Jamie Katzman, owner and president of the Boathouse chain of clothing stores, is pretty chuffed.
He’s got the Canadian exclusive on Abbey Dawn, a colourful line of punk-inspired casualwear from multi-platinum award-winning singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne.
“It just sort of happened,” he told Metro when the line debuted in his downtown-Toronto store earlier this week. “We were introduced through a friend of a friend. I was familiar with Avril’s line, and heard that she knew and had shopped at Boathouse… and a few months later, I’m standing with her in the store at the launch.”
“I’m excited to have my clothes at Boathouse — it’s a good match,” said Lavigne, who was on hand to introduce Abbey Dawn (her childhood nickname) and meet with 50 fans who had won tickets to the launch via a Boathouse contest. She describes her line as “rock ’n’ roll, playful and fun,” a mix-and-match collection of her personal style. “You can throw on the skinny jeans with heels, a Chanel bag, mix it with Betsey Johnson — it’s fun, fashion is fun,” she said.
Youthful and bold in the singer’s favourite colours — black, white, red, hot pink and purple — the clothes are exactly what one might expect of Lavigne: An exuberant mix of prep-school-gone-punk graphic tees, cropped vests, short plaid kilts, skinny jeans, edgy-cute accessories, and hoodies, lots of hoodies. “I pretty much wear hoodies every day,” she said. In fact, her day’s ensemble of choice was her own Abbey Dawn “I Always Get What I Want” hoody and black leggings. “I don’t want to jinx it!” she exclaimed when asked whether she does actually always get what she wants.
“I like that she wears her own label,” said Alyssa Chin, 20, who was at the event with her sister, Kamille, 23, a contest winner. “A lot of celebrities design clothing but don’t wear their stuff. It’s good Avril does.”
Although Abbey Dawn has until now been available only south of the border, Lavigne was not the only launch attendee wearing her clothes. Aren Adamian, 16, “a fan since day one,” was kitted out in a black-and-white Abbey Dawn hoody and plaid shorts he’d picked up at the U.S. retailer Kohl’s. (According to Lavigne, many of her guy friends are already pestering her to start designing for them. She’s thinking about it, and points to certain pieces, like the hoodies, as already appropriate for unisex wear.)
At the moment, Lavigne says she’s working on dresses and other items she’ll roll out later in the year. “There’ll be new offerings every six to eight weeks,” confirmed Katzman.
Abbey Dawn ranges in price from $14.99 for accessories to $59.99 for a soft hooded blazer, and is currently available at 15 of Katzman’s 37 Boathouse locations (www.boathousestores.com). It’ll be in the rest of the stores in November — and psst! the dresses are slated for the holiday collection, which should launch around then, too.