Shop Crawl: Turning the Danforth into a fashion force

Head to these Greektown boutiques for haute and locally made apparel.

French influence
Jennifer Durand originally honed her craft in fashion by working in the iconic house of Chanel in Paris. After moving back to Toronto, she started her own fashion brand, Ziliotto, and opened her Danforth location. Ziliotto caters to women of all ages. And for those looking to keep it local, all the materials are sourced and manufactured in Toronto. Comfortable and easy-to-wear pieces, like a bamboo and jersey-knit pencil skirt ($88), will fit into any wardrobe. The skirt has been a best-seller since Durand introduced it over 10 years ago. Ziliotto, 752 Danforth Ave.

A DIY designer
Having no formal training in clothing design, owner Connie Meyer used her art background as her initial tool kit. She created Studio Fresh, a ready-to-wear collection known for cutting pockets in interesting formats or sewing patterns in unique spots. Every piece is designed and made in Toronto by Meyer and a small team, and the fabrics are sourced from Montreal and Vancouver. Among its bestsellers are Studio Fresh’s sleeveless garden dress ($179) and the Tri Zip jacket/dress ($189). The shop also houses local brands such as Tenacious, Burfurtart Jewellery and Elizabeth Ludviks. In the fall, Meyer will introduce Fresh Basics, a collection of basic tanks, tunics and leggings. Studio Fresh, 810 Danforth Ave. 

Where local meets ethical
Since 1975, Parade Boutique has stocked designers and brands that are timeless yet have a sense of innovation. Among Parade’s standouts are its wide-leg fitted waist pants ($198 to $242), which it have been making for 15 years. “Our clients have been purchasing this pant in a new fabric every season or simply as a replacement when their original one wears out,” says owner Sonya Ha. Parade’s own wrap dress is a style that clients also return for. Currently, the sleeveless version is in stock for $189. Parade’s goal is to have 80 per cent of the clothing made in Canada, between their in-house line and the other Canadian designers they carry. “We also hope to do more to emphasize the importance of made-in-Canada as a marker of quality and ethically produced fashion, which contributes to less waste as well as our economy here at home,” says Ha. Parade, 261 Danforth Ave.

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