Baracos + Brand Grand Opening
Take note West Van, you have a new neighbour: Baracos + Brand just opened on Bellevue Avenue. I was there to celebrate the grand opening of this menswear store. Though I didn’t get to shop for myself, I did find quite a few items that I would buy… if only I were a dude. Catered by Roaming Dragon, we drank, ate and nibbled on delicious mini chocolate cakes from Crema. Oh, did I mention that there was and a candy bar?
I had the opportunity to chat with owner Christine Baracos.
Adele: Slowly, there have been more and more menswear stores opening in Vancouver. Why did you decide to open Baracos + Brand?
Christine: I actually owned a traditional menswear store in the same location with a business partner for 19 years. When he decided to retire, we closed The Mensroom and I opened up my own menswear store in September 2012. The Mensroom had a fabulous customer base but they were getting older and needed less. So I decided to go after a younger more contemporary customer that I wasn’t attracting in the old store.
A: Can you tell me a bit about the brands that you carry?
C: I carry Hugo Boss Black Label which is best known for their suits and jackets, but within the Black label are also jeans, casual shirts, accessories and outerwear. Sand from Copenhagen is amazing. It’s also a collection, so it has everything from dress to casual. The fit is definitely current and trim but not skinny. Also from Denmark is Bruun and Stengade – a label known for their shirt and sweater combinations. In denim we have Joe’s Jeans, 34 Heritage, DL 1961, Brax and Hiltl.
Our selection of sportswear is tremendous with labels such as Bugatchi, best known for their shirts with contrasting collars and cuffs and Vince known for their knits. We have a large selection of German shirts from labels such as Pure, Haupt and Jacque Britt. We are proud to introduce the Paul Betenly suit, made from Italian wool for $399. The company is vertical so they own the sheep, mill the wool and make the suit all under one company, no middleman!
A: How can a man tell if he’s wearing the correct size suit?
C: The size of the suit is based on the chest measurement, so if it doesn’t fit in the chest it’s not going to look good.
A: If a man’s going to buy ONE really great suit – what colour should it be?
C: The Hugo Boss plain black suit ($995) would take you anywhere from a job interview to a wedding. Change the accessories to reflect the occasion, think of it like a blank canvas.
A: It’s getting colder, what’s a warmer piece you sell in store that every man should own?
C: A classic wool carcoat that is long enough to wear over a suit jacket but can still be worn casually. I love the Hugo Boss version that comes in charcoal and black ($695). Honestly every guy who has tried it on has bought it!
A: I have a budget of $300 and need to buy something for my man. What should I buy?
C: Accessories are really fun. The trend is really colourful socks ($20-$38), classic cashmere scarves ($198) or great cufflinks ($75-$195). I would put together a combination package of a few of these things.
A: What is the most popular selling item in your store at this moment?
C: The Paul Betenly suit ($399). It comes in 100% Italian wool in light grey, charcoal, navy, and black as well as 3 different striped variations.
A: Any tips for the man that wants to be more dapper, but doesn’t know where to start?
C: Get one of the new unconstructed jackets (blazers) that look like a jacket but feel like a cardigan. Pair it with dark denim and a crisp shirt, guaranteed you’ll be dapper!
A: Name a trend for fall.
C: Checked pattern suits and jackets and jackets with elbow patches (I know that’s 2!)
A: What music is playing on your store’s playlist?
C: I definitely need help with this – nothing seems to be perfect. Top 40 right now.
Baracos + Brand
1411 Bellevue Avenue
West Vancouver, BC
Follow Baracos + Brand on twitter at @baracosandbrand