There’s a new clothing boutique (and website) in Toronto that curates a selection of fresh, modern and functional active and loungewear for the contemporary, fashion-forward woman (read: us!). relevé was founded by former dancer (and mom of two) Gillian Medina to offer women clothing and accessories that don’t just complement their lives but gear them up for whatever it is that their day may bring. Whether it’s a workout, a school drop-off/pick-up, your work from home uniform or a patio dinner, the store’s brands and curation are designed to complement the modern woman’s daily life and everything that she fits into it! And they ship worldwide! We chatted with Gillian to find out more. —Noa Nichol
Hi Gillian! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background to start!
Dance and fitness have been an integral part of my life since I was a young girl and as a result, long before it became mainstream, athleisure has always been my go-to wardrobe preference. Now as a busy mom and entrepreneur, there’s nothing that suits my lifestyle better. I want to look stylish but I also want my clothing to be functional. I was always on the hunt for brands and pieces that could take me through my day—from a morning workout, to work, to school pick-ups, to dinner out!
When and why did you launch relevé (and please, fill us in on the meaning behind the name!)? What niche were/are you aiming to fill in the fashion space (and, when it comes to your website, the online shopping space)? What is your business philosophy?
I always had the ambition to open my own clothing business and the concept of a boutique designed to make women’s fashion choices and lives easier, made the most sense to me. I chose the name relevé (which means to rise up in dance) because I thought of myself as rising to the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur and starting my business from the ground up. Many people (myself included) love to shop in person but I’ve discovered that busy customers are equally happy to have the convenience of a reliable online shopping experience. The online store offers that option to our customers who are either too busy to shop in person or who live too far away to come into the store. As for my business philosophy, I want our customers shopping experience to always be time well spent and as such, I strive to provide relevé customers with a high standard of customer service that will make their shopping experience seamless, whether it be in-store or online.
We are so impressed by not only the number but the quality of brands and clothing, accessories and self-care items you offer; how do you choose what to carry, and who to partner with? Is every item a personal pick (by you/your team)?!
Over the years, I have had favourite brands that I felt relevé customers would love, too. I decided to combine as many of my own go-to active wear and lounge wear fashion choices in a one-stop shop where (as I said earlier) our customers will feel confident that a visit to relevé is time well spent. Our clothing is made from luxurious fabrics like bamboo, cotton blends and some with recycled material to create ultimate breathability and comfort. I am constantly building relevé’s selections to have something for everyone whether they are doing personal shopping or looking for a special gift for someone else.
What’s your personal style mantra, and how does it inform your business?
My style mantra is definitely fitness and fashion. My preference for athleisure clothing over more restrictive wardrobe choices of the past informs my business because I feel so many other women also want to look great and feel comfortable in beautiful on-trend fashions that can carry them throughout their busy days.
Any insights as to what is currently hot on the relevé roster for fall/winter? Top current bestsellers as we head into the colder months?
Some of the top current bestsellers as we move into the colder months are definitely our bestselling Alo Airlift and Airbrush Leggings and our super cozy Aviator Nation pieces. Donni’s newest Sweater Bra Top, Sweater Button Down and Sweater Henley sweatpants are killer transitional pieces. Stay tuned for the arrival of our The Upside, Alo, and Michael Lauren Sherpa’s and all the cosy socks from Stance!
Win! A $250 relevé Gift Card!
Congrats Catherine C. of Sainte-Sophie QC, who will receive a $250 relevé gift card! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.