By ANA TAVEIRA
The snowflakes may be yet to fall, but another seasonal signifier is on full display in Toronto: the high-end establishments of Bloor-Yorkville have unveiled their enchanting light displays and charming decorations. The neighbourhood is already bustling as holiday shoppers get a head start checking off their lists at some of the most desirable international retailers—from Hérmes to Roots—and luxurious local designer boutiques. Unsurprisingly, one of the strip’s most heavily trafficked locations is posh department store Holt Renfrew.
Celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, the venerable company is thoroughly contemporary, but also respectful of traditions. One such tradition? Its annual holiday window display. This year’s concept, thoroughly thought out and beautifully executed by the Holt Renfrew visual merchandising team, sprawls across seven wide panes of glass and features mannequins decked out in the season’s must-have fashions and accessories, skating on imaginary lakes and riding well-heeled horses. Tracy Peters, Holts’ senior manager of national visual merchandising, describes the windows’ theme, “Let it Snow,” as rekindling feelings of the first time you saw the fluffy white stuff. With hundreds of hand-cut snowflakes the display triggers a sense of whimsical winter nostalgia.
If you like what you see, the designs on display are of course available inside the multi-level store. Footwear can be a great gift for friends, family and even yourself—how about Burberry boot to keep your toes warm, or some Louboutin pumps to draw attention at the office Christmas party? Designer accessories like ties, handbags and fragrances are also timely buys. Or perhaps you’re partial to seasonal favourites like sweaters, toques, scarves and jackets. Whatever your pleasure, Holts is sure to satisfy.
In the spirit of the season, the store has also paired with Italian label Missoni to provide a charitable gift. Limited-edition Missoni-designed plush bears and elephants are now available at Holt Renfrew locations across Canada; proceeds from the sale of these beautiful stocking stuffers help support OrphanAid Africa.