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There’s a new empire in town

Massimo Dutti, a Spanish heritage brand from the fashionphiles behind Zara

Massimo Dutti, a Spanish heritage brand from the fashionphiles behind Zara, just opened its first North American outpost in the Eaton Centre. Founded in 1985 exclusively as a menswear shop, Massimo Dutti now has more than 500 stores in 45 countries, with a women’s wear collection and an incoming children’s line to augment the continuing focus on men.

“From the outset, the Massimo Dutti man has exuded a unique personality,” says a men’s division ambassador from the brand’s Barcelona offices who, strangely, is not allowed to be quoted by name. “He is urban, cosmopolitan, independent, pays attention to details, and is cultured and classy.” The Dutti demeanour lets the clothing actually speak for itself.

Aimed at ages 25 to 60, price points match the spectrum, with offerings at the higher end of the middle-market that avoid anything faddish or fast-fashion. A suit starts at about $400 with all the fixings. And there’s more than enough fashion-forward fare, including peach khakis and button-ups (both starting at $79.50), buttery leather jackets ($375) and a selection of footwear, notably the brown suede desert boots ($245). Merch isn’t grouped in bulky, overwhelming displays of excess stock, and there are only a handful of mannequins. (Shipments arrive twice weekly so the selection stays fresh.)

How is the aesthetic different from sister label Zara? “The main difference between the two brands is that the customer shopping Massimo Dutti is looking to enhance his or her personal style with classic items, while the customer shopping for more trendy items will choose Zara.”

From décor to garments, the concept store is elegant and intimate without feeling exclusive or frantic. The floors are marble, and the custom cabinetry is cut with clean lines in a strong wood finish that mirrors the Massimo Dutti character: contemporary and sharp.

As for those aforementioned timeless items the Dutti sartorialists recommend? “A classic suit, white shirt, leather jacket and classic trousers will take you anywhere.”

MASSIMO DUTTI toronto Eaton Centre. 220 Yonge st. (647) 255-0000. massimodutti.com.