Published in Plaid Magazine Online, November 2011
Photo by Amanda Stancati
We all know winter can put a damper on the best outfit; an easy way to add zip to your look is a great accessory, and thankfully Zane Aburaneh of A2Zane has re-opened his amazing accessories shop. Last night was the official launch of his new location, after leaving his former pop-up shop space that was further west on Queen Street.
“In order to go from a pop-up shop to a permanent shop, we had to move to a new space so people knew the difference. There is more traffic here, a bigger floor space, and it complements the other stores in the area,” he says of the move.
A2Zane houses many Canadian brands such as Jenny Bird, Amanda Lew Kee, and Juma, and has accessories to suit any style. “A person’s skin colour, sex, or age doesn’t matter; accessories can be androgynous and are for everyone,” says Aburaneh. And this is why he chose to sell them in the first place. Working in the fashion biz for eleven years, the former Gucci handbag specialist for Holt Renfrew fell in love with accessories, and eventually decided to grow this love into his own business. “I wanted to focus on accessories because they’re investment pieces. They’re not as disposable, or seasonal, so they last longer.”
Aburaneh gave Plaid a tour of the new space, which commenced at the “pop-up section”, which currently houses a Rimowa luggage display. We then moved on to the gorgeous, nature-inspired, digitally printed scarves by Juma (the peacock-print is especially gorgeous), and walked through the profusion of bags by the L.A. label, CC Skye; the fluorescent green, pink, and orange bags by The Cambridge Satchel Company; the utilitarian-meets-urban men’s and women’s bags by Qwstion, and much more.
We end up at the display of O’Clock unisex watches from Italy, that have interchangeable silicon bands and faces in bright colours to match any mood. The adjacent wall of Happy Socks adds to the fun and stylish vibe.
It’s clear that Aburaneh is passionate about his products. With four to six deliveries per year, and pieces sourced from places like London, Paris, New York and Australia, Aburaneh always ensures that he’s keeping things fresh.
“People come in looking for a bag with functionality and style, not necessarily brand names,” he explains. “They’re buying what we have because they love it, not because they necessarily know the name.”
Our meeting ends with a chat about the movie, Bill Cunningham New York, starring the fashion photographer who documents street style for the New York Times – and who truly loves the garments (not the high-profile people) he photographs. If we took a cue from both Bill and Zane Aburaneh, we would definitely learn a thing or two about the A to Z’s of fashion.
A2Zane, 753 Queen Street West, Toronto