You can buy extremely rare designer clothes at this new Toronto clothing shop

Less than two years after dodging post-secondary programs to pursue their archive fashion dreamsAlex Maxamenko and Christian Ferguson have already done what most in the Toronto retail game hope to achieve at one point in their career — open up a store. 

20 Maud is both the name and address of the archive sellers’ new base, out of which they’ll be selling extremely rare archive clothing, offering private shopping appointments as well as a buy/sell/trade program, monthly membership plans including a photography studio and styling services and monthly community events. 

Kicking off this weekend, 20 Maud will be open to the public for the first time April 27-28 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The new shop’s community events will feel similar to the massive pop-ups the pair have been known to host in the past, with thousands of pieces for sale, a buzzing crowd of fashion enthusiasts and interactive elements– in this case, a live DJ. They even have customers from China and the U.S. flying in for the event.

“A lot of stuff is really hard to get, which means we might be some of the only people in the world with certain pieces,” explains Maxamenko, pointing to a $20,000 Raf Simons Nebraska sweater on the wall. “If you look up where to buy it, you just can’t,” he says. 

“People will get to browse our entire archive at discounted prices, which is something we rarely do,” he adds. “We don’t really do sales on this type of archive because it’s so difficult to find, so when we do events like this, we just want to bring the city together and show our gratitude for everyone supporting us.” 

Ferguson likens it to a museum: “You can come see 40 years of fashion in one room and they’re the most exotic pieces you’ll ever get to lay your eyes on.” 

On a normal day the two of them will operate the store alone, but with the anticipation of high foot traffic, they plan to hire upwards of 15 additional staff members for their public events. “It creates a lot of networking opportunities,” adds Ferguson. They also have two TMU fashion students joining them as interns. 

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who met their friends at our pop-ups in the past. I feel like Toronto lacks that community element a bit [in the archive fashion scene], so we want this to be a space where people can come and feel comfortable to be themselves,” he says.

Buy/sell/trade services will be booked through the duo’s websites, just like shopping appointments. “If people want to come offload gear, I think this is the first spot in Toronto publicly advertising buyouts [as opposed to consignment] for the type of gear that we sell,” Maxamenko says. 

They’ll also be offering tiered monthly memberships ranging from $350-$700, which include a certain number of rentals and access to the photography studio. Nodding to Wild West Social House in L.A., a membership-driven luxury brick-and-mortar rental service and clubhouse for the entertainment and fashion industry, Maxamenko says the model is actually more affordable if you’re a stylist working with multiple clients. Instead of paying 20 Maud’s $150 fee for a one-time rental pull, members can access multiple looks a month and use the photo studio, for one price.

At the highest tier, they get an unlimited amount of on-site pulls, 10 off-site pulls, 12 hours of studio time, and first access to new inventory.

“A lot of times people are paying for individual services, so we’re just trying to make a bridge for them and merge those services into one space. It’s especially valuable with this caliber of clothes because most average pull rates [at luxury designer stores] are 50 per cent of the retail cost,” Maxamenko says.

Their excitement is palpable as they talk about their plans to position 20 Maud as a hub for archive fashion.

“We’ve been wanting to do this since we were kids,” says Maxamenko. “I remember lifting weights together in our basement when we were like 12 and 13, and saying how I would love to have a store in Toronto one day.” They’ve been running their individual archive businesses adjacent to each other for eight years, but the store is their first concrete collaborative effort. 

Though they share the space, they continue to sell their collections separately. “It’s crazy that this is a reality,” Ferguson says. 

Right after opening weekend, the pair are flying to Japan to source new stock for their next community event.

“There aren’t really any people going to pick in-person for archive stuff like this in Canada,” Maxamenko says. “We’re trying to provide a better price point by doing the hands-on labour ourselves.”

They’ll be back on May 17 and will be resuming services full-time then.