Thu . 18 Nov 2018

Holt Renfrew

holt renfrew, holt renfrew toronto bloor st
Holt, Renfrew & Co, Limited, commonly known as Holt Renfrew or Holt's,1 is a chain of high-end Canadian department stores specializing in an array of luxury brands and designer boutiques Often compared to Barneys2 and Saks Fifth Avenue3 in the United States, Holt Renfrew is controlled by the Selfridges Group and its chairman, W Galen Weston, which also owns Selfridges in the United Kingdom, Brown Thomas in Ireland, and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands Once "Furriers in Ordinary" to Queen Victoria, the chain was founded in 1837, originally as a fur shop in Quebec City4

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Founding
    • 12 Furriers to the British monarchy
    • 13 Expansion
    • 14 Haute Couture
    • 15 New Look
    • 16 Mod and Miss Renfrew
    • 17 Weston era
    • 18 Millennium
    • 19 HR175
  • 2 Today
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Historyedit

WS Henderson & Co fur shop, company receipt, Quebec City, 1847

Foundingedit

In 1837, William S Henderson, an Irish-born merchant, bought out his partners in a Quebec City fur shop and went into business for himself, thereby marking the traditional founding date of Holt Renfrew Three years earlier, Henderson had arrived by ship from Londonderry with a load of hats and caps The merchandise sold well and other overseas crossings followed Eventually, Henderson set up shop at Quebec under the name William Ashton & Co5 An early company advertisement noted a line of wholesale and retail garments and accessories that included Ladies' fur muffs, boas and tippets, in addition to Buffalo Robes and Bear skins, procured as well as "manufactured on this premises"6 By 1847, the store, then renamed William S Henderson & Co, had established itself at 12 Buade Street Eventually the store moved to larger premises at 35 Buade where it remained for many years Over the decades that followed, the store's ownership changed hands, as various partners came and went, and the firm's name underwent revision WS Henderson eventually sold the store to his brother John, a Montreal businessman, and it became John Henderson & Co In 1862, with the addition of business partner George Richard Renfrew, the store's name changed to Henderson, Renfrew and Company By the time of Confederation, in 1867, Henderson had retired and Renfrew and VH Marcou, whom Henderson had sent to Quebec to manage the business, had become the new principals, with the firm renamed Renfrew & Marcou7

Furriers to the British monarchyedit

Sir John A MacDonald, first Canadian prime minister, in a GR Renfrew & Co fur coat, by portrait photographer William James Topley, Ottawa, 1883

By the middle of the 19th century, the company had begun promoting its fur garments beyond Quebec to a larger North American and European market8 An 1890 mail order fur catalogue listed nine different medals and diplomas won at London, Paris, and Philadelphia exhibitions from 1851 to 18889 There were also notable patrons Admirers of Sir John A Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, had decided the coat he had worn during an 1883 visit to Quebec City was not befitting his status as first minister and bought him a new fur coat from the company10 Then, in 1886, GR Renfrew & Co received its most prestigious honour, being named "Furriers in Ordinary" by Her Majesty Queen Victoria The Queen had purchased a number of fur items from the company’s display at the Indian & Colonial Exhibition held that year at London, England The Quebec Daily Telegraph wrote at length about the appointment:

Cover of the GR Renfrew & Co fur catalogue from the 1890-91 season

Visitors to the late provincial exhibition in this city will remember that lithographed copies in duplicate were shown of the royal letters patent from the Mistress of the Robes at Windsor Castle, notifying Messrs GR Renfrew & Co of their appointment as furriers to the Queen At the same exhibition this firm exposed a duplicate set in sable to that purchased from them by Her Majesty the Queen in person, at the Indian & Colonial Exhibition in London In common with many of our readers, we are not of opinion that a firm, any more than a private individual is the better individually, for rubbing against royalty, but we are speaking of business affairs in a business sense, and there is no doubt that Queen Victoria would not have patronized Messrs GR Renfrew & Co when she wanted a new muff, nor appointed them as her special furriers, unless she was satisfied that their articles were the very best of the kind manufactured, and that she could not do as well elsewhere It is upon the knowledge of these facts that we congratulate Messrs GR Renfrew & Co, and feel a legitimate pride in the success of our fellow citizens abroad At home their success is exemplified by the large number of awards made by their exhibits, and also by the splendid stock which they always keep on hand in the mammoth establishment11

It was, in fact, the first of a series of royal warrants issued by members of the British Royal Family In 1901, Holt, Renfrew & Co was appointed furriers to Her Majesty Queen Alexandra and then to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, in 190312 In 1910, the company was appointed by royal warrant furriers to His Majesty King George V13 The last of the royal warrants was issued by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, in 19215

Holt Renfrew & Co Limited display, Franco-British Exhibition, London, England, 1908

Expansionedit

In 1889, the company established its first store outside of Quebec City with a new retail outlet at 71 and 73 King Street East, Toronto14 William Henderson had by this time retired and his nephew, Allen E Renfrew, had become partner In 1900, John Henderson Holt, who began his career as a company clerk, was appointed president and the firm became known as Holt, Renfrew & Co7 By 1908, the company's structure had changed again and it had become Holt, Renfrew & Co, Limited Meanwhile, the company continued to display its furs at various international expositions, such as the Franco-British Exhibition, held in London, England, that same year Described as a "great merger of fur firms" by the press, in 1910 Holt Renfrew acquired Dunlop, Cook Co Limited, and established new premises at Montreal, on fashionable St Catherine St W, in addition to taking over the firm of W J Hammond, "the largest fur house in the West," at Winnipeg, Manitoba15 With the death of John H Holt in 1915, AE Renfrew was appointed company president, a position he held until his retirement in 191916

Holt Renfrew newspaper advertisement announcing the opening of a new Toronto store, The Globe, June 20, 1910

Haute Coutureedit

In 1937, in conjunction with the company’s 100th anniversary, Holt Renfrew unveiled a new six-storey Montreal headquarters and flagship store Designed by the Canadian architectural firm of Ross and Macdonald,17 the structure was built in what became known as the Streamline Moderne style of Art Deco18 Women’s Wear Daily wrote of the limestone structure, located at the corner of Sherbrooke and Mountain streets, as "one of the most modernly and attractively appointed retail establishments on this continent" and further commented that "throughout the store the aim has been to secure an effect of luxury and good taste"19 Press reports also noted the new store's commitment to haute couture and how "New York fashions, as well as London and Paris models, are represented in the dress, coat, sportswear, millinery and other fashion departments"20 Holt Renfrew also retailed the work of Canadian high-fashion designers such as Marie-Paule Nolin, whose salon and workroom were hosted by the store during the 1940s21

With the outbreak of armed conflict in Europe and Canada's early entry into World War II, Holt Renfrew's fashion reflected the new homefront realities With the rationing of textiles and other materials, the company's designs featured shorter sleeves and raised hemlines Retail expansion during this time was muted, with the exception of Holt Renfrew's acquisition of Simon Furs of Ottawa in 1945

Holt Renfrew's Montreal store, designed by the Canadian architectural firm Ross and Macdonald, under construction in 1937 The Art Deco structure was completed the same year as the chain's 100-year anniversary

New Lookedit

The conclusion of war saw Holt Renfrew re-emerge as Canada's leading furrier and fashion retailer, closely associated with the haute couture of the post-war era In 1947, on the eve of the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth, heir to the British throne, and Prince Philip, the company was commissioned by the Canadian government to design the country’s official wedding gift for the princess President Alvin J Walker flew to London, England, with a selection of 85 samples to personally show and take measurements for the Labrador wild mink coat22

Early in the post-war period, Holt Renfrew re-established close working relationships with the leading fashion houses of Europe and North America By 1947, Alvin Walker signed an agreement with the House of Christian Dior to sell its Paris haute couture in Canada With Dior's "New Look," and its renewed emphasis on luxury and femininity in women’s fashion making headlines, it was the beginning of an extended relationship that "linked the name of Holt Renfrew to the most famous fashion designer in the world at the time"23 The arrangement soon evolved into an exclusive one as Walker secured an agreement to solely represent Dior in the Canadian marketplace Newspaper ads for Dior fashion explicitly noted, "only at Holt Renfrew in all of Canada"24 Along with Dior, the couture models of other well-known Paris designers were also featured:

Holt Renfrew's own fashionists attended the recent Winter Openings of the leading couturiers in Paris The models selected by them are herethey have arrived by air express This collectionthe largest ever imported by HRpresents a composite and perfect picture of the New Fashion created by Paristhe dramatic "Wing Line" by CHRISTIAN DIORthe lovely subtle straightline with sudden flare sponsored by PIERRE BALMAINthe flattering backward drapery by JACQUES FATHthe sylph-line skirt and Bryonic corsage by MOLYNEUXthe higher waistline ROBERT PIGUETthe tubular skirt with stiffened pockets by JACQUES GRIFFEand the most perfect black dresses by BALENCIAGA Included are all types of costumes from the typically Parisian tailleurfor the morning promenade in the Boisto gay short evening dresses and formal gowns with daring decolletes and short irregular trains25

Holt Renfrew also secured exclusive Canadian rights to the haute couture of Italian designers Simonetta Visconti and Fabiani23 Its representatives not only made frequent trips to the fashion houses of Paris, London, New York and Milan but also attended all major fur and fashion shows One magazine writer commented on how the "eternal watchfulness of Holt Renfrew buyers on the world's fashion fronts and their close liaison with outstanding designers and creators of fashions plays an important part in the rapidly growing roster of Holt Renfrew customers"26 The company hosted some of the leading international designers In 1952, Mr Christian Dior was guest of honour at Holts in Montreal Three years later, Dior was present for a fashion show of his creations at Holt Renfrew's new Toronto store, located along the Mink Mile at 144 Bloor Street West - the country's first ever all stainless steel building, noteworthy for its "modern facade of blue glass and gleaming material"26 Dior models, from Paris and New York, were specially flown in for the runway event27

The 1950s also saw the retailer establish new stores in secondary markets, including Edmonton in 1950, Calgary and London in 1953 The chain also opened outlets in some of the country's most prominent luxury hotels, including the Royal York, the Chateau Frontenac, and the Chateau Laurier28

Mod and Miss Renfrewedit

The 1960s saw Holt Renfrew build on its reputation as a high-end luxury retailer, closely associated with the leading European fashion houses In 1962, it was announced that Holt Renfrew had secured an exclusive agreement to represent Paris designer Yves Saint Laurent and his haute couture in Canada At the same time, the chain promoted new, more affordable, ready-to-wear fashion designed to attract a younger clientele It established in-store shops for its Miss Renfrew line, marketed to "Young Careerists, College Girls, and Young Matrons," who wished to dress fashionably on a budget29

Holt Renfrew's retail expansion continued with mall openings at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre in 1964 and Place Ste-Foy, Quebec City, in 196530 By the mid-Sixties, Holt Renfrew experienced a change of ownership with the announcement that the Canadian Acceptance Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIT Financial of New York, had acquired 93 percent of the company’s shares - that after a brief period of ownership by English retailer Blackett & Son Ltd31 In 1971, Canadian Acceptance Corporation sold Holt Renfrew to Los Angeles-based department store holding company Broadway-Hale later renamed Carter Hawley Hale32

The decade also saw a change in leadership as Alvin J Walker retired after 25 years as company president in 1967 He was succeeded by Lenard M Shavick Shavick, who joined Holt Renfrew in the post-war years as a buyer, saw to the chain's continued close relationship with the fashion houses of Europe and North America with frequent buying trips aboard "Every year, Shavick makes three or four trips to the fashion capitals while his staff of 18 buyers follow through with as many as 60 or 70 of their own"33 Shavick further saw to the expansion of the chain's retail footprint with eleven new stores for a total of 23 outlets by 197133 He unveiled Holt Renfrew’s first West Coast store at the new Pacific Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1975 Four years later, he oversaw the development of the company’s new Toronto flagship store, at 50 Bloor Street West, with some 73,000 square feet of retail space, at a cost of $65 million34 In 1983, the chain's Edmonton branch opened a $6 million, 45,000 square foot store in Manulife Place - the city's newest and tallest building35

Weston eraedit

Holt Renfrew flagship store on Bloor Street in Toronto

The 1980s saw Holt Renfrew return to Canadian ownership after Carter Hawley Hale of Los Angeles put the chain, its only foreign asset, up for sale In April 1986, an agreement with Wittington Investments, a Weston family holding company led by W Galen Weston, was announced363738 With Michael Brickell as company president, Galen Weston as chairman and wife Hilary M Weston as vice-chairman, the chain underwent dramatic changes, including the introduction of new retail formats and extensive interior renovations to its lead Toronto and Montreal stores Some 7,000 square feet was gutted at the Bloor Street West flagship to accommodate new designer boutiques, as the retailer moved to restore a sense of luxury and intimacy New York retail designer Naomi Leff was hired to guide the renovations and changes to its merchandising mix In Montreal, work was undertaken to revitalize the grandeur of the original 1937 Art Deco architecture of the Sherbrooke St store Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent shops were added to both Toronto and Montreal39 A new high-end Holt Renfrew retail magazine, called "Point of View," was launched a year later

The 1990s, under president Joel Rath, saw further expansion with some 62 thousand square feet of retail space added, in particular to Holt's landmark Montreal store With adjoining buildings taken over, the $30 million expansion of the Sherbrooke Street site resulted in a doubling of space to accommodate luxury brand boutiques that included Chanel40 The decade closed with the appointment of veteran British retailer Andrew Jennings as company president41 Jennings vowed to make Holt Renfrew "one of the world's great fashion and lifestyle stores"8

Millenniumedit

Holt Renfrew in Calgary

The company entered the new millennium with the relaunch of its retail magazine under the name "Holts" The seasonal publication became separate women's and men's editions in 200630 Holt Renfrew also began sponsoring a series of large scale promotional events In 2002, it hosted 'Viva Italia,' a celebration of Italian fashion and the performing arts A year later, the retailer marked 'Flick,' a Sixites theme gala that coincided with the Toronto International Film Festival In 2004, Holt Renfrew and Vanity Fair presented 'Vinyl,' a "hot pink, style-in-the-groove" celebration of music and fashion42

With the departure of Andrew Jennings, Caryn Lerner took over as president in 2004 Lerner, the first woman to lead Holt Renfrew, had previously held senior management positions at QVC, Jones New York, Barneys New York and Bloomingdale's and Escada43 In 2005, Holt Renfrew underwent an extensive rebranding Led by Alannah Weston, creative director at Selfridges and daughter of Holt Renfew chairman W Galen Weston, a new logo, reflecting the company's historic past, and magenta colour was adopted across the chain44 Other changes included the return of children's wear and more retail space devoted to footwear

Holt Renfrew in Vancouver

More than three decades after opening its first Vancouver outlet, Holt Renfrew unveiled a new store at 737 Dunsmuir Street in June 2007 Described by one design critic as a "glossy monument to high-end chic45 the store featured a pillowed glass exterior and a three-storey atrium At 110,000 square feet, the new space represented more than double the retail square footage of the old store at 633 Granville Street, located at the opposite end of the Pacific Centre Two years later, a new Calgary store was officially unveiled Both retail spaces were the design work of the New York City firm of Janson Goldstein46

In 2010, Canadian retail executive Mark Derbyshire replaced Caryn Lerner as president47 Derbyshire expressed his desire to do more to appeal to the men's segment of the fashion market48

HR175edit

hr2 at Vaughan Mills

In 2012, Holt Renfrew marked its 175th anniversary with a series of major events across the country Birthday celebrations were capped off with the release of limited edition HR175 designer merchandise and a large street party at its Bloor Street West store Most recently, the company announced a new retail initiative called "hr2," a chain of outlets focused on mid-priced designer merchandise and luxury goods49

Todayedit

Holt Renfrew bills itself as "a national retail specialty store of international renown and the headquarters for the world’s most prestigious brands and innovative designers"4 It currently operates seven stores, located in Toronto Bloor Street, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and Square One, Montreal, The Core Shopping Centre in Downtown Calgary, Manulife Place in Downtown Edmonton, and the Pacific Centre mall in Downtown Vancouver On August 28, 2014, Holt Renfrew had announced the upcoming closure of the Ottawa and Quebec City stores4

There is also a "Last Call" end-of-the-line store at Vaughan Mills in Vaughan, Ontario4 The Last Call outlet in Winnipeg closed in 2007,50 and the remaining Holt Renfrew personal shopping suites and a cosmetics outlet in that city closed in 201551

The Bloor Street Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton locations include Holts Café, an informal diner-like restaurant concept, that features tartine made from Poilane bread that is flown in directly from Paris, France4 Holts Cafés are planned for Yorkdale, Square One, Calgary, and Vancouver the 80-seat Vancouver location will be designed by Yabu Pushelberg

Holt Renfrew also contributed to promote new brands, such as Greta Constantine, designed by Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong52

In August 2014, Holt Renfrew announced the closure of Quebec City and Ottawa locations in January 201553 Holt Renfrew's Square One 130,000-square-foot location opened on Thursday, July 28, 2016, while the much smaller Sherway Gardens location closed the previous Sunday54

See alsoedit

  • List of Canadian department stores

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Campbell, Jennifer "Toronto: Holt's opening party shows off top Canadian talent" October 20, 2009 1 FASHION magazine website article retrieved November 23, 2009
  2. ^ Baker, Ashley "Canadian footwear friends, please report for duty" February 15, 2007 Glamourcom, Fashion Blog: Slaves to Fashion 2 retrieved March 16, 2007
  3. ^ Eastwood, Alison If the Shoe Fits Marketing June 25, 2007, page 18
  4. ^ a b c d e Holt Renfrew, Official History, 3 retrieved March 16, 2007
  5. ^ a b "Holt Renfrew encompasses old and new with Place Ville Marie branch" Gazette, Montreal October 26, 1962 
  6. ^ "Advertisement" Quebec Gazette November 11, 1837 
  7. ^ a b Benoit, Jean "Renfrew, George Richard entry" Dictionary of Canadian Biography Retrieved 12 February 2013 
  8. ^ a b "Holt's - the mystique is growing, Alan D Gray, Gazette, Montreal, September 6, 1994" Women's Wear Daily September 6, 1994 
  9. ^ GR Renfrew & Co, Quebec and Toronto fur catalogue Quebec City 1890 
  10. ^ "Newspaper history" Chronicle-Telegraph, Quebec City December 30, 1933 
  11. ^ "GR Renfrew" Quebec Daily Telegraph, October 3, 1887 
  12. ^ "Every one of these dates marks an epoch in the history of this business" Toronto Daily Star, September 23, 1910 
  13. ^ "Fur fashions for 1911-1912" Holt, Renfrew & Co Limited 1911 
  14. ^ "GR Renfrew & Co advertisement" The Globe, Toronto September 30, 1889 
  15. ^ "Great Merger of Fur Firms" Chronicle, Quebec September 22, 1910 
  16. ^ "AE Renfrew passes, age 76" Globe and Mail September 24, 1941 
  17. ^ Construction Trade Review and Forecast, 1937-1938 1937–1938  Missing or empty |title= help
  18. ^ "Tracing evolution of modernism in Montreal" Gazette, Montreal, September 7, 1986 September 7, 1986 
  19. ^ "New Holt Renfrew home in Montreal" Women’s Wear Daily Sep 7, 1937 
  20. ^ "Holt Renfrew’s new Montreal store is opened" New York Herald Tribune Sep 14, 1937 
  21. ^ Cooper, Cynthia "Fashion Design in Canada" The Canadian Encyclopaedia Historica-Dominion Retrieved 12 November 2012 
  22. ^ "Fly 85 mink skins to UK Elizabeth to take choice" Toronto Daily Star October 10, 1947 
  23. ^ a b Palmer, Alexandra 2001 Couture and commerce - the transatlantic fashion trade in the 1950s UBC Press p 120 
  24. ^ "Regal Simplicity by Christian Dior advertisement" Globe and Mail October 27, 1955 
  25. ^ "From Paris direct to HR’s the important models by the Haute Couture" Globe and Mail September 16, 1948 
  26. ^ a b Ward, Wallace 19 September 1955 "HR – Holt Renfrew" The Montrealer 
  27. ^ Dickason, Olive October 28, 1955 "Fashions should be mirror of times" Globe and Mail 
  28. ^ Canadian Register of Commerce & Industry, University of Western Ontario, 4, retrieved March 16, 2007
  29. ^ "Meet Miss Renfrew advertisement" Toronto Daily Star September 9, 1960 
  30. ^ a b Sirant, Zenya Anniversary Party: After 170 Years, Holt Renfrew Takes a Moment to Look Back Holts Women's Fall 2007 pp 142-3
  31. ^ "Holt, Renfrew plans to expand modestly" Financial Post August 4, 1965 
  32. ^ "Broadway-Hale to Acquire 19-Store Canadian Retailer" Los Angeles Times December 22, 1971 p d13 Subscription required help Broadway-Hale Stores Inc of Los Angeles reported Tuesday that it has agreed to puchase sic Holt, Renfrew & Co Ltd, a 19-store Canadian fashion retailing chain, from a subsidiary of CIT Financial Corp Canadian Acceptance Corp, Ltd, a unit of New York-based CIT  Alternate Link via ProQuest
  33. ^ a b "Keeping Holt Haute" Citations, CIT, September 10, 1971 10 September 1971 
  34. ^ "High style, money and marble" Financial Times of Canada February 5, 1979 
  35. ^ "Company news - Holt Renfrew" Globe and Mail February 10, 1983 
  36. ^ Kidd, Kenneth February 19, 1986 "Galen Weston to buy elite Holt Renfrew" Toronto Star p B1 Subscription required help  Alternate Link via ProQuest
  37. ^ Rivera, Nancy February 19, 1986 "Carter Hawley to Sell Its 15-Store Unit in Canada" Los Angeles Times 
  38. ^ Dunn, Brian February 19, 1986 "Weston To Buy Holt Renfrew" Montreal Gazette pp F–1 
  39. ^ "No Holt’s barred" FLARE March 1988 
  40. ^ Gray, Alan D September 6, 1994 "Holt's - the mystique is growing" Gazette, Montreal 
  41. ^ "Holt Renfrew undergoes facelift" Globe and Mail September 13, 1999 
  42. ^ Women's Wear Daily November 13, 2012  Missing or empty |title= help
  43. ^ Kletter, Melanie "Lerner Named President at Holt Renfrew" Women's Wear Daily September 10, 2004
  44. ^ Walford, Jonathan "Canadian Fashion Connection – Holt Renfrew & Co" Johnathan Walford's blog Retrieved 6 February 2013 
  45. ^ Cannon, Robyn Roehm 1 October 2007 "Holt Renfrew's Luxe Look: Janson Goldstein brings global style to Vancouver, British Columbia" Interior Design 
  46. ^ "Holt Renfrew Opens Doors to New Calgary Flagship" CNW Group 2009-10-07 
  47. ^ "Holt Renfrew pulls presidential switch" Toronto Star January 8, 2010 Retrieved 20 March 2012 
  48. ^ Strauss, Marina September 6, 2012 "Holt Renfrew targets the fashion minded man" Globe and Mail 
  49. ^ "Holt Renfrew to launch lower priced chain in early 2013" National Post Retrieved 8 January 2013 
  50. ^ Kives, Bartley Downtown Mall Turns 20, Gains a Viable Identity Winnipeg Free Press September 16, 2007 Retrieved 2007-09-23
  51. ^ Holt Renfrew Locations - Winnipeg Holt Renfrew official site Retrieved 19 February 2009
  52. ^ 5 Vogue Magazine
  53. ^ http://wwwthestarcom/business/2014/08/28/holt_renfrew_to_close_stores_in_quebec_city_ottawahtml
  54. ^ http://wwwthestarcom/business/2016/02/10/holt-renfrew-to-close-sherway-gardens-storehtml

External linksedit

  • Official website

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