I had the pleasure to visit Canon Blanc, a lovely boutique on Queen W., just west of Bathurst. This post is actually right on time as they will be having a Pop-Up event from December 7-22, @2624 Yonge St (Yonge & Eglinton). Don't miss out!
Caroline and Matéo, the husband and wife duo originally from Paris, are bringing a breeze of fresh air to the Canadian fashion scene. The boutique, with its homey and inviting decor, is filled with a wide selection of unique and fair-trade products from France.
Caroline spoke of their products and designers with such enthusiasm that I could have listened to her for hours. As they know the designers personally, each of their products had their very own story, which made them all the more valuable.
You can click HERE for a full list of the brands they carry. Lian: What is the general theme/concept behind Canon Blanc?
Canon Blanc: The concept behind Canon Blanc is to give the feel of a parisian appartment. We settled for hardwood floors, trims on the walls, and antique furniture displays that we brought from Paris.
The idea is to make customers feel like they are shopping in Paris, and as a matter of fact we personally know all the designers that we showcase, so the shop and its products are a good representation of the Parisian street-style. We also kept the same prices than Paris, so that it’s more affordable. We didn’t want to turn a popular fashion overseas into luxury here. That is why we chose the motto “Liberté, Egalité, ou la mort!”, meaning that we will offer Quality and Fair Prices, or die trying !
Lian: How did the name Canon Blanc originate?
Canon Blanc: Along the same idea, the name Canon Blanc was inspired by the French revolution, by people fighting for their liberty. The name means “White Cannon”, and to us it represents several ideals : white being the colour of peace, it stand for “fighting for your liberty”; there is also an interesting story about the french flag : Blue and Red are the colours of the city of Paris, and they were chosen for the French flag because the revolution took place in Paris. White was the colour of the royal family, and it was put inbetween the colours of Paris to signify that the People was watching over the King, meaning that Democracy would ensure that Monarchy would never come back. In our logo, we use Blue and Red colours for the town of Paris, because that is the concept of our store. And the word “Blanc” in the name completes the french flag !
Lian: Why Toronto, and how do you distinguish yourselves from the growing number of independent boutiques opening up in the West end?
Canon Blanc: Toronto was an obvious choice for a first business, it’s the biggest canadian city with potentially more customers for us. And when we arrived, we fell in love with the city, so it turned out perfectly well !
It’s funny that you mention the “growing number” of independent boutiques, because coming from Paris where there are literally thousands of boutiques just like ours, Toronto has surprisingly little choice for customers who don’t like to shop in malls. Especially for a city that size (6 million people) ! Right now we feel like every independent store has its very distinct identity. I hope for Torontonians that more boutiques will open in different neighbourhoods, and that they will maintain their uniqueness !
Shoes by Anamaria Lepoutre, a French-Peruvian designer who produces Fair trade in Peru, with recyclable materials. Cowhide and Goat skin.
Left shoe $360, right shoe $335.
Leather Week-end bag by “Tammy & Benjamin” $695 (made in France)
Jacket ($450) and silk neck scarf ($80 ) by “Commune de Paris”
“Anne Thomas”, prices range from $90 to $120 (made in France)
Rings by “5 Octobre”, prices range from $80 to $230 (made in France)
Braided belt by “Les Petites Séries” $130
Marine Coat by "Melinda Gloss” $780
Brown Leather / waxed Cotton handbag by "Jo e Jan” $300 (Made in France)
Brooches by “Macon & Lesquoy”, each $55 except the moustaches for $40
Scandinavian bracelets by “Saami Crafts”, handmade by Saami nomads.
Reindeer leather and horn button, with tin-silver braid.