“If there is one thing I know, it’s how to dress women.”
With this quote we introduce Linda Perisa, as the sole owner of 119 Corbo. Linda’s vision of dressing women is unfiltered and perfect. She has a clean, yet dramatic and strong personal sense of style, which translates into the clothing curated for her boutique. Linda’s ability to curate collections that she believes in has led her to introduce such designers as Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens and Haider Ackermann to Canada. The later Haider Ackermann commented after his showing at the ROM, “I did the show because, Linda asked me.” // Read On – Interview with Linda Perisa.

Photos by Drew Haran, KA Magazine

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Where did the name “119 Corbo” originate?

It is quite simple, the name of the store refers to our address, which is 119 Yorkville Avenue in Toronto.

“I am ready to make a fashion change, but have no clue where to start. The blogs are good, but I cannot relate to a 15 year old’s perspective.” What advice would you give to a fashion newbie.

Style is your lifestyle. It all starts there. It has to be authentic and it can grow from there. Fashion can make you interesting, but you have to own the conversation.

On the other side of the coin, “I am super bored with my closet busting with Balenciaga and Yves St. Laurent, I need a change in my game” – any suggestions?

I am a big fan of those houses, so I wouldn’t say change, but add. We curate our buying from a sin-gular aesthetic, so the designers edit well together. You may want to focus on a different school of cre- ativity, say from the French school to the Belgian. But don’t be too quick to discard. I have just resurrected a decade old pair of fur-lined YSL moccasins. Such luxury.

There seems to be a massive exodus of fashion icons from their respective brands, be it from buy-outs or death, and overnight a majority of the names that had become so familiar, are now no longer there. How has this shift affected your choices in the items that are chosen for 119 Corbo.

The brands that I work with have a clear code and a strong DNA. The foundation is there, but I buy what I believe in, so season to season, the budget goes up or the budget goes down.

How do you decide what goes into the store. Is the store a personal extension of your own wardrobe, or is there a detached method to your buying process.

There is nothing in the store that doesn’t speak to me personally or reflect what I know to be my customer’s desires.

You have been with some of the world’s best in design Ms Perisa, has this affected your view on the new starting designers. 

Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Haider Ackermann – they were all just starting out when we partnered together, and now they are amongst the world’s best.

How did you decide that what you are doing is your calling.

It is a constant passion, constant inspiration and always discovering and sharing beauty.

Would you expand the 119 Corbo to another city if budget was not a concern, and which city would be your first choice. (You are not allowed to choose NYC)

I consider the store my gallery, and the experience cannot be duplicated. With digital’s endless aisle, expansion knows no borders. If I wanted to scale up, I would do it through e-commerce. Stay tuned.

What are you presently reading

Memos: The Vogue Years, Diana Vreeland by Alex- ander Vreeland (Rizzoli)

How does someone prepare themselves for your job.

It’s not a job, but as you said before, a calling. You have to have a vision and be ready to take the risk.

What are your favourite spots in Toronto for the following :

– Tea/coffee: Starbucks
– Clothing (Other than 119 Corbo of course): 119, in fact, covers all my needs.
– Sunday brunch: I do brunch at One, at The Hazelton Hotel
– People watching : Sorry Toronto, it’s the streets of Paris ( Fashion Week)
– Unplug: At home in my library

Who is Linda Perisa.
The media has called me many things (fashion maven, high priestess of fashion, visionary). I’m also a mother, a good friend and a woman who knows what she wants.