neighbour concept store

These Are The Brands Neighbour’s Saager Dilawri is Excited About Now

File under wardrobe updates to feel good about.

Concept stores have cropped up in most major cities over the past decade, an amalgam of fashion, beauty and grooming products, décor items and other objets that speak to those in search of a well-curated life. Much of the success of these boutiques depends on the considered eye of its owner; Neighbour, which first opened its doors in Vancouver’s Gastown area in 2011, is helmed by Saager Dilawri and his wife, Karyna Schultz, who have cemented their distinction as Canadian retail visionaries thanks to Neighbour’s covetable selection of wares.

When Dilawri graduated from Parsons School of Design, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to “get into the fashion design aspect” of the industry. “But I had a good vision of what I’d want a multi-brand shop to be,” he notes. And this has certainly proved to be true—since launching as a menswear shop, Neighbour’s reach has expanded to include a women’s store and a spot to find décor items in Vancouver, as well as another location in Toronto.

neighbour concept store

The expansion speaks volumes about the duo’s ability to seek out what piques the interest of customers looking for pieces that have meaning and make sense in their wardrobes. “At the end of the day, we’re selling a product that we want to be able to explain to people, so if there’s a good back story to it and it aligns with the value of the actual garment, that’s something we look at,” says Dilawri.

Schultz is equally as mindful about the skincare products she selects for the store; right now Neighbour carries New Zealand’s Sans Ceuticals and Susanne Kaufmann, a line that sources much of its ingredients from a 150km radius around the Austrian locale where the products were initially developed. “They all have a bit of story,” says Dilawri about the goods they choose to stock.

Neighbour’s current seasonal offering includes pieces from London-based line Shrimps, Swedish brand Our Legacy (which the retailer has sold since opening its doors), and current fashion world favourite Bode. Neighbour was the first to carry designer Emily Adams Bode’s pieces when she launched her line, which recently won the Woolmark Prize: Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, and the brand has garnered much attention for the use of vintage fabrics. Dilawri says it’s been exciting “to see how it’s evolved to be one of the top five most interesting brands out there right now.”

Another brand Dilawri brought into the shop after “falling in love” is Camiel Fortgens. “At first it kind of looks like an elevated school project. There’s a lot of fraying and exposed seams and a mix of fabrics,” he says about the industrial designer-turned-fashion phenom’s unisex garments. “Everything fits so well, and the fabrics are from really nice mills throughout Italy and the UK.” We’re also enamoured.

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