A new standalone store for October’s Very Own, the clothing brand of Drake’s business partner Oliver El-Khatib, opened in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre Saturday (Aug. 5).
The mall, Canada’s fourth largest, is located about 10 minutes away from where Drake grew up in Forest Hill.
Lines began forming Friday 8 a.m. to get first dibs on the OVO gear, Yorkdale publicist Adrienne Simic tells Billboard. “People will be moved outside overnight and then back in at 5:30 a.m.” On Saturday, she reported more than one thousand people had lined up.
By early afternoon, Drake had still not made an appearance at the store, but the rapper is in town for his annual OVO Fest this weekend.
The first concert is Saturday night at RBC Echo Beach (feat. Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Kranium, Charly Black, Ultimate Rejects) as part of the Toronto Carnival Edition. Drake’s main event is Monday at the Budweiser Stage (feat. Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, DVSN, Majid Jordan, Roy Woods).
The 2-million square-foot Yorkdale — a madhouse at the best of times — opened in 1964 but has more recently undergone renovations and increased retail space to house more than 270 shops, many of them luxury brands, including Chanel, Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Jimmy Choo and Gucci.
The OVO store, located in the mall’s new expansion wing, is Toronto’s second (the first opened downtown). Other shops are located in Los Angeles and New York.
“At an impressive 1,600 square feet, the Yorkdale Flagship has been designed to provide a truly elevated OVO retail experience — offering luxury apparel, capsule collections and exclusive drops from OVO,” the press release states. “Uniform to the Flagships before it, the store’s attention to luxury design and immaculate detail is a physical manifestation of the products offered.”
The luxury streetwear brand, led by El-Khatib and creative team, includes T-shirts and tanks ($40-$88), ball caps ($48), keychains ($12-$15), track pants ($118), hoodies ($148-$158), and phone cases ($38) — most with the famous gold owl insignia. Those are available online but the items in the store appear to be more high-end and include sweaters, jackets and shoes. No word if the online items are available in the Yorkdale store.
In his teens, El-Khatib was drawn to the fashion industry as a potential career. He volunteered at downtown clothing store Lounge, which became a legit full-time job. As the store’s manager and buyer, he turned the tiny shop opposite MuchMusic television station into a hub. It was the place to stop by, not just to see check out the new Rocawear or other urban brands on the shelves, but to listen to the music playing and see who was hanging out. It’s also where he met Drake.