This month marks the 25th anniversary of Leone (leone.ca), a local luxury retailer where Christian Dior, Prada, Versace and Alexander McQueen are among the dreamy designer labels. We asked the grande dame behind this family business, Maria Leone, about must-haves and milestones.
What was the first garment you sold at the store?
“It was a Versace flowered chiffon skirt. I definitely remember the emotions I had when we first opened the doors and cut
How has Vancouver style changed over the years?
“The customer is more educated in luxury [goods]. All the [big] brands have come in—we didn’t have Gucci or Louis Vuitton stores before. Also, today you see fashion as it comes down the runway. It’s a whole different ball game.”
What have you learned from 25 years in luxury retailing?
“I’d rather have less of the best—well-cut pants, good shoes and a great coat. I’m not saying it has to be designer, just good quality.”
Do you have a favourite memory?
“It’s always been when I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. It could be a girl [getting ready] for graduation, or someone who has had trauma in their life—you dress them and they feel great.”
You’re celebrating a personal milestone this year too?
“I never thought I’d still be doing this at 65. It keeps me young, mentally and physically.”
Join the discussion
Neither the author nor FASHION Magazine necessarily agrees with the comments posted here. Editors will not correct spelling or grammar. FASHION Magazine reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely.