Robber opened its white-washed doors in April of 2009, and since then has been clothing Queen Street West in the frocks of Australian label Lover and the shoes of London’s F-Troupe (which just so happen to make a lovely cameo in Issue 12’s Bibliophilles photoshoot). Busy bringing emerging designers — from Seattle to Las Vegas — here to Toronto, co-owner Erin takes the time to talk to WORN about wedding attire, Philip Sparks, and Hamilton.
What was your first favourite outfit as a kid?
A dress I wore to my dad’s wedding when I was eight years old. I think it was the first time I got to choose my own special occasion outfit, and I really went for it — it was a white tank dress with a blue, green, and pink plaid tiered skirt, and bows in the same plaid all over the front. I found a photo from that day recently and I still think I looked great!
Tell me the story of how Robber came to be.
I was unhappy at my old job in Vancouver. I started talking to my roommate Robin about it and we came up with the idea of opening a store together. I was also thinking of moving back to Toronto and the kind of shop we would want didn’t really exist yet here, so it seemed perfect. We had both worked in fashion in the past and Robin has an MBA, which made the business side much easier — I definitely couldn’t have done any of that part on my own!
Do you think shopping independent is important?
Yes. I’m from a small town and that’s the kind of shopping I’m used to anyway, so I’m glad we can help create that same sense of community in our area of the city. I love that I can get everything I need within a few blocks of my house, and that most of it will be unique and different from what you’d get somewhere else. And when you shop at an independent business you’re also supporting all the designers, artists, writers, etc. that they carry, and helping ensure they are paid fairly for their work and can continue with their craft. I’m not a total hippie, and of course I still shop at big-box stores, but I certainly aspire not to.