While Toronto as well as most global cities have plenty of dope boutiques for sneaker and streetwear lovers (including of course OVO‘s flagship stores), retailers have been slow to address the exploding interest among women in the category.
Toronto residents Abby Albino and Shelby Weaver aim to fix that disparity for women through the launch of Makeway, a welcoming women’s boutique located in Toronto’s Stackt Market, a popular shopping and restaurant center.
Stocked with a cool variety of clothing, shoes, accessories and vintage, Makeway currently has sneaker and clothing accounts with, Puma, Converse and Reebok. More than just to a place to buy things, Makeway describes itself as “a safe gathering space for womxn to connect, celebrate & build community.”
We had an email exchange with Albino and Weaver about their new retail store, which opened its doors at 28 Bathurst Street on November 20, 2020.
Check out our exchange with the the founders below.
Snobette: What prompted you to open a women’s sneaker boutique in the midst of this challenging time for retail?
Abby Albino: “We have been wanting to open a space like this for a while and we felt that pandemic or not, it was time for the female sneaker community to have a space that celebrated them in this country. We knew there would be challenges with launching Makeway in a pandemic but an online store was always in the plan and so far our community has been so supportive.”
Shelby Weaver: “We see Makeway as a part of the community for the long term. Now, more than ever, people want and need to feel connected to each other. Our community and womxn across the country need and deserve this, both during the pandemic and for years to come. Oh, and we’re also a little bit crazy lol.”
Snobette: How is Makeway planning to serve the women of Toronto?Abby Albino: “We created Makeway with the intention of being a community hub for the womxn in this city. Whether that’s through our chosen local vendors, donations to local charities or weekly programming, community is at the core of who we are as people but also as a brand.”
Shelby Weaver: “By supporting what the incredible womxn in our city are already doing, finding ways to support and and amplify their initiatives. Being a sneaker store and offering products specifically for womxn is great, but we want to be more than that. We want to be a safe space for womxn to come together to meet, engage and celebrate with each other, once it’s safe post COVID, of course.”
Snobette: What is your most precious pair of sneakers?
Abby: “Air Jordan and Melody Ehsani‘s Retro 1 “Fearless.”
Shelby: “Air Jordan and Melody Ehsani’s OG, and Nike and A Ma Maniére‘s Air Force 1 High “Hand Wash Cold.”