When the Gastown Shop Hop returns for its fall event on Thursday night (October 15), it will be as much a social event as a retail one—and not just for female clothes hounds.
“A lot of men do come down, so don’t hesitate to bring your partner, because he shops too,” says Gastown Business Improvement Area director Leanore Sali, noting the long list of “incredible” men’s stores participating in the event. “It’s a good thing to bring friends to, because it’s more than just shopping—it’s a really social event.”
Sali highlighted five shops that are new to the event this year, including Truvelle (405–55 Water Street), a bridal boutique that opened its doors to the public this past summer. Gaby Bayona’s ethereal wedding dresses have always been handmade at her Gastown headquarters on Cambie Street, but the opening of the shop marks an exciting new addition to the block.
“Now that we have opened our first brick-and-mortar space, allowing walk-ins as well as full-hour appointments, we wanted to be sure to take part in the event,” says Truvelle’s Britt Schafer. At the Shop Hop, the store will be offering a host of hot deals on more than just its signature bridal wear.
“There will be discounts on everything in store. All of our Maker Collaborations with local artists will be available for purchase, which includes jewellery, bridal accessories, and our soon-to-be-launched lingerie collaboration,” says Schafer. “Truvelle gowns from all three collections will be available at reduced prices.”
Another significant addition to this year’s hop is women’s eco-friendly fashion boutique Nicole Bridger (14 Water Street). The shop’s namesake moved the store from Kitsilano to Gastown earlier this year.
Neighbour (12 Water Street), Saager Dilawri’s men’s shop in Gaoler’s Mews, saw a new expansion in March with the opening of a women’s boutique at 45 Powell Street. Neighbour/Women carries lines by Christopher Raeburn, Stephan Schneider, and Christophe Lemaire, with jewelry and accessories by CDG, Saskia Diez, and Kara Bags. It’s another fresh pick for this year’s hop.
Not all boutiques in the fall bargain hunt are clothing-based. Hip optical shop Durant Sessions (315 West Cordova Street) will also be a part of the fun, offering customers deals on select pairs of limited-edition and luxury glasses and sunglasses, from anni shades, Oliver Peoples, and popular Japanese line EYEVAN 7285.
“It depends on what you’re looking for, but they each offer something different—everything from streetwear to casual, housewares, shoes, glasses, and neat stuff for younger generations, too,” she adds.
A variety of restaurants will be offering hungry shoppers a chance to fuel up on discounted appetizers, meals, and beverages. The Greedy Pig, Bambudda, Salt Tasting Room, and Water Street Café are just a few on the list.
For Sali, who’s been with the Gastown Business Improvement Association for more than 20 years, the event is an annual highlight, and one she says Vancouverites shouldn’t miss.
“Gastown is all about an experience, and that’s what this is. Yes, it’s shopping, and yes, it’s the deals, but it’s really about experiencing our neighbourhood and seeing what all the creative people here have to offer.”
The Gastown Shop Hop happens Thursday (October 15) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, visit www.gastown.org/shop.