The Quebec import debuted its new 100,000-square-foot store in Vancouver with an equally large soiree.


CEO Peter Simons and his wife Britta Kroger welcomed invited guests to the exclusive reception and preview of Vancouver’s newest addition to the retail landscape: Simons Vancouver.  


Richard Simons, vice president of merchandising and his wife Julie Pouliot, helped open the family’s first Vancouver store, a two-storey, 100,000-square-foot, high-end fashion department store that sits prominently in the redeveloped Park Royal Mall.


From left, the Simons family—Duncan McCrindell, Peter Simons, Britta Kroger, Lynne Simons McCrindell, Julie Pouliot, Richard Simons and Carolyn Simons—hosted an evening of art, architecture and fashion to celebrate their first Vancouver Store. Simons was founded in 1840 by John Simons as a dry goods store in Quebec City.


A sandblasted granite relief which pays homage to the eagle is situated on the exterior south entrance of the store. Created by Jody Broomfield, the Coast Salish artist was on hand with daughter Aquilina and wife Ann.


A ceramic wall sculpture of 50 coloured flowers titled Innocence Disobedience representing feminine rebellion created by Bobbie Burgers, left, backed Merla Beckerman, chair of the Centre for Art, Architecture and Design, one of two beneficiaries of the retail romp.


Store brass Andre Derome (men’s floor director), Johanne Perreault (director of operations), and Hetal Kanabar (human resources director) welcomed guests. The designer department store also boasts a 50-seat French-Canadian fare cafe called Ève.


Artists Athena Bax and Kim Spencer Nairn were among fashionistas and tastemakers that made the scene. The designer store carries a mix of high-end designer lines as well as cheap-chic private labels.


Arts Umbrella‘s Heather Corsi and Lucille Pacey, as well as Ballet BC‘s Branislav Henselmann were among the city’s cultural leaders in attendance. As part of its support of the local art community, Simons has made a three-year commitment to the Arts Umbrella Art Lending Program.


Entertainment Tonight Canada host Erin Cebula, Eco Fashion Week founder Myriam Laroche, Designer Evan Ducharme and Vancouver International Film Festival executive director Jacqueline Dupuis checked out the latest department store to set up shop in Metro Vancouver.


Simons incorporated three art pieces created by local artists to adorn its store. This includes a multicoloured ‘Bow Tie’ sculpture created by local artist Douglas Coupland, suspended high above the store’s two-storey central atrium.