Back Issue__ Three Monkeys: 5 Years of Monkey Business

July 09, 2009 | By

Photos: Mike Casali

Rare are those who actively seek monkey business. Yet in Montreal, Canada’s downtown fashion district, or the maze of shops, seedy strip clubs, mobs of tourists and fearless shopping mamas, we find Three Monkeys--a place for fashion and play.

In early 2004, Mike Casali, Arianna Rabinovitch and Paul Desbaillets—all in their twenty-somethings—stopped mumbling about opening a boutique together, took hold of the retail vine, and swung full force ahead. For such an impetuous move, the results are strikingly well-considered: a minimal white space, decorated by a versatile choice of clothing lines. The brightly lit red Three Monkeys logo, serves as a stamp for the space, as well as a warning: Monkeys at play. Setting themselves apart from big box stores, their approach is to seek out product that is original and affordable—offering as much opportunity to local talent as possible, while remaining accessible to all breeds.

Monkeys are social creatures, and these three are no exception. Not only are they famous for wild parties, they also play well with others, collaborating with brands like Marc Jacobs, Insight and WESC. They are also known for their line of exclusive t-shirts and maybe more importantly their leather couches, which cushion the bottoms of boyfriends and parents waiting for their counterparts to try on the goods they will ultimately finance. (Thanks, mom!)

Opening their doors in 2004 with the intention to promote local artists, five years later the monkeys still devote over one third of their space to local and, recently, national designers. Some of the independent designers who have graced their monkey bars include this month’s Come Up Travis Tadeo, Valerie Dumaine and Lydia Lukidis. After five years of shenanigans, it must be said: We're ape for Three Monkeys!

These three monkeys have been shaking down trees in their pre-party outfits for the last few months gearing up for Three Monkey’s 5 years in the Montreal fashion jungle, which will surely be bananas. While the monkeys say 5 years around still feels more like 3 minutes, we suspect that the July 18, 5 year celebration will last a tad longer given the telephone game left the following message: “An army of cloned yet finely dressed flying super monkeys will rain down booze, pcp and free t-shirts on the city for one night of passion.” After decoding the message, we think it meant an overwhelming amount of banana eating contests lay in the plans, which consequently may leave some feeling as though they were on pcp. Don’t forget to leave your monkey business at home, there will be plenty there for all.

Name: Three Monkeys

Employees: Yousaf Khurshid, Stephanie Macmillan, Stephanie Creaghan, Masha Sitnikova. The wonder staff.

Location: 1455 Peel St. | Les Cours Mont Royal, Montreal QC

(Some) Brands: Cheap Monday, Lifetime Collective, WESC, Brixton, Insight, Super, Poiner, RVCA, Vans, Travis Taddeo, Valerie Dumaine, Naked & Famous Denim, PF Flyer, Eve Gravel, Sixpack, Anastasia Lomonova, Covet, Rogues Gallery, and more!

Nearby lunch spots: Food Courts galore!

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