Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Petra Karthaus and COVID-19


Petra Karthaus and COVID-19

Dear customers and friends,

The fear about the coronavirus has the whole world in its grip. Here along Bloor Street, and in the Manulife Centre, shops have reduced their hours and changed their methods of operation. Here at Petra Karthaus, we are doing the same:

We will be opening on Mondays through Saturdays from 11:00 am till 5:00 pm by appointment only and will remain closed on Sundays. 

Our first priority is the health and safety of our guests and employees. We have increased our cleaning practices and disinfected the store; there's a lot more hand-washing going on; and we are careful to maintain our social distances.

Manulife has removed the tables in the food court areas - takeout is still available. Unfortunately, EATALY has closed its restaurants but its food markets remain open.

Petra Karthaus has postponed in-store events until further notice.

Shopping by Appointment and Facetime/Whatsapp

If you would like to shop by appointment please call or send an email and we will arrange a time for you to visit us for a private shopping experience. We also help our customers shop using Facetime or Whatsapp - we'll model and you choose! - and of course we can email you photos. Check us out on Instagram where we will be posting more than usual-and if you see items you like-we would gladly deliver to you!

What's important now is to remember that we are all in this together. 

+ Stay in touch. Call people you know and make sure they're okay during this period of self-isolation.

+ Help out your elderly family members and neighbors by offering to run errands for them.

And if you feel that in these trying times you could use a little retail therapy, then drop by Petra Karthaus. Better still, give us a call, and arrange a private appointment to visit.

This is not the first crisis we'll weather together, and it won't be the last. But together we will get through anything. 

Stay safe!

Sincerely,
Dorothea Merritt and the Petra Karthaus team

Saturday, 14 December 2019

All I Want for Christmas is You



Truth is, we’re not usually big fans of Mariah Carey. But given the current mood of the world, what with climate emergency, Twitter tantrums, and Social Media...

Should we move Christmas up by a week or so?

We love this time of year. We have a big tree and decorations at home from December 1.

We look in shop windows, at all the fairy lights. We even look forward to some last minute shopping.

Lights out. Candles on. Tree lit. We invite over friends family, and some who may not have much family. It’s about caring and sharing.It is magic.






Our gifts are usually fashion and food: scarves, tops, gloves, a necklace; chocolates, cookies,French wine, and this year balsamic vinegar from EATALY.(While you’re there, pick up some fresh butternut squash ravioli, toss with butter and sage).

Even the smallest gift should  be wrapped beautifully.


PK’s GIFT PICKS










































                                   

So yes, we’re going to move Christmas up a bit early this year at PK. We’ll have cookies and chocolates in-store; we’ll spread a little cheer. We invite you to come out where the people are. Soak in the hustle bustle and holiday music. And even if Santa Claus ain’t real -that so far hasn’t stopped him.

More of PK’s GIFT PICKS






























Monday, 14 October 2019

Turning Heads for 30 Years and Counting



 

Turning Heads for 30 Years and Counting

We opened our doors in 1989, which we’d argue was a rather forgettable time in women’s fashion. It was dominated by baggy clothes, involved patterns, an appropriation of the men’s sport coat and very bad hair.

Somewhere along the way, elegance gave way to, well, silliness. Our mission was to reintroduce the timeless European look and a simpler style. Our vision was a place where women who knew enough to know what “classic’ meant had a place to find it. And for 30 years, they have.

Many of our customers have been with us since the beginning. Some of their kids now come to us, which is great fun, especially if they used to come in with their moms when they were youngsters.

And for 30 years, Dorothea’s been the one constant. Her vision for fashion is what’s kept our doors open and our fabulous brands returning.

We sat down with Dorothea for a look back and a look ahead.



Petra’s Closet (PC)
First of all, happy anniversary. Three decades is quite an accomplishment, especially given the ebbs and flows of the fashion business. To what do you attribute your success and longevity?

Dorothea Merritt (DM):
Being in the “luxury goods” category of fashion has sheltered us from the volatility in mid and fast fashion categories. No matter what’s going on around us, there will always be people who know what quality is. And Yorkville is where they come to find it, so we couldn’t have picked a better spot.

PC
Who were your early influences?

DM
Well, my father was traditional and the headmaster of a large boarding school. I learned a lot of common sense from him, although I didn’t realize it at the time. He was very good at communicating (I hope I got some of his communications skills). I definitely inherited his ability to remember names, and that’s a real asset in retail.

Another early influence was Jil Sander, which is where I got my first job in the industry and was exposed to everything from fabric quality to design to production to retail. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of today’s Jil Sander minimalist look. But at that time, Jil Sander was about simple unadorned garments made of high-quality material, exquisitely tailored and crafted. Some of that still exists. For example, I love this cashmere blend sweater from our Naples Collection.



PC
And what’s your secret for keeping pace for 30 years?

DM
Well, as my husband reminds me: building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to pace yourself. I make a lot of time for me. When I go on buying trips, I make sure to hit a park or a river bank for a stroll. I try new restaurants. I see things. If time permits, I’ll go horseback riding. It’s very relaxing. I’m proud of my work/life balance.

 


PC
What else are you proud of?

DM
I’m proud of our perseverance. We’ve made mistakes (too many to count), but we stuck to the vision. I’m proud of our character. We’re honest. We’re fair. And we’re not afraid to tell a customer that something’s not right for them. It’s not about the sale here. It’s about the way our customers feel. And I’m very proud of how well-liked we are by our customers. I love meeting them and working with them and finding the right looks for them, their lives and their budgets.

























PC
Speaking of your clothes, what’s exciting you these days?

DM
Italy is really on my radar right now. They’re hitting winner after winner.

This new cashmere knitwear collection from Naples is a great example. It’s gorgeous fabric. We’re visiting with the designer team and the production people again in January 2020.



And Italian jewellery is exciting me too. Our supplier is a two-man team out of Milan and they’re really surprising us. We’ll see them in January too.







 


PC
That’s good timing, given that Eataly is opening up shortly in the Manulife Centre where you are.


DM
Yes! And we had new pop art commissioned for the store for the occasion. I can’t wait to see it.

PC
Do you see yourself retiring any time soon?

DM
This is what I like to do with my life. My husband and I never say we’re looking forward to a nice weekend. Our weekends are no different from the rest of the week, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m blessed that every day is great.

PC
Any tips for those young fashionistas?

DM
This is a creative business so don’t separate work and play. If you do it right, work is play. It’s supposed to be fun. Great ideas come from a place of positivity.

Also, manners matter. We thank our customers for coming to the store and we say, “We look forward to seeing you again.” We want them to feel comfortable to “drop by.” When we hire someone I like to say, “You’re hired, but just so you know we say please and thank you, we open doors for people and we don’t gossip.”

PC
Perfect place to stop. Congratulations again. And thank you. : )

DM
No, thank you. : )


Some highlights from Petra Karthaus on Instagram