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Uniqlo is Finally Coming to Canada

No trip to NY is complete without a stop at the massive 89,000 sq. ft. Uniqlo on 5th Ave.

While some of us continue to mourn the loss of Target, today's news (kind of, sort of) makes up for it. After years of speculation, Uniqlo is finally coming to Canada! The Japanese fashion-fashion giant announced this am that it will open its first two Canadian stores in Toronto in 2016 - the first at Yorkdale Mall and the second at Toronto Eaton Centre. “We embrace this milestone as an important step in the growth of our brand,” said Larry Meyer, chief executive officer of Uniqlo USA and Canada.

Uniqlo is a powerhouse in the cheap-chic world of fashion, with over 1,500 stores now operating worldwide. The store carries well-designed basics in every colour, making it a go-to for stylish minimalistas everywhere, including celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow. So what makes it different than a Joe Fresh or GAP? While Uniqlo has the power of scale to keep its prices low, its focus remains on fabric over fashion. According to this article in NY Mag, Uniqlo keeps a team takumi, or textile “masters,” on staff who specialize in areas like dyeing or sewing. A typical order will be around a million units of denim, fleece, or cashmere—often all the material the supplier makes. The company further increases its buying power by offering a smaller selection of fabrics, across a more limited selection of styles, than most other retailers.

We can't wait to finally be able to shop Uniqlo at home but as always when a retailer enters the Canadian market, we approach this new relationship with a healthy amount of cautious optimism. Will the prices be as awesome as they are in NY? Will we get the selection we expect from a giant like Uniqlo? And most importantly, how will this takeover affect our beloved Joe Fresh?



#WIN IT | The Girl on the Train Giveaway

I've resolved to get back to reading for pleasure this year and so far, I've stuck with my commitment. Not only have I joined a book club with friends who prefer pinot over pressure, but I've taken the pressure off myself, too. I used to feel like I had to read the 'right' books - the heavy ones, the classics, the award-winners. But when life gets hectic and a vacay feels like ages away, a page-turning beach read always makes for a great escape.

Indigo sent me a copy of the most talked-about book of the year The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I just finished reading it. Have you had the chance to pick it up yet? Everyone (like everyone) is buzzing about this book right now and it's already being touted as the Gone Girl of 2015. It's a thriller full of messed up, complicated characters, neighbours whose lives you think you know but really don't, and a page-turning plot that keeps you guessing right until the end. I won't review the book because I don't want to give anything away (and because it's Friday so I don't feel like writing a book review) but I can tell you this book is totally worth picking up, book club or not.  

Now here's the best part -  my friends at Indigo are giving away 3 COPIES of The Girl on the Train to 3 lucky RLR readers! Here's how you can win your own copy:

1) Leave a comment below telling me your top book recommendation right now (your fav book, book you just read and loved etc. )


2) Follow @chaptersindigo and @realliferunway and tweet the following '@chaptersindigo & @realliferunway are giving away 3 copies of The Girl on the Train. Follow & RT to #win!'

3)  Contest ends next Mon, Jan 26th at 5 pm.

4) Open to residents of Canada only.




Happily Ever Après

via Vogue Australia

Originally posted in The CLOSET

I started skiing at Chicopee Ski Club as a tween, and it was all downhill from there; I experimented with powder, drank too much, and I'll admit that at one point, I even turned a few tricks.  Looking back, I blame it on the fact that there just wasn't much else to do in Kitchener back then, especially in the long cold months of winter.   As soon as school was over and pretty much every weekend, my friends and I would get dropped off at Mount St. Chicopee where we'd hit the slopes (okay, fine, it wasn't exactly powder) until our cute, snowpant-clad selves couldn't handle the cold anymore, at which point we'd hit the chalet for some hardcore hot chocolate and serious boy-watching. 

I still ski today but I'll admit that one of my favourite parts of the experience remains the 'après' - the part where poutine is not only available but encouraged, where I get to catch up with my favourites by the fire, and where ski bunny style is embraced in all its cozy glory.

Luckily, you don't  have to know how to step into a pair of bindings to score that coveted après-ski style this winter. From chunky knit sweaters and headbands to the best wind-burn simulating bronzer, every self-respecting ski bunny knows that when faced with a big hill on a cold day (or not), looking good really is half the battle...





The Souvenir Toronto girls show off their FRAANKLIN scarves. Via FRAANKLIN on Instagram

Have you heard of FRAANKLIN yet? My stylish cousin just introduced me to the Toronto brand and I have to share the label love with you. FRAANKLIN scarves are total stunners. The team works with its designers in Germany and NY, then sources the finest materials from around the world - New Zealand wool, German blends and Inner Mongolian Cashmere. Scarves are then produced in-house under strict socially responsible standards. 

Aside from that, here's all you really need to know - no matter what material you choose (yes, even the acrylic ones), FRAANKLIN scarves are so cozy, so generous, so luxurious-feeling, they will ruin you for every other. I wore mine all week and have never enjoyed the winter weather quite so much. Whether you're gifting or simply want to treat yo-self, here are some of my top picks rocked beautifully by those in-the-know (I'm especially smitten with the reversible line - I'm convinced every cool girl needs at least one). 

Happy, happy Fri! 

via big.chantelle on Instagram

Grey Plaid Reverse Houndstooth, $85, FRAANKLIN

via 6 by Gee Beauty on Instagram

Hunter Green Reverse Plaid Herringbone, $85, FRAANKLIN

via dearlynnjewelry on Instagram

Contemporary Royal Plaid, $65, FRAANKLIN

Lauren Soper via FRAANKLIN on Instagram

Merlot Plaid Reverse Herringbone, $85, FRAANKLIN




JET SET | My Shopbop Vacay (Non)Essentials

A super cute Jonathan Adler passport case.

If you're one of the lucky few to have a boarding pass waiting in your inbox right now, you're likely in the market for some beach-ready packables. Your basic one-piece bather and rubber flip-flops might have sufficed(ish) at the splash pad last summer but when on a tropical vacay, remember the following: you are a beach goddess. Your only mission is to drink heavenly rum-filled concoctions, not do the dishes, and look cute. Drinking and not doing dishes is easily done. The cute part?  You are obviously already cute. But it's tough to completely look the part when you're dealing with unstocked stores and rifled-through racks at Winners. Don't settle for leftovers, goddess. These finds from Shopbop will help you be the prettiest player on the playa. Bon voyage! I personally opt for the 'free shipping' option to avoid having to pay duties/customs up front. No promises but I've gotten away scot-free so far. 

Pitusa Abaya Maxi Dress, $98, Shopbop

Nixon Small Time Teller Watch, $60, Shopbop

Loeffler Randall Sarie Strappy Flat Sandals, $175, Shopbop

Bop Basics Neon Stripe Raffia Clutch, $100, Shopbop

Jules Smith Americana Choker, $98, Shopbop

Ancient Greek Sandals, $185, Shopbop

Marysia Swim Antibes Scallop Bikini

Joie Rose Gold San Remo Sandals, $150, Shopbop

9Seed Tulum Cover-Up, $128, Shopbop

Ray-Ban Mirrored Aviators, $170, Shopbop

Disclaimer: Real Life Runway occasionally receives vendor/brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services. RLR only picks things that she is seriously tempted by - hence last night's binge-shop of the above products. Now all she needs is a plane ticket. Anyone?