12 things we loved from our Spring #BOUTIQUELOVE Tour

We’ve been on the road for our #BOUTIQUELOVE tour the past couple of weeks crossing North America to celebrate the launch of Spring 2015 collections. Tonight is the final stop so we wanted to share a few of our favorite things from each of the boutiques we’ve partied with. They each have their own amazing curation of brands and unique style, so obviously we had to shop along the way. Our first stop was In Support Of in New York City, a boutique that focuses on local designers doing it right in the city’s garment district. Like Nikki Chasin, an emerging designer we’re super excited about. She had her first pop-up at the party. Next we ate our way through Houston and celebrated Cinco de Mayo with Saint Cloud. They’re stocked with amazing accessories, home goods and loungewear made for the heat. Then we hopped on a plane to Portland where we partied with West End Select, a boutique renowned for the owner’s cool style, rad selection and Japanese imports. Tonight we’re in Vancouver with One of a Few. With their selection of Rachel Comey, Jesse Kamm, Creatures of Comfort and more, it’s easy to spend a looong time there. The best part about all of these boutiques? The people behind them are cool, kind, hilarious and seriously amazing in every way. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the tour!

If you didn’t get to party with us, make sure to check us out on Soundcloud where you can stream the soundtrack from each city!

Shop our picks below.

Meet the Boutique: Board of Trade Co.

The three friends behind Vancouver’s Board of Trade Co. have a particular way of curating their boutique. And it works.

The baby of friends Eunice Quan, David Lin and Armin Tehrani, Board of Trade’s philosophy is that style and taste go well beyond clothes and is equally expressed through the things we use everyday. Such as your everyday morning mug or the dish that holds your soap. The three pals are creating a covetable lifestyle. Plus, the shop is a space where artists from around the world can show off their goods and talents. Serious TLC goes into the place as the owners have a deep knowledge and understanding of the clothes, designers, and objects that are represented at the shop. We caught up with Armin to learn more.

Shop Board of Trade Co. >



How to pick art for your home like a boutique hotel

As a full-service art consulting firm, Vancouver’s Farmboy Fine Arts is a team behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest hospitality chains and coolest boutique hotels. Their role? To curate art collections and dress up the decor with some incredible graphic work and design. Every time we travel we wonder how we can bring a little of that boutique hotel feel home, so we quizzed Design Director Craig David Long to give us a behind the scenes look at the hotel art world and how we can expand our horizons beyond Ikea Klimts and MoMA posters.

ARE THERE ANY MOVEMENTS OR TRENDS IN THE ART WORLD RIGHT NOW? It is very hard to pinpoint thematic or aesthetic trends that span the art world at large, because art is such a vast and expansive thing. Art can be decorative or conceptual, contemporary or historic, and there is great variety within between artistic practices, such as style, medium, or what an individual artist’s thematic interests are. There are also many regional differences between art communities, based on social and cultural factors, the local market’s appetite for art, and the maturity of that artistic community.

Within hospitality, however, that is definitely where trends start to emerge. For hotels in the three- and four-star range, we are beginning to see some departure from traditional hung artwork, like framed art and canvases, though those will always be present. We are seeing art take on more architectural applications, such as printing imagery on substrates like metal, glass, mirror and textiles; the trend toward large graphic wall murals; as well as incorporating three dimensional and modular wall art in the guest rooms and public areas.

At the higher end, we have definitely seen hotels really begin to understand and appreciate the cultural, social and investment value of collecting fine and contemporary art as a long-term strategy. Our company has been a long believer that collecting fine art originals not only enhances the guest experience, but it can also foster dialogue with the local community and even yield financial return over time as well.


How Street Dreams magazine is winning Instagram

Eric Veloso is a hard man to pin down. Based both in Vancouver and New York City to run his collaborative photography quarterly, Street Dreams Magazine, he is constantly travelling for the next project and the next city street. Flip through the pages of the mag and you’ll get the picture. He might email you from Portland one day, Chicago the next, then two days later in New York. We caught up with him in Vancouver to get the inside story on Street Dreams. With just over a year under their belts, his team has created a massive following on Instagram and collaborate with some of the biggest brands. If you’re not a subscriber, get on the list ASAP. They sell out fast. Their MO? To create a community based on collective inspiration and a platform to represent the best photographers of our time.

Meet stylist and photographer power couple Luisa Rino + Evaan Kheraj

Luisa Rino and Evaan Kheraj are kind of like fashion’s take on a superhero duo. Each of them is an amazing talent in their own right, but together the Canadian photographer and stylist make some serious magic. Collectively and together, the husband and wife team have worked with the likes of Nylon, ELLE, Refinery29, Flare, Nomia, Obakki, the Hudson’s Bay… to name a few. Oh and a few famous faces like Emily Haines, Tom Felton, Evangeline Lilly and Arizona Muse. They recently began splitting time between their hometown of Vancouver and New York City so we caught up with them to find out how they make time for a little romance on two time zones with such crazy schedules. Plus, they spill on their musts in NYC.


LUISA: We met in 2003 just after Evaan had graduated from his new media program. I was the fashion editor at NUVO Magazine and he came in to meet about a photography assignment. I didn’t think much past the job assignment but Evaan’s side of the story is much more romantic.

EVAAN: I was working as a video editor at the time and my roommate was working as an events photographer for NUVO. She was moving away to Alberta and asked me if I would want to shoot events. She got me the interview at NUVO. I met with Luisa and showed her my portfolio which consisted entirely of travel images. At that time my dream was to shoot travel stories for National Geographic and I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what the world of fashion entailed. I pretty much fell in love with Luisa the moment I met her. I just remember thinking my portfolio didn’t have a single event photo and that I was probably making a fool of myself. Anyway, I went home that day and told my roommate that I was going to marry Luisa. My roommate laughed and said in my dreams. Well, dreams come true.


LUISA: We both have pretty hectic schedules so the fact that we get to work together means we get to see each other and spend some time together during really busy times. In terms of the final product, there is a level of trust and collaboration when you really know each other. But I would say we feel this way about our crew as well. We’ve all worked together for many years and we understand where to help, how to make something better. It makes for a really supportive atmosphere.

EVAAN: That’s easy, I get to see my wife. I am always happier when she is around. I’m lucky.


LUISA: I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about that. We resolve any disagreements quite quickly and I have all the confidence there can be in Evaan’s skills and his vision. We’ve worked together a long time now and on so many different projects and problem solved a lot together. He has an incredible sense for what will work and what won’t. We rarely disagree.

EVAAN: I don’t think there are challenges. We work well together and that’s always been the case.


LUISA: It’s fun, best of both worlds kind of thing. I can only be grateful that we get to experience these two incredible cities regularly.

EVAAN: It’s amazeballs. Vancouver and New York are two world class cities. You have the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest and of course in NY there is always something going on. I have learned to sleep on a plane with ease so the time zone shifting doesn’t bother me. You have to go where the work takes you and New York has been an extremely satisfying step in our careers.


LUISA: It’s been there forever but I really like starting a relaxing day at Café Select. Then, because I’m always on the hunt for deals, I’m pretty much scouring the sample sales.

EVAAN: You can almost always find me wandering the halls of the Met on any given weekend or strolling through Central Park. I take my camera everywhere. My days usually begin at Oatmeals in the West Village which is a fabulous breakfast spot. They have every kind of oatmeal under the sun and the staff there makes you feel right at home. They even have a bowl called The Canadian. My job is fairly tough on my back and shoulders so once a week I head on down to Little Italy and get a good ol’ fashioned Chinese Chair Massage at The Relaxing Station. It’s a hole in the wall sandwiched between a mediocre Tourist-alian restaurant and things-your-clueless-aunt-buys souvenir shop. It feels like you are getting mugged while getting the massage but I exit there feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another 20 blocks and at $13 bucks for 15 minutes, it’s easy on the pocket book and keeps me ready for the next shot. The best coffee I have had is at the OST Cafe in the East Village. Best French toast can be had at the Irving Farms Coffee Roasters in the Lower East Side. It’s made with challah bread and it comes dripping with maple syrup, a fork and a big napkin. For dinner hot spots, I am digging Lovely Day in Soho which serves up some amazeballs Thai food.

Check out more work from these two dynamos here: evaan.ca and lizbellagency.com/artists/luisa-rino

Meet the Designer: Obakki

Travel and compassion are just two of the key ingredients in Obakki’s elegant clothing for the woman on the go.

Sophisticated, classic, timeless, wearable… pretty much every adjective we can come up with for Obakki is something so many women’s wear labels strive to achieve. Treana Peake hit the nail on the head from the start when the Vancouver-based brand launched in 2005. Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson are a couple of fans. Today she interweaves inspiration from travel and humanitarianism seamlessly with the philanthropic counterpart Obakki Foundation. We caught up with her to find out more and quiz her on all of her favorite things.

Shop Obakki >



Meet the Designer: Sunja Link

Motivated to make clothes that matter, and last, this Vancouver designer takes each piece from fabric to fit.

Using fabric sourced from Italy and Japan for her signature sheath dresses to Sixties-inspired coats, Sunja Link is all about making clothes that are feminine and easy. She launched her line in 1999 and spent 10 years building her business before taking a time out for family. Now, back in full force, she has a new Vancouver storefront with longtime friend Dace and a whole new perspective on designing with intention and instinct. We caught up with her to learn more and asked her to spill on all her favorite things.

Shop Sunja Link >


How Culver City Salads is winning friends with salad in Vancouver

You do win friends with salad. After years working as a fashion designer and nail artist, Christina Culver discovered that her vegan salads were winning hearts all over her hometown of Vancouver, and Culver City Salads was born. From lunch delivery to a solar powered food truck that can always be found at the city’s coolest events, the blond beauty managed to turn a passion for cooking into a movement. We’ve been addicted since day one, so we had to get her to spill on how it all went down and give us some expert insight on what’s next after kale.

THIS WHOLE THING BEGAN WITH LUNCH DELIVERIES TO FRIENDS. HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE IT A CAREER? I wouldn’t call it a decision exactly, more of just a fly by the seat of my panties kind of move. Culver City Salads was born when I was trying to make a go of it as a nail artist (early 2011) about four years after putting my fashion label Christina Darling to bed. That wasn’t proving to keep me busy enough so it was time to figure out what was next. I’ve always loved cooking for my family (I’m the second oldest of six kids) and friends. It’s also my yoga. At the end of a long day I’m happiest cooking up something new and feel good. I’d gone vegan a few years prior and really loved the challenge of making complete, well balanced meals that no one would guess lacked animal proteins – vegan trickery I like to call it.

Two of my closest friends suggested I start making some of my classic entree size salads for them and drop them at their offices for lunch and this soon snowballed into large office deliveries (Lululemon and Hootsuite were regulars). The first year I spent running around the city delivering on foot, transit and borrowing cars. What started as a word of mouth and Facebook fan page soon turned into a website where you had to order the day prior, and we were retailing off the Juice Truck and a few other places. By the spring of 2013 our food truck Granny Smith hit the road. This is when my little sister Sarah came to my rescue, we’ve been working together ever since. Our focus has shifted more to larger corporate deliveries and catering and retail. In the past year we’ve done weddings, presidential events, retreats, sporting events, store openings – some on and some off the truck. We’re now talking about opening our own space and, well, about a million other things.

And in terms of this being it for me, well it so totally is… for now. Things are moving so incredibly fast, but food and especially healthy food is a constant and something that we all need. I am so lucky – I spend my days surrounded by nothing but pure health and super grateful people that are working to be the best versions of themselves.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW SOLAR POWERED FOOD TRUCK! Oh man – I’m still pinching myself over this! From the get-go I was dead set against running our kitchen appliances off of a generator. We decided to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise $20,000 to put towards turning our little truck energy efficient. Just as we were gearing up to launch the campaign my friend told me about the prep fridge his family business had been developing for three years that was basically going to answer my prayers (I love good timing). It runs off 20% the energy of a regular fridge. The campaign was a success, we hit our goal! We got the first of these fridges – the prototype. The solar panels will happen in the next few months, we’re just in the process of re-doing all the research and weighing our options. Solar is so insanely progressive! I want to do this once and I want to do it right.

SO HAS KALE HAD ITS 15 MINUTES? WHAT’S THE NEW NEW IN VEGETABLES? Kale is basically an international celebrity! Just for the record… I’ve been using it since the beginning. Everyone knows that the darker the green the better, so if you’re sick of the hype collard greens, chard and micro-greens are waiting for you! I obviously love vegetables like nobody’s business and I really try not to discriminate. When I’m at the grocery store and something jumps out at me I always grab it and treat it as an opportunity to play. My most recent culinary adventure involved sunchokes and tomatillos. How about trying to eat the rainbow in fruit and veggies everyday? I dare you.