I love, it’s just stunning. It’s got really good darts around the boobs and it makes everyone’s boobs look really good,” says Baker with a laugh.”It’s craftsmanship, it looks like a little black dress, but then once you get it on, it’s like oh right, that’s why those seems are there. That’s why it would have retailed for $1,200. It’s selling for $400 here.”
So you see designer duds can be yours, you just have to know where to go. You don’t have to fake it ’till you make it, just head over to 15 Ossington Ave, walk to the back and look for the lady with the big smile, you have arrived at LAB Consignment. And yes, you can thank me in clothes.