Showdown’s hot picks for cold season include cropped leather jackets and cute jumper dresses. Photos courtesy of Showdown Vintage.
Why Showdown Vintage isn’t like Toronto’s 1348 other vintage stores:
1. It’s not really a store. Staysail Shedd, Mick Jackson and Andrew Pepall launched Showdown as an eBay retailer in April 2006, using their combined years of vintage-picking expertise to sell the coolest of Toronto’s castoffs to customers all over the globe. But with a growing local clientele and a little pressure from their friends, the trio has decided to open a showroom on the sunny main floor of their 419 Shaw Street home.
“We were craving the face-to-face connection with our customers,” says Jackson. “I’d love to see our clothes walking around the city.”
Set to open in January, the Showdown Showroom will offer “private, exclusive shopping by appointment only,” says Shedd—meaning you won’t spend hours digging through a pile of smelly leather in search of that perfect cropped biker number… only to find some bitch holding the other sleeve.
2. The clothes are actually vintage, if you go by the fifteen-year rule—everything dates pre-1991—and every piece is high quality and highly wearable. “We definitely pay attention to what we think is stylish and interesting,” says Jackson, adding that if they would never wear it, they won’t sell it either.
And yes, higher standards do translate into higher prices—or, as Jackson says, “friendly prices that reflect the value of the garment.” Typically, dresses run from $25 to $60, t-shirts $10 to $40, and jackets $40 to $120. Think Queen West prices, minus the Queen West storefront overhead.
3. They don’t do kitsch. The Showdown customer is “someone who loves art and is discerning, someone looking for something a little different,” says Shedd. “We try to stay away from the ‘vintage girl’ look.”
So, if you’re looking for an ugly Christmas sweater, stick to Kensington Market. If you want a knock-em-dead New Year’s ensemble, call the Showdown team at 647-346-6958—someone will always be home and happy to help.
Besides picking killer vintage finds, the owners say the one thing they know how to do really well is throw a party. This Sunday, December 2, they’re unofficially opening the Showroom for a massive shopping event: part vintage inventory sale, part closet clearance (a few of Showdown’s friends will be unloading their “designer wardrobes”.) Attendance at this special “sneak peek” is limited and the guest list is packed, so rsvp in a hurry to [email protected]. Sale runs from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and they’ll be serving drinks as hot as the styles.