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1024 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W7

Meet the owner

At first glance, petite and gorgeous Desiree Giralto, jewellery designer extraordinaire and owner of Armed, will seem like the very antithesis of her brand’s name. But as you enter her cozy Toronto shop at 1024 Dundas St. West, browse through her jewellery collections, and start a conversation with her, you will begin to understand what a powerhouse of talent Desiree really is. Her handmade designs gracefully and boldly go where few women have ventured before. “My jewellery is meant to make women feel empowered and beautiful not just for special occasions, but for every minute of the day. It is meant to be worn effortlessly and yet make a statement that rocks your body and your day,” exclaims Desiree.

Desiree founded Armed in 2011, after completing a degree in fashion management from Humber College. While in college, Desiree initially signed up to study fashion design. Quickly realizing that sewing wasn’t her cup of tea, she found her creative genius and feminism gravitating towards jewellery making. She started teaching herself to create one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporated unconventional materials such as brass, fossilized shark tooth and megalodon tooth, boar tusks and horsehair. These mediums worked perfectly to convey her design philosophy to the world.

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Appears in 3 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Toronto boutiques that carry fashionista-worthy sunglasses

Toronto boutiques that carry fashionista-worthy sunglasses

Not only does this locally designed jewellery boutique carry some trendy statement pieces like choker necklaces, bejewelled headpieces and cuff bracelets, but their sunglasses are just as fashionista-worthy. They even have clever names for each pair, like the Dee-Yor – named after its design inspiration, Bestival Festival Queen – bedazzled with gemstone details, and another heavily bejeweled line: Brunch At The Drake Hotel.

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Toronto apparel shops that are style-expert approved

Toronto apparel shops that are style-expert approved

Best for: Unique statement necklaces. This small but packed store is full of statement accessories. I love the shop’s personal line for pieces that are really unique, as well as simple pieces for everyday like a long stone pendant, or more showstopping pieces for nights out, like body chains. My next purchase will be The Saint – a long gold pendant with a blue stone attached. Plus, the designer lives above the store so you are likely to meet her if you pop in during the week. A true local boutique!

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Top spots to find handmade jewellery in Toronto

Top spots to find handmade jewellery in Toronto

Armed has been turning heads from its flagship shop on Dundas West since 2011. Sourcing unique stones from Arizona and India, as well as brass, steel and 24k gold from NYC, Armed brings together the highest quality materials to shape bold pieces. This is jewellery with attitude, intended for everyday wear.

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