The Gallery on First Street opened at the beginning of April and focuses specifically on menswear. It is the spin-off store of its successful “cousin” shop The Gallery. Aaron Ellard, one of the store’s owners, says the major difference between The Gallery on First Street and The Gallery on 17th Avenue is their target audience. He says The Gallery on First Street maintains the same energy and style, but is also leaning towards a more sophisticated look for and older audience ranging from 25 to 50.
From a casual style with T-shirts, jackets and jeans, to accommodating a semi-formal look with ties, belts and shoulder bags, The Gallery on First Street carries some of my favourite casual wear labels including A.P.C., Qhuit, Penfield and Amongst Friends.
Speaking of labels, the store launched a new summer tank-top line called TOTO RICO, designed by Alberta DJ Teddy Celebration. The word “RICO”, meaning “Rich” in Spanish, derived from the designer’s experience of his last visit in Cuba. The inspiration came from Teddy’s recall of the vintage street fashions he saw Cuban locals wear. He felt their styles were unique and were setting themselves apart from the North American culture.
I found the theme of the tank-top prints reminded me of a vacation at a tropical hot spot. It definitely has a summer celebration feel to it. When I asked Teddy if he will diverge his designs beyond the summer season (since our winter occupies more than two-thirds of the year, here, in Calgary), he said that he currently wants to keep the classic tourist vibe in his line, and will focus on maintaining these designs as aesthetic as possible.
I could not help but purchase one of the “pineapple” print T-shirts. I am sure I will be wearing it when I attend outdoor parties this summer.
The Gallery on First Street will soon be undergoing renovation to impress their fans. This shop is one of the few places I found that creates a unique environment where clients may have a sense of relevance.
For more information about The Gallery on First Street, please visit their page: http://firststreetshop.blogspot.com/ or their store: 1312 1st Street S.W.
Words by Vincent Law
Photography by Eymeric Widling