Happy Spring! The sunlight has invigorated my creative spirit - well, that and fresh Toronto street-wear. I wouldn't leave you hanging, especially when it comes to vintage finds from all over the world and the absolute cutest boutique space I've ever seen. So with that, let's talk about MARS.
MARS is a streetwear gallery and vintage boutique that prides itself on collecting gorgeous pieces from all over the world and bringing them together for a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience. If you're the kind of person who loves knowing that no one else will have their outfit, you're going to want to keep reading. If you love thrifting and finding hidden gems in your city, you're so welcome. MARS isn't just a clothing store though - it's also an art gallery that showcases local designers and artists. As soon as you walk in, you can see art pieces all over the walls, and a huge feature table in the middle of the space with pieces hand-crafted by local talent.
Click through for pictures of the gorgeous interior!
"We support local artists and want to be a launching pad for new brands and local designers - we want this place to be a hub where local designers can showcase their art and people can really come and experience it."
The owner, Siobhan, is the sweetest woman ever and makes you feel at home the moment you walk into the store. The music is bouncy, the displays are gorgeous, and you can tell that you're not in a regular vintage store. I had the pleasure of chatting with Siobhan about what got her interested in opening MARS, what went into making her vision a reality and next stops for international vintage shopping.
On opening MARS:
"My friend owns a thrift shop out in Brampton, and I would always go shopping with her to help her pick out pieces. That was my first experience shopping for other people, and I had so much fun. Before that, I was doing videography, which I loved but I wanted to find something that I could really build into a brand. The name MARS actually comes from my daughter - her name is Amara, and we call her Mar-Mar, so the name kind of works both ways. The pieces are out of this world, but it's also like "Mar's" - it's her store."
On making MARS a reality:
"We started in November, and the idea was to create a hub for international fashion. We went to Tokyo and fell in love with the style there, so we brought back some of our favourite pieces to share here. When we got back, we reached out to local designers in Toronto. I think it's so important, especially now that everything is digital, to be able to experience things and try them in real life. We support local artists and want to be a launching pad for new brands and local designers - we want this place to be a hub where local designers can showcase their art and people can really come and experience it. We want to attract a crowd that's excited about fashion and about wearing pieces that are so unique."
My favourite part of shopping at MARS is that it feels like you're going through a friend's closet - there's no pressure, it's all about having fun styling and enjoying the experience. I keep thinking of that Hannah Montana episode where she shows Lilly her closet for the first time, and every piece is even more exciting than the last. Knowing that all the pieces are so unique and that most of them have come from overseas makes it feel like they brought the clothing back just for you.
I left with this DOPE cropped sweater with patches and zipper detailing on the sleeves. When I posted it to my story, so many people replied asking where they can get one and telling me how obsessed they were with it. So here you go!
MARS is going to absolutely blow up, so get on it early. I mean really, what's not to love? Vintage thrifts, one-of-a-kind pieces and supporting local talent... what else could you want in a streetwear boutique? (And bonus - they ship anywhere!)
You can shop MARS in person, on their website or on their Depop. Make sure to follow them on their Instagram so you can keep up with their events and new pieces!
Thanks for reading,