Welcome to our New Website series, where twice a month we’ll feature an e-retailer that we love and know our readers will too. Whether it’s an old but under-the-radar favorite or a newly launched label, you’ll want to report back to your friends with the findings (or maybe keep them to yourself)!
It's not often you come across an affordable shopping site that's sleek, unexpected, luxe-looking, not played out, and not considered not fast-fashion. So, you can imagine our elation when we stumbled upon Canadian-born brand and retailer Oak + Fort. One quick look at the somewhat young brand's site and you'll find pieces that not only would be a dream come true for girls with minimalist style, but anyone with an appreciation for distinguishable and attainable pieces. The proof is in their swift-to-sell-out products, fashion-forward hashtag, and awesome in-house imagery.
Naturally, we were intrigued, so to find out more about the brand, we recently reached out and Lauren Kam from the Oak + Fort team luckily answered all of our most pressing questions. Scroll through to read the full interview, and then continue to shop our top picks from Oak + Fort!
WHO WHAT WEAR: Can you give us a brief history of when, how, and why you launched your brand and site?
OAK + FORT: Oak + Fort began as a small boutique in the trendy neighborhood of Gastown, Vancouver. We showcase our values in simplicity and refinement through fashion and our recently launched homeware collection, Oak + Fort Home. Oak + Fort exists as a creative outlet to express one's appreciation for simple yet mindful design through their wardrobe and living space.
WWW: How does being based in Canada effect your brand’s aesthetic, if at all, and has anything changed since expanding into the U.S.?
O+F: We are proud of our Vancouver roots, especially our beginnings as a small boutique in Gastown. Though we have expanded rapidly across Canada and the USA, we continue to maintain our boutique customer service. We still hold true to our core values of simplistic design and producing luxurious yet affordable garments.
WWW: How does social media play into your business?
O+F: Oak + Fort is very much a visual brand, and we connect and engage with our customers through our main social media platform, Instagram. We encourage individuals that share our brand aesthetic to contribute to our #BeOakandFort community to inspire and be inspired by others. Our mantra, "Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be You. Be Oak and Fort." is to encourage others to express their creativity and individuality whether through fashion or other creative outlets.
WWW: Your aesthetic is self-described as minimalist. With the holidays in full swing, what’s the best holiday outfit for a girl with minimalist style who still wants to look festive?
O+F: The best minimalist yet festive outfit would be choosing a piece that has a simple silhouette paired with a unique accessory piece. The garment serves as a foundation and canvas that accentuates the details in your chosen accessory piece whether it is a piece of jewelry, a handbag, or a pair of heels. Our jewelry, though simple and dainty, often features subtle and unique elements of design.
WWW: Any gifts that are really taking off?
O+F: Our in-house designed Oak + Fort Home paper bins have really found themselves to be customer favorites this holiday season. They are tear- and water-resistant bins that collapse for easy storage and come in a range of sizes for ultimate versatility. We have seen customers use them to house potted plants, use them as pen holders, to store throws, and more.
WWW: What’s your single most popular piece among customers right now?
O+F: Our most popular piece right now is our [now sold-out] Jumpsuit 5169. It's very versatile and great for the holidays. We love pairing this piece with a turtleneck for the cooler season for a casual look and dressing it up for a unique outfit for upcoming holiday festivities.
WWW: What makes Oak + Fort different from other e-retailers?
O+F: Oak + Fort distinguishes itself from other retailers with its aesthetic and focus on simple yet thoughtful design, producing classic and timeless pieces through a modern approach. Our design philosophy transcends beyond fashion and into lifestyle, bringing Oak + Fort into a way of living and surrounding oneself with beautifully designed apparel and objects in clean silhouettes.
WWW: What can we expect coming up from the brand?
O+F: You can expect to see more stores popping up in other major cities in USA including L.A. as we continue to expand and introduce Oak + Fort to new customers. Coming up in spring 2017, we will be fully launching our Oak + Fort Home line with a larger assortment and complete collection of home products. We hope to eventually expand our store fronts in other major international cities.
Shop our picks from Oak + Fort:
Pair this metallic skirt with all your favorite sweaters.
Could this be your NYE outfit?
Turn heads in this amazing jacket.
Wrap yourself up in this scarf this winter.
This is the only thing you need for a lazy Sunday.
Pair this sweater with jeans and pumps.
This T-shirt is party-ready.
Take your work wardrobe to new levels with this unexpected later.
Do you have any favorite sites you’d like to see featured next? Share them with us in the comments!