Sunday, November 04, 2007

Retail Queens

Dateline - Yorkville

After a lovely lunch on Saturday with a suitably caustic friend of mine - we found ourselves walking around my Third Village (the Faux and Gay being the two more predominant ones). As we sauntered round the Hugo Boss store - we couldn't help but laugh at the "street team" which had been hired to breakdance in front of The Boss's Yorkville boutique. I mean nothing says: "come on in and buy a suit" like a team of breakdancers right?

"You realize," my friend observed, "the dancers have upped the racial diversity of Yorkville by like 400%."
"Ah yes - Yorkville - where the only black people are employees."
"Maybe these are the 'exotic' kids who will be accepted to Upper Canada on scholarship?"
"One can only hope."

After much amusement we went on to the Cashmere Shop, where I contemplated whether or not I needed a new hat. The answer: undoubtedly yes, but WWSD? What Would Sima Do - she wouldn't buy herself a cashmere hat, in fact at our last garage sale she admonished a family friend who selling cashmere scarves for $1.00...

As I was about to leave the shopkeeper stopped me: "You look familiar."
"McGill?" I asked.
"Yes - you were in my class."
"I was your teacher." No - I wasn't, but I do like to re-use jokes from those infamous late eighties Oil of Olay commercials whenever I can. All of us had a good chuckle at Bugsy Brown's expense.

"So what are you up to now?" I asked in a very Faux Hill manner. In Toronto, or at least in certain parts of this city, asking a distant acquaintance what they're doing is the default question, judgmental undertones be damned.

Why is this? Well... in certain circles in Toronto [white, upper middle class] you are what you do.

"I actually own this place."
"Oh." Secretly I had been hoping that my newfound nemesis with her McGill Sociology degree would be working retail while figuring "herself out". Was not expecting this curveball. SHE OWNS A STORE?!! I don't even own a house and my Seven for all Mankind Jeans are looking worse for wear and on top of that I'm pretty sure that people don't even wear Seven's anymore...
"My father opened it a couple of years ago and I took it over when I came back from Montreal. He spends most of the year traveling in India sourcing the best cashmere. You?"
"Uhm... I work for a not for profit."

The good or bad news depending on your vantage is that the Cashmere Shop is NOT an isolated incident. In fact for your average uptown graduate of Havergal or Branksome Hall minding shop is the new black. While our grandparents may have worked their asses off to ensure that their progeny would never have to work the schmatta trade down on Spadina subsequently pushing a generation of pre-Faux Hillary's into professional degrees (thereby allowing them move to the Faux and BECOME the Faux Hillary's they are today) the latest trend round the Village is to help your daughter establish her own jewelry business, retail establishment, or online boutique. This is for some reason a gender specific trend.

Witness a friend of a friend called Buffy. Buffy "the Holts Now or Never Saler" (see what I did there?) recently started up her own jewelery line. Buffy Wear is an "affordable yet stylish collection of costume jewelery designed by Buffy." Buffy believes that jewlery should be FUN! and AFFORDABLE! and STYLISH! I found myself on Buffy's website the other day at work, mouth aghast at what this former singer, actor, dancer was up to. The tagline: "its all about who you're wearing" - speaks to establishment glee and while the jewelery designs are nothing special - my friends grandmother makes nicer beaded necklaces from the Hazelton Lanes Retirement House arts and crafts department - Buffy appears to be making a go of it.

Meh - who am I to judge - at least Buffy gave up her nascent singer, songwriter career.

Mind the store folks.


Anonymous said...

Faux, your blog just made my week. Keep it up.

John said...

Just came across your blog and loving it! As a fellow gay Faux Hiller (altho totally WASP and not even in the category of Not Quite So Rich, I find it hillarious!!

james said...

your blog sucks. i go to branksome hall and you view the wealthy people as so different from people with less money. the only people who find yorkville and the forest hill village prestigious and rich are the people who cant afford it. for everyone else its just the places to grab a cheap dress instead of flying to new york to buy one. you are so pathetic and are never going to get anywhere in you disgusting meaningless life.