Cozy up with these picks for a wondrous winter. Here’s what’s on our radar this season.
Casca Avro Sneakers
The appetite for leisure sneakers is growing, but so is the market. From “ugly” designs courtesy of Balenciaga to sustainable creations from Everlane, brands are tapping into the public’s desire for comfy shoes that also look cool. Still, Vancouver-based shoe company Casca saw a need for something more technical: “We felt there was this gap in the market that was combining lifestyle shoes with actual high-performance materials—with an actual thought around support,” says cofounder Braden Parker at the launch for the brand’s Vancouver store. “Because ultimately when you’re wearing a pair of shoes all day, which everyone is doing now, you need to have a pair of shoes that properly supports you. A lot of the other brands … we felt like they weren’t providing the right functional support, so we wanted to try to solve that problem.” The brand worked with an orthotic specialist to create proprietary materials and designs that offer maximum comfort and foot health—while also being fashionable. Casca’s Avro shoe looks like lots of other trendy trainers, but a few things set it apart: it comes in breathable, waterproof leather; it has memory foam to prevent blisters; there’s a heel stabilizer that allows your foot to reach its natural flex point; and a contoured sole is there for extra stability. Customers also have the option of getting insoles that are mapped exactly to each foot (since right and left can often be different shapes and even sizes) and 3D-printed at the back of Casca’s store. Say hello to your new everyday shoe.
Sustainable and ethical clothing brand Kotn has plenty of newness to keep us looking chic through the winter. Some standouts from a recent walk through its Vancouver storefront include a women’s Ribbed Pencil Skirt (coming in both black and rust) and a men’s Mockneck Sweatshirt (we’re loving it in cream). The beauty of Kotn is that you can feel good buying anything from the brand’s collection, because everything supports cotton farmers in Egypt.
Tiffany Save the Wild
Treat yourself (or someone you love) to something beautiful while also giving back to Mother Earth. All of the proceeds from Tiffany & Co.’s Save the Wild collection are donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network, which protects endangered species around the world. The Tiffany collection features charms, brooches, and desk accessories in the shape of some of the planet’s most majestic creatures: lions, elephants, and rhinos. The delicate, timeless items feature 18-karat white, yellow, and rose gold along with beautiful pavé diamond designs—because doing good can look good. (Oh, and while you’re browsing the Tiffany site, consider this Leather Pocket Diary in classic Tiffany blue for all your 2020 planning.)
COS Robson Street
Sculptural Swedish clothing brand COS continues its Canadian expansion with a new store in downtown Vancouver. Located on the shopping hub of Robson Street, the two-level shop has men’s, women’s, and kid’s clothing, along with a selection of shoes, handbags, and other accessories—not to mention a stunning wooden feature staircase outfitted with ceiling illumination that gives the look and feel of a skylight (very necessary in grey Vancouver). Fans of the brand’s timeless collections can look forward to a seamless shopping experience and a wide array of beautiful holiday-inspired pieces. Navy velvet jumpsuit, anyone?
DownLow Burgers and Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian
Special for our Vancouver readers are two suggested restaurants to check out—one for the meat-eaters and another for the vegetarians. First comes DownLow Burgers, the patty outpost of the popular DownLow Chicken Shack on Commercial Drive. Operating within The American on Main Street, DownLow Burgers features juicy all-beef patties (though there is a vegetarian option) with an array of toppings. Start with the crispy cauliflower, then move onto The Not in Kansas burger (crispy shallots, pickled red onions, coleslaw) with a side of onion rings.
Then there’s Do Chay, an amazing Vietnamese restaurant serving up scrumptious plant-based dishes. Pretty much the whole menu is drool-worthy, but some must-haves include the crunchy spring rolls and the warming curry—the perfect antidotes to a chilly evening.
Beautycounter Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil
Clean your skin without over-drying it thanks to this soft cleansing oil from Beautycounter. Helping reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier, it is full of Vitamin E and fatty acids, and has a subtle soothing scent that makes it a joy to use. Simply put two or three pumps into your hands and rub the oil into your skin, use a bit of warm water to work it into a lather, and then rinse. You won’t be left with any oil residue—only fresh, glowing skin.
Going out to eat is wonderful and all, but there’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal. New kitchen brand Equal Parts aims to make at-home epicurean adventures more enjoyable and approachable thanks to beautifully-designed (and easy-to-use) cookware, along with text-on-demand coaching from culinary experts. Learn about meal prep and hosting dinner parties while using kitchen essentials like the Everyday Knife made with German steel and the Cut & Serve Board made of oak wood. Now all you need is a stylish apron.
Drifter Organics Well-Grounded Body Oil
Keeping skin moisturized and soft can be hard come winter, but Drifter Organics has beautiful products that make it easy. The natural brand’s Well-Grounded Body Oil uses myrrh, Cedarwood, and vetiver essential oils for a cozy, woodsy scent, along with antioxidant-rich sesame oil for extra nourishment; it’s luxurious and beautiful. Bonus? The Serenity Now Body Butter has Lavender, palma rosa, and helichrysum essential oils, plus moisturizing shea butter and safflower seed oil. Either route you choose, baby-soft skin is on the way.
There’s sure a lot to celebrate this season.