For over 35 years, Over The Rainbow has been Toronto’s biggest denim destination. For those girls looking for the holy grail of dungarees – those perfect wash, perfect fit, perfect had-’em-forever look – the store is retail and jean-therapy rolled into one 5,000+ sq ft. space. We checked in with owner Joel Carmen and his crew to find out the secrets to their success:
1) They keep it in the family. Both Carmen’s kids work for the company full time and the corporate atmosphere fosters fierce loyalty. In fact, the head womenswear buyer has been with them for over 15 years.
2) They know alterations. Unless you’re a model, you’re getting your denim hemmed and the best way to get the best length is to get it done by a pro. That’s why OTR keeps an alterations person on staff AND on-site. Need it taken it at the waist? No problem! Want your jeans to be cropped a la Isabel Marant? Just wait a few minutes. You can even choose the hemming style you want (yes, there’s more than one option), and the store is one of the few that offers European hems in the entire city.
3) They keep in fresh. While denim styles may not change that much, OTR’s denim stock certainly does. The store never keeps anything past a season — styles that are’t sold are moved off-site or given away to charity — guaranteeing that you’re always in-season.
4) They love Canadian Fashion. The OTR team are big supporters of homegrown talent. The store stocks tons of Canadian goodies – from the iconic Canada Goose parka to Vancouver denim fave Fidelity, as well as fledgling designers like Toronto’s Jules Power.
5) They are pro-choice (for jeans). Perhaps more than any other retailer, OTR understands that girls really, really, really like having more than one pair of jeans and therefore need lots and lots of OPTIONS! One pair of denim does not a wardrobe make, which is why they carry the absolute largest selection in the entire country – over 250 styles.