Général 54
By Marie-Ève Venne

Making Canadian Fashion Accessible

Just walking through the door of Général 54 is a thrill – you know you’re about to make some wonderful discoveries. Jennifer Glasgow, the owner of the boutique on the Boulevard Saint-Laurent, has a nose for seeking out designs by Canadian designers with a certain je ne sais quoi to them.

The place opened 10 years ago, when Jennifer, a fashion designer, was looking for a place to showcase her creations to the public. “I had done fashion shows, some large and extravagent, but they didn't give good returns,” she explains. “And I needed a place to display my clothes to the public, a place where [people] could buy them.”

I had done large and extravagant fashion shows, but they didn’t give good returns, and I needed a place to display my clothes to the public, a place where [people] could buy them. - Jennifer Glasgow, owner

Having a Storefront

Jennifer’s quest in finding a home for her designs led her to open Local 23, her first store, dedicated mostly to second-hand clothing. After her eponymous clothing line was well established, Jennifer began to search for other local designers with an interest in selling their creations in stores. “I started to spread the word in the artistic community around me,” she says, her eyes lighting up. “And I soon came into contact with other incredible and talented designers who were happy to sell their clothes in my store.”

The word quickly spread to local designers, to the point where expansion became the only option. So she opened Général 54, which took storefront for few years on Saint-Viateur before finally settling on Saint-Laurent. “The first year mostly involved people coming into the store with bags filled with their creations, dropping them on the counter and asking if we wanted to sell them,” Jennifer laughs. “Now we get several emails a day from Argentina to Japan, and even places like Saint-Jovite.”

Making a Name for Collaborations

But just what exactly can be found at Général 54? Well, there are several lines of clothing and jewellery created by Canadian designers, but also a few collections of sunglasses by foreign brands – all of which make the shop an essential fashion destination, attracting many tourists visiting the city.

As for the future of Général 54, Jennifer has a few projects in mind, including collaborating with local artists to promote their work. “We just launched a line of printed T-shirts with our former store manager, Kelsey,” she smiles. “It’s just that kind of project that motivates me now: making the talented artists we have in Montreal more accessible.”

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