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Simons Featured in Sharp Magazine
Sharp Magazine recently met with a few faces from our men's buying team at Simons.
Discover a bit about these trend hunters who travel to cities around the world,
looking for the best of the best in menswear.
Here is a copy of the article that was originally published on October 18 on the magazine’s website.
“Meet the Men Who Bring the Best Clothes in the World to Simons”
We are, right now, in what we might finally acknowledge is a golden age of menswear. For savvy consumers, the options are many and vast, from indie shops to bespoke tailors to intriguing (and likely misguided) made-to-measure deals online. So what really sets a store apart? It's not just the way they arrange window displays. It's the store's commitment to sourcing the best. It's the editorial rigour behind the final choices you see on the floor. It's the process that went into sourcing unique and high-quality products. It is, in short, the people behind the clothes.
By this measure, Simons is at the very top of the menswear game.
There is some historical precedent for this. Founded in Quebec City in 1840, Simons has had a tradition of seeking out quality dry goods for more than 175 years. In the very early days, John Simons demanded the very best English and Scottish goods for his fledgling shop and made it his mission to find them and bring them to the New World.
He made 72 crossings of the Atlantic over the course of his career — no small feat considering the journey could take several weeks each way.
That enterprising retail spirit remains today, but on a much larger scale. These days, it takes three men to oversee all the buying for the men's tailored and sports- wear departments. Angelo Panagiotou, Pierre Longchamps, and Pascal Cloutier regularly scour the world for the best and latest in fabrics and trends. The result is a collection that is remarkably varied. “Simons is all about our extensive product offer and on-trend merchandising mix,” says Panagiotou, VP of men's buying, “from exclusive, in-house designed product ranges to edgy, street-inspired brands and international designer collections.” That means brands like HUGO alongside a meticulously sourced private label — proof of the original store concept, which was to have all the best things in life under one roof.
Want to know how you're getting something good?
Meet the men who found it for you.
What's your guiding principle when it comes to menswear?
Less is more, particularly as a gentleman ages. Which in no way means it should be boring. I typically like to inject an unexpected element, like a printed top, cool sneakers, or an on-trend colour.
What direction is menswear heading in?
It's undeniable that there is a shift happening in shapes and proportions, not only on the runway but also in the streets of the most progressive cities. Even tailoring is shifting away from the skinny suit to a more relaxed jacket silhouette and pleated trousers.
What will you be buying this season?
I will definitely invest in a great double-breasted coat, probably in a check pattern. Also, I'll be looking for pleated trousers.
And sneakers, of course!
How do you shop?
Every season I'm looking for pieces that will elevate my wardrobe and insert newness and excitement through shape, fabric, and colour.
I typically do not buy multiples of an item
because I tend to get bored quickly.
What’s your guiding principle when it comes to menswear?
Have fun and try new ideas while staying comfortable. In my line of work I have to make sure I look professional, but I always try to stand out and not look too serious by adding a personal touch, like funky sneakers, collarless shirts, or patterned pants.
What’s the best way to upgrade your wardrobe this season?
Add track pants to your usual rotation, a mohair sweater in a trendy colour, and a long checked coat. And having a heather grey pullover hoodie (in a nice oversized shape) is a must — worn with a dress coat, it gives the outerwear piece a whole new twist!
You look at a lot of fashion.
How do you sort through the cacophony?
Travelling is an important value for Simons: get the buyers out there to see, feel, and experience fashion. By doing so, you develop an eye for what’s new, current, strong. You start to see patterns, you connect the dots, and you develop a perspective on trend cycles.
How do you shop?
I now buy less but choose better, and I don’t hesitate to invest more in lasting items. I do not compromise: fabric, cut, and colour must be perfect or I’ll end up not wearing it.
What’s your guiding principle when it comes to menswear?
Every day is different. Since I oversee both the dress department and the streetwear department, I can wear both.
Basically, my style reflects my lifestyle.
What direction is menswear heading in?
We’ve been going through a long period of slimmer silhouettes,
and now it’s time for looser fits. We go in cycles.
What should we look forward to seeing at Simons this fall?
A unique product mix.
I’ve been travelling the world for Simons for the last 17 years and I’ve never seen a men’s retail environment quite like it.
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VOLCOM X GEORGIA MAY JAGGER
Volcom recently made the journey over to London to meet their muse, international model Georgia May Jagger, and propose the idea of working together on their latest project: a brand new collection.Read Article
Dazzling and down-to-earth is how we would describe Canadian model Tiffany Meia. Featured in our latest Twik photo shoot, she's not only garnered tons of followers on Instagram, but also contracts with world-famous brands like Levi's, The North Face, Tiffany & Co., and Nike. We recently sat down with her to discuss her career, family, and goals.Read Article
The Summer Party That'll Be a Smash Hit!
The yard to stage left, the garden to stage right… Outside is where the season's most critically acclaimed celebration will be taking place. On with the show!Read Article
The National Portrait and a New Age for Art
The final phase of the nationwide 3DCanada project is finally being revealed! Admire the finished piece at the Ottawa Art Gallery from June 19 to August 19, 2018.Read Article
Hats off to Smithbilt
The legendary Calgary hatmaker keeps a time-honoured tradition alive and current.Read Article
Luis Barragán – Brilliance and Beauty
One of the things we love about fashion is the way it can instantly alter your mood.Read Article
The groom's clothing guide from Simons
Got engaged? Here are a few style tips for the next 3 big steps you need to plan for…Read Article
Thousands of people will be there. Listed on the line-up are dazzling performances, lots of music and fun, new friends, and that feeling of being part of an utterly unforgettable experience.Read Article
Family Influence Meets Future Impact
Beauty equals power – especially when it's a subtle approach to sustainable consumption like Winnipeg native Bronwyn Seier's beautiful and ethereal collection.Read Article
Put on Poetry with Designs from Lemaire and Tran
Season after season, Lemaire delivers unpretentious and pared-down collections, where luxury is found in the rich materials used and the structured, elegant cuts.Read Article
When it comes to caring about the environment, we've got a lot in common with Simon Nessman, the face of our Spring/Summer 18 Men's Designer Campaign.Read Article
The Colourful Creativity of Marni
Creative, avant-garde, adventurous, meticulous, and unique: Marni's sophisticated and surprising style has been charming fashion fans since the brand's very beginning.Read Article
Opening at Galeries de la Capitale
The first net-zero energy store in CanadaRead Article
It's hard not to get star struck sitting down with someone like Nova Orchid. Shining just as bright as her celestial namesake, this Montreal model shot to sartorial stardom by rocking the runway for some of fashion's foremost luminaries, like Chanel and Sonia Rykiel.Read Article
Meet the Models
It's not every day that two major models step into our studio, and even more rare that both call Canada home! We were excited to sit down with Elizabeth Davison and Steph Smith in order to learn a little bit more about these lovely ladies.Read Article
As the magic of the holidays envelops us – in every city and town across the country, there are Canadians gifting something very special to our communities.Read Article
The Warmth of Winter
If Canadian winters are long and harsh, they're also impressive, unique, and host to a number of magnificently rich moments. This is what inspires the proud Canadian coat brand, Quartz Co.Read Article
Winter in the Windows
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... This seasonal song is certainly ringing true at Simons as we recently installed our stunning window displays for the holidays. What's waiting for you as you pass in front of the glass? Snowy scenes presented in pale pinks and gorgeous light greens!Read Article
Art and Sole
Saute-Mouton is the brainchild of a family of passionate, skilled artisans. It's 33 people who work tirelessly to make sleek and comfortable boots to face the biting cold of Canadian winters. And it is a company that is fundamentally proud to be Canadian.Read Article
Raising the Barre for Art & Culture: Ballet BC's Emily Molnar takes us into the future of ballet
When Emily Molnar took over as artistic director of Ballet BC, the Vancouver-based dance company was on the brink of bankruptcy – another cultural institution that had yet to find its footing in this new, fast-moving digital world.Read Article
Exclusive NV Unisex Collection at Simons
For the fall/winter 2017-2018 season, Simons produces its very first NV unisex collection.Read Article
From Sea to Sea
Close your eyes and imagine yourself on the magnificent St. Lawrence River or the majestic Pacific Ocean that runs along Canada's West Coast.Read Article
The power of simplicity
Vitaly is proof of the power of simplicity. This Toronto-based lifestyle brand creates high-quality clothing and accessories with an urban look and rebellious attitude. Its goal is to elevate the everyday with carefully placed details, while letting clean, structural lines do all the talking.Read Article
Decorating on a student budget
Scrolling through a myriad of gorgeous, inspiring home decors on Instagram or Pinterest, we often find ourselves dreaming of transforming our own home with the latest trends. One, tiny problem? The budget.Read Article
These Bags Are Made For Walking
True symbols of adventure, bags are our best companions on any journey, whether big or small. It's not surprising then that Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, two brothers passionate about travelling, chose them as their main product when they founded Herschel in 2009.Read Article
A Tailor-Made Legacy: Personal Vision - It Runs in the Family
Weaving a new vision: Xiaoyi Li, CAFA Simons Fashion Design Student Award, is the future of fashion for a conscious generation.Read Article
Simons: A Great Canadian Family
Their story is of an unconditional love for fashion, a tale that started in Quebec City in 1840 and that has continued ever since.Read Article
A thrilling new legacy: Simons and Chad Fike team up for the Stampede
Teams of glossy thoroughbreds pulling wagons at breathtaking speeds, dodging barrels as outriders gallop alongside in a complex waltz – It's a thrilling experience. The fascinating choreography of chuckwagon racing, which debuted as a sport during the 1932 Calgary Stampede, draws a huge crowd that often includes celebrity spectators such as Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.Read Article
Swimwear for adventurers at heart
It's always June somewhere… There's always somewhere in the world with good weather, bright sunshine, and warm, welcoming water. This mantra is an invitation to escape and a driving force behind June Swimwear. The brand's mission is to give women the desire to travel and surf, as well as the freedom to dream!Read Article
Bags for Today and Tomorrow
Molly Spittal's studio looks like it belongs to a sculptor: raw materials waiting to take shape, special tools for producing precise work, and large windows that cast light on even the tiniest detail. With her hands, she can make the perfect bag, an understated and functional piece that will last for years.Read Article
Celebrating fashion from here
The CAFA gala, an event run by some of the biggest names in fashion, recognizes outstanding achievement and emerging talent in the Canadian fashion industry.Read Article
La marée basse (low tide) and all its treasures
Travel to the heart of the Magdalen Islands with this collection of natural art that invites you to look at the riches of the sea in a whole new light...Read Article
Spring Blooms on LIBERTY FABRICS!
Discover Liberty London, the prestigious print house that's reinvented its unique floral art every season since 1875. Simons presents its own exclusive collections that feature the oh-so-British label in Contemporaine for women, in Le 31 for men, and in its Simons Maison department for the home.Read Article
Making products that make people happy!
Step into an imaginative world where unique decor accessories transform spaces into great places to live.Read Article
A collection that breathes joie de vivre
A Sunday afternoon spent by the water in a swimsuit and shades... Hard not to smile imagining this scenario! This feeling is what drives the creators behind the brand Everyday Sunday daily."Relax and enjoy" is their motto!Read Article
Knowledge Cotton Apparel: An eco-friendly collection!
A Scandinavian menswear company with highly responsible environmental practices.Read Article
Let's celebrate our ability to help one another!
to promote International Women's Day, Simons would like to show our support for three organizations that work to help women in need of a hand getting ahead and getting out of difficult situations.Read Article
Well-being with Adrianne Ho and Franky Cammarata
Adrianne Ho, originally from Toronto, and Franky Cammarata, a Los Angeles native, are two international models that have numerous magazine covers and prestigious collaborations to their credit.Read Article
Simons presents Jonak, exclusively in Canada at Simons
Spotlighting an experienced and well-recognized family business that designs superior quality women's shoes that are as chic and on-trend as they come.Read Article
Hopehanger, T-shirts made of 100% pure hope!
An exclusive new line of clothing created by two parents looking to help contribute to autism research.Read Article
Cloth & Clay to fabulous Nordic nations
This British company is making its grand entrance into the home fashion scene, offering an array of luxury duvet covers and cushions.Read Article
Discover the outdoor clothing brands that are taking action to promote sustainable development.Read Article
Swedish Stockings: an eco-friendly collection
The Swedish brand makes tights and nylon stockings from recycled threads.Read Article
Fogo the Beautiful
Our team spent a few days on Fogo Island for a photo shoot in a magical setting.Read Article
This is it! We're now located in our nation's capital. Today, Thursday, August 11, Simons' expansion across Canada continues with the opening of our thirteenth store in Ottawa!Read Article
Go sporty or retro for a chic back-to-school look!
Actress Vanessa Pilon, the bubbly young host of VRAK.TV, can count us here at Simons among her biggest fans.Read Article
Back to school at Djab with Jay Le Barbier and Martin Langelier
Whether you like it or not, back-to-school is just around the corner. This year, we've decided to come back with a bang! No corners have been cut and we've got everything from Instagram collaborators to thematic galleries and prizes to win.Read Article
Getting the most from your outdoor excursions
There is no better way to enjoy summer than by being out in the fresh air!Read Article
The OSQ and Simons
The Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) is performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: a seminal work in the history of music!Read Article
With summer just around the corner, the bluebellgray collection could not be making a better-timed debut. The brand's signature watercolour graphics will take you to a summery world of colour and artistry.Read Article
Mural by Melissa Del Pinto
Montreal-based painter Melissa Del Pinto has welcomed us into her studio to show us a world where birds are larger than life.Read Article