SINCE: February, 2006
FOUNDED BY: Alex Danino
BRANDS CARRIED: Our Legacy, Gitman Vintage, Naked & Famous, YMC, Filson, Pendleton, Woolrich, Rogues Gallery, The Hill-Side, Moscot, Velour, Rvca, Sperry, Red Wings, Rachel Comey, Apolis Activism, etc...
WHY WE CO-SIGN: Located in Montreal's Old Port section alongside trendy hotels, restaurants, and historical buildings, Rooney houses a well-curated selection of apparel, accessories, and footwear from some of today's most relevant brands. In its fifth year of operation, this 1300 sq. ft retail space with exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and polished wooden floors has evolved from a shop catering strictly to the city's streetwear aficionados to a boutique satisfying the demands of sophisticated and chic locals as well as upscale tourists. And as streetwear has taken a more mature route, a shop that can change and keep up with the times deserves a lot of props. The next time you find yourself roaming around the streets of "Canada's Cultural Capital", make sure to drop by Rooney.
Keep reading for an interview with Alex as well as pics of the store...
Complex: What are some of the most popular items from the store?
Alex: Naked & Famous oxfords (chambray, blue, white, light gray) have done very well and, of course, the jeans! Also, Our Legacy was great (my personal favorite). Their shirts and sweaters did very well, specifically the Proper Cardigan in navy. The Hill-Side ties and scarves have been amazing as well. Red Wing Boots, the classic moc toe in Briar Oil Slick was the stand out. Gitman Vintage Shirts were great as well. Also, given our cold weather here in Montreal, classic wool socks with the red stripe have been amazing because of their workwear element and nostalgic feel (we all wore them as kids growing up in Montreal).
Complex: What aesthetics are you striving for in your store?
Alex: Rooney is in Montreal's Old Port section. The buildings that you see in this area are very historical and have an amazing amount of charm. Fortunately for us, the space we are in also has plenty of charm: 15 foot ceilings, brick wall, huge windows. Before I rented this space my landlord was using it as an antique store and it was filled with plenty of great pieces like, huge elk heads, old trunks, old doors, antiques, tables, even a few salvaged window frames from buildings in the area that were being renovated. Many of these pieces are still in the store today, so the aesthetic is a combination of old world charm with an element of comfort. We have a place in the back of the store that is setup like a living room so customers and friends can hangout and just feel good being here. I definitely want to achieve the feel that this space had when it was a fur store in 1890. We even had the logo hand-painted a few weeks ago with the old school gold paint and black outline that was popular back in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
Complex: Describe your favorite piece in stock right now:
Alex: Right now I love my Naked & Famous chambray shirt and the Our Legacy Hunting Jacket.
Complex: Who are your style icons?
Alex: I'm not really one to name the main characters like Thom Brown, Tom Ford or the designers of any of the big fashion houses, but rather the young up-and-coming new designers from the brands that I'm carrying here in the store: the guys from Our Legacy, Naked & Famous, The Hill-Side, Velour, Rogues Gallery, and even Rag & Bone. I like brands that make clothes that are accessible and can be worn.
Complex What was the first designer item you bought or wore?
Alex: When I was in my early twenties, I used to work at a large luxury department store, and I bought a pair of Prada shoes because we got a discount. I was wearing a suit everyday, and it made sense to invest in a good pair of shoes.
Complex: What are your retail plans for the future?
Alex: I'm interested in expanding my online presence and growing the Rooney online shop as well as potentially opening another smaller location that would focus solely on men's brands.
Complex: Are there any special projects or collaborations in the works for the near future?
Alex: I am talking with Naked & Famous to try collaborate on some shirts. I am a big fan of the brand, and since it's from Montreal, it allows me to really get behind a great local brand, which I've been looking to do for a while now. It should be happening in the near future!
395 Notre-Dame W.
Rooney Online Shop