Fox Sparrow Vintage Boutique Flies Into Calgary

No fashion trends for next season girls. The fashion world has spoken. The demise of the “IT” bag, “IT” shoe, the "IT" whatever has come to pass. Lets hope we can say that about this recession soon! Can I get an Amen?


Finally, fashion has chosen to take a break. Allowing for more constructive thinking of what it means to be fashionable with style and obtaining the skill of shopping with attention to quality and detail. “What they all did was play to their strengths – nail the very DNA of their brands.” This news from Elle UK’s S/S 09 Catwalk Report, “There was nothing that gelled these big fashion thinkers together-no trends.”

It’s more about a relaxed approach to fashion now and taking the time to focus on the details of a garment and building individualistic style.
In Calgary, this quest for the one of a kind item is what has brought Heather Saitz and Lindsay Sutton together.

They have chosen not just Calgary but the entire world to show just exactly how to find those ‘I have to have that!” piece with their new online-only vintage boutique Fox Sparrow.

“For me the initial concept came about because number one I love love love vintage and I also love eBay! So when I want to buy vintage I will typically go to eBay because you can find things that are uber original,” Saitz says, “I first bought a jacket from eBay… it’s a vintage piece but it’s a “key” vintage piece.”

Sutton, who holds a drawing degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design, first showed her talent for attention to detail with the label Loyal Loot Clothing in 2004. Which, she worked on with award-winning furniture/interior designer Doha Chebib.

In a turn of direction, Loyal Loot has gone on to become Loyal Loot Collective with their focus being on forward thinking interior design and objects for the home, office and workplace.

Saitz holds in one hand a degree in photography and creative advertising and in the other photography awards. She recently received an Applied Arts Award in 2008 for some of her photography work. She also holds a full time job as an art director at an advertising agency here in the city, while Sutton works for Veer.

For these business partners, life is 100% detail.
eBay.about.com explains an important part of running an eBay business is the detailing of the product, have no fear this is a section that Heather and Lindsay have covered with full product details of each item listed.

"When we pick pieces we look for things that are really unique…”Sutton says, “I think that is the thing that is the most desirable aspect of vintage. That it is a one of a kind, so you aren’t going to run into another person on the street wearing the exact same outfit."

The slight twinge of dismay when the outfit you have on is walking toward you on somebody else is something every girl knows about!

“Like I bought a coat at Zara,” Lindsay starts, from the word Zara you can already tell which way the story is going! “…Which, I loved so much because of its crazy print but really, walking down the street and seeing someone else wearing it, it’s like...” Sutton gives a look of disappointment and throws her hands up as if to say ‘noooo!’ “…And it’s so obvious you are wearing the same coat!” she exclaims. “So it’s really about having a piece that nobody else has.” she finishes with once the shared emotion passes.

"…But really,” Saitz begins again, “With vintage, you may be paying a premium for a used piece of clothing but chances are this item is probably made better than the Le Chateau pair of boots that was mass produced in our times. Anything vintage will last you longer.”

“We try to find pieces that are really good quality…” Saitz continues, “We are also honest so we mention if there is a flaw or anything that we feel would be information needed before a bid can be made so the customer bids accordingly.”
A problem with shopping these days is that shopping at the mall in mass produced stores such as H+M allow for affordable fashion yet fail to last. “Nothing lasts anymore, nothing lasts I can’t buy shoes that will last me more than a season but I have vintage bags, shoes and jackets that I have had and used for over five years and it was already 20, 30 years old when I bought them and they are still holding up,” Sutton says of the longevity of vintage products she has purchased in the past.

The online-only boutique is the vintage shoppers delight with clean and detailed shots of each product. It feels as if you have just stepped into their very own private boutique right in your living room. “I think just because you are selling fashion on the Internet doesn’t mean it should be any different from selling fashion on 17th Avenue or selling it on Queen Street in Toronto,” says Saitz.
“It has to be marketed well, you have to show the people your brand, what you are into. I mean yes the clothes are good quality, the styling is good quality and this is how you can wear it.”

Saitz handles all the design aspect of the store as well as the photography, while Sutton handles the creative direction and styling.

The auctions for items on Fox Sparrow go up every 10 days with time approximately 3 days in between to allow Heather and Lindsay to shop, style, plan and fix the boutique for another round of auctions.

Auctions for this week started on January 10, 2009. Fox Sparrow will also have items on auction for men in the near future.

Visit the Fox Sparrow Vintage Boutique

Images courtesy of Fox Sparrow Boutique
Photography: Heather Saitz
Styling: Lindsay Sutton

Written for publication in The Reflector

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