"Shop Talk" is a recurring feature in which we visit some of our favorite stores and highlight their stylish employees. Today, meet Alexandra Kokkinos, Brand Coordator at Mackage's headquarters, which are located in Montreal. Alexandra took us on a tour of the Canadian brand's Soho store and showed us some of their chic spring pieces. As an added bonus, today only you can save 25% both in-store and online on the spring collection. Just use the code Stylelist25.
How would you describe Mackage in one word?
Mackage's first store is in New York, not Montreal. What has the reception been like?
I think people like the idea of a Canadian brand. They are always so surprised when they hear that our clothes are made in Canada! They are like, 'Oh, that's so cool!" and then they always start naming other Canadian brands. I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, we know those too." Then New Yorkers always ask if we say "eh" all the time. I can't help it!
We have really harsh winters in Canada, so when customers see Canadian's offering outerwear, they trust us. It gets really cold.
What is the biggest difference in style between New York and Montreal?
I don’t feel like Montreal is that different than New York. Soho reminds me of old Montreal - the nightlife, the style. In New York, people are a little bit more gutsy. In Montreal, we keep it down a notch. New York likes much higher fashion and it's all black, while we are very European. We do a lot of black, but if we were in Paris it would be a different story. I would do brighter colors, reds, blues and yellows. In Europe, they go straight for the red coat. In Montreal we see people walking around in more bright coats and I always think, "hey, that doesn't look so bad."
What are your favorite pieces in the collection?
This beautiful flowy piece that has a tight dress underneath. If you’re pulling a “Marilyn Monroe,” this is the dress. I love the leather jackets, this one for spring is baby lamb, soft as butter, and it has a knit in the sleeve so it will actually help keep it nice and fit. I also love this skirt, it’s shorter in the back so it’s very flattering and makes you look a lot thinner. Right now, I am wearing a blazer from the second delivery. I love navy! And, of course, I am wearing the leather stretch pants that we have in every collection, fall or spring.
Do you have any tips for pulling off leather pants?
I love these because they are just like leggings. If I want to go out, I’m not going to wear a pair of the American Apparel shiny leggings, even though I think they’re cool. I want to wear something a little more edgy and I love leather. Theses are the best because they’re tight all the way down. They are so popular, everyone loves the fit, they are so easy to wear. They have a fly, not zippers on the side, so it is like wearing a piar of jeans.
What are the best pieces to wear on a date?
If I am going out, I need a dress that will make my stomach look flat even if I'm not feeling flat that day. These dresses that have that bandaging quality do just that. And then, it can be any color. Black would be my choice. Our designer was wearing one today and she’s 5 months pregnant! And, it looked stunning on her. Because of the cinched lines and the color blocking it just went well.