Although they may appreciate it as a fashion preference, most men, I as one assume, don’t particularly understand a woman’s passion for “vintage.” Having met Louise Cooper, owner of The Cat’s Meow, I now get that it is an aesthetic that favours originality, quality, the timelessness of classic couture design and is “a validation of your own style choice.”
The Cat’s Meow is high-end vintage: expertly curated and lovingly restored. Brand names like Hermes, Chanel, Dior and Yves St. Laurent are calling cards for the discerning patrons. Louise Cooper’s specialty is in finding unique vintage dresses; so popular now that brides are begging for vintage and 12-year old bat-mitzvah girls are clamouring for vintage in which to celebrate their milestone.
Louise’s expertise in authenticating pieces comes from her years of experience. She discerns the legitimacy of the real thing compared to an imitation by way of “the feel, the heft, the stitching, the smell of glue, the colour, the finish on the raw edges” of a piece. And this is critical to the business: an authentic vintage Kelly bag can sell for $50,000 and some bags can garner $200,000! From her point of view the boutique represents and upholds authenticity; she feels that classic designer boutiques have perhaps sacrificed a certain niche of character by expanding into massive stores in today’s corporate world.
Louise opened the business in 2006 and has seen it grow in step with the fervent interest in vintage. In fact, the calibre of her boutique has converted many into vintage devotees. Look for the Cat’s Meow’s landmark: the well-dressed (albeit headless) mannequin showing off her vintage frock from the balcony above the storefront.
180 Avenue Rd.
Louise Cooper’s Favourite Yorkville Spots:
The Host for Indian food
Joso’s for fantastic seafood
Message to Anisn / Vinll:
“Support local industry, business – it’s important!”
Bottom Line re Vintage:
“It is still paying homage to good design.”