Holts Gives Contemporary a New Bold Look

Holts Gives Contemporary a New Bold Look

I had seen some evidence of changes happening at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street last Wednesday, some of the areas were getting a makeover. Yesterday, I received a tour of the new Contemporary Space on the 3rd floor from John Gerhardt, Holt Renfrew Creative Director. Inspiration for the space was kicked off by his green Comme des Garçons wallet.

Influenced by the growing need for optimism, Holt Renfrew Creative Director John Gerhardt’s design inspiration stemmed from a bright green wallet he received as a gift. “It’s interesting how people respond to colour, particularly bold colours,” said Gerhardt. “I found myself looking at the wallet and feeling happy. It’s amazing how colour transforms our mood.”

The Contemporary Space is now an explosion of colour and I love it. It’s a visual feast. The space now integrates accessories with clothing which moves it away from the separated Department Store feel to a more boutique shop experience. The clothing is more visible and easier to locate.

“There is a strong nod to the ‘80s in our redesign, with “New Wave” and Japanese influences as well as art influences such as Dan Flavin, Shepard Fairey and Barbara Kruger, infused with current references like fashion’s new-found fascination with Pantone primaries,” said Gerhardt.

Holts Gives Contemporary a New Bold Look

There are 3 distinct areas to the space. One is the romantic area which features clothing and accessories in that vein; think 3.1 Philip Lim and Catherine Malandrino. Second is the Minimalist area; think Alexander Wang and Zero + Maria Cornejo. Third is denim which hosts your denim wall and has more relaxing clothes.

They plan on having events on Saturdays in the store and have the stage to make it happen. Another good thing is that every season the space will be switched up to keep everyone on their toes.

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Anita Clarke is an Engineering Storyteller and the founder of the fashion blog “I want – I got.” She was one of the first and most prominent online fashion writers in Toronto and Canada.