Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Ian Warong.
LAB Consignment (in the studio behind Silver Falls, 15 Ossington Ave., labconsignment.com)
The first time I went to LAB was for the store’s launch party: K-OS was spinning, flashbulbs were popping, and celebrities from the invite-only guest list were forming in cliques around the consignment merch on display. On my second LAB visit, things were much more low-key. I chatted with Lauren Baker, LAB’s owner and no-big-deal It girl on the backyard patio, which was complete with a ruby red BBQ and empty bottles of Veuve Clicquot.
LAB used to be synonymous with monthly pop-up sales that would cause spontaneous buzz and happiness in unsuspecting areas of the city. Now that Baker has opened her first-ever, permanent location, the waiting is over for deals on gently used, almost new designer fare like vintage Trussardi handbags, Rich and Skinny jeans, or a knitted Marc by Marc Jacobs summer sweater. The bad news? We may never want to shop retail again.
What does it take to make it into the LAB closet?
“The piece has to be contemporary, within two years, and it has to be in impeccable shape. The only mall stores I’ll accept are Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Aritzia (no TNA), and of course I accept major labels and designers. I’ll take vintage if I feel it’s on trend.”
What’s the difference between vintage and consignment? You chose to put a consignment store in the back room of a vintage boutique. Would someone walking through the space, going from Silver Falls into the LAB notice a transition of sorts?
“I’m so happy you asked that question. People have been calling LAB a vintage store because there’s a misconception that vintage is synonymous with resale and consignment, which it’s not. Vintage is a garment that is 20 years older or more. So the ’90s wouldn’t be vintage but the ’80s would. Consignment is just another term for resale—the majority of clothes in LAB are contemporary; most are less than two years old. [Silver Falls and LAB] have got a bit of everything in this space—furniture, vintage, and consignment. [laughing] We’re like a mini mall between the two of us!”