Carbon: The Future of Yonge and Eglinton

The row of boutiques and restaurants that compose the best strip of Yonge Street, a few blocks north of Eglinton Ave., has never been particularly…young. In recent years, a glut of condo developments has lured a crop of 20- and 30-somethings to the ‘hood, but the yuppie-friendly local retailers have been slow to adapt. Carbon, a men’s clothing boutique, which opened in June but officially launched last month, is aiming to change that.

Carbon offers a thoughtful mix of modern and classic styles, with a décor of slick black-tiled countertops, vintage bicycles and industrial fencing. The shop may be known best for its eco-friendly offerings; labels like Alternative Apparel and Loomstate make well-fitting basics with either organic or recycled cotton and sustainable manufacturing practices.

Other highlights include shirts by Arnold Zimberg, which offer a colourful West Coast levity to offset the severity of Mackage’s sharply tailored coats, which hang nearby. A line of T-shirts featuring the designs of Toronto artist Leon Vymenets is made exclusively for the store. And as with many retailers, trendy jeans subsidize the esoteric offerings; Nudie Jeans, a Swedish label that makes raw denim, is a best-seller. (Owner Alex Mazelow admits, “They’re our bread and butter.”)

Above all, Mazelow hopes, customer service will set him apart. Already, he says, “I know most of my customers by name, and I ask them for feedback.” He’ll open at unusual hours if it’s requested, and alterations are all free. And for customers in the ’hood, Mazelow has been known to deliver the altered goods himself. It’s his way of saying, Welcome to the neighbourhood.

Carbon, 2581 Yonge St. 416-487-0795.

Image courtesy of Rinzler Photography.

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