LUXE - Calgary Herald
A CALGARY HERALD ADVERTISING PUBLICATION
MAY 29, 2013
W W W. C A L G A R Y H E R A L D. C O M / L U X U R Y
FA S H I O N & AC C E S S O R I E S
The new heart of the West is made
of gold when it comes to the pursuit
of all things bling
his city has long been the brightest bulb in the 1,000
points of light that is Canada’s economy, so it’s no
surprise there’s a healthy appetite for all things luxurious, says a leading Canadian economist.
“It’s a market that is holding up quite well,” says Derek
Burleton, deputy chief economist for TD Bank Financial
Take the city’s housing market as an example. While recent
mortgage rule changes may have put a damper on home
prices in the city, the luxury segment continues to be strong,
Because Calgary has been on a roll for nearly 20 years as
oil prices have climbed from the basement in the 1990s, the
luxury market has steadily grown over that time. And luxury
brands — like Aston Martin — have taken notice, setting up
shop in the city in recent years.
“Rising real estate prices are important,” Burleton says.
“When individuals feel wealthier, they tend to spend more.”
There’s no denying, however, that the market for high-end
goods here is cyclical.
When oil was peaking in 2007 and early 2008, the money
In fact, whenever there’s been money made in the stock
market, the conditions are ripe for those big-ticket purchases,
“When you think from the perspective of investing, the U.S.
equity market has done
very well lately, and often
the luxury market is tied
to the fortunes of those
in the top one per cent
And the city has its fair
share of one-per-centers and
“Calgary has a disproportionate share of wealthier people
vis-a-vis other markets, so that’s
why the luxury market tends to
be bigger there,” says the Torontobased economist.
Of course, the oil and gas industry
is the foundation of this wealth, and it’s
relatively newfound wealth to boot — not
the old money of the East. When the economy booms, so too does consumer optimism,
he says. And yet, the busts are not what they
once were in the 1980s and early ’90s. The most
recent dark clouds — dampening oil and gas prices —
“At the end of last year, there were growing concerns about the
discount for Canadian oil, but that has turned around and it’s to
the point where our forecast for 2013 is for Calgary to be among
the leading economies for growth in Canada.”
ext time you’re on the road, take a good look at the vehicles sharing the lanes.
They’re likely not rust buckets.
In fact, chances are good more than one of them is brand
new, and bears a luxury nameplate such as Acura, Audi, BMW,
Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz,
Porsche or Volvo. Might even be an Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari
or Maserati revving alongside.
According to local automotive retailers, sales of luxury vehicles
in Calgary are on the rise.
“Sales volume of luxury brands has definitely increased from
10 years ago,” says Steven Itzcovitch of the Hyatt Automotive
Group. Under his company’s umbrella are brands including Infiniti
“For example, if you look at what BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti
and Lexus dealers were selling 10 years ago versus today, the
volume has more than doubled.”
Itzcovitch credits three contributing factors to the rising popularity of luxury automobile nameplates.
First, there is Calgary’s demographic. This is a city filled with
drivers, both young and old.
Second, the city is far more affluent than ever before, and
the aforementioned drivers seem to have plenty of disposable
And third, according to Itzcovitch, many of the luxury makers
have a broader reach because, to a certain extent, they’ve gone
down-market. All that means is some manufacturers have built
cars at price points that will allow “middle-income” consumers
entry into an upscale brand.
“Look at the Infiniti G37, or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and
the GLK,” Itzcovitch says. “The small SUV segment is really hot
right now, and volume on the GLK is impressive.”
Calgary Motor Dealers Association executive manager Jim Gillespie agrees with Itzcovitch.
“Luxury brands are offering vehicles that are not the ultra-luxury
that many of us would think,” Gillespie explains. “Some of these
brands have what I would call an entry-level luxury car.”
And Gillespie says Calgary’s “stellar” economy does lend itself
to a noticeable increase in the number of luxury autos in driveways and on the highways.
“There’s a lot of young money here, and the oil and gas industry attracts a number of bright young minds — they come here
to be a part of the city’s fabric,” Gillespie says. “It’s the perfect
demographic for luxury cars.”
And it’s not a market limited to male buyers, as some might
“There are a number of females looking at and buying luxury
brands,” Gillespie adds, and says, “The luxury market is not
dominated by males.”
Gillespie oversees the Calgary International Auto and Truck
Show, and says high-end automakers are continually seeking
more space on the show floor.
“There’s a much broader offering, with many more models
available,” he says. “And customers are spending an awful lot of
time in these luxury displays — it’s not all about the exotics; traffic
at luxury displays is very heavy.”
Itzcovitch adds, “Luxury items are visible everywhere in Calgary, from homes to fashion to fine dining experiences — it’s not
just evident in automobiles, but in everything.”
Greg Williams is a regular contributor to the Calgary Herald
Jay de Nance
Jay de Nance is director of tenant services for Fairfield
Commercial Real Estate Inc.
Freelance writer Marty Hope has extensive experience writing
about housing,recreation properties and land development.
he Calgary retail landscape is continually evolving with
the introduction of many shopping venues across the
city. Calgary’s savvy retail real estate developers are focused on creating unique retail environments.
In southwest Calgary, the 85th Street commercial corridor
is surrounded by the affluent communities of Aspen, Renfrew,
Springbank and Westhills which have been a hot bed for these
new retail developments.
The residential districts of southwest Calgary boast strong
household income level and attractive demographics to retailers
and food service establishments. There are four new mixed-use
developments either under construction or in the final planning
stages in this quadrant.
The 85th Street corridor will see an increase of approximately
160,000 square feet of retail and office space set for completion
in the next 12 months. Retailers with quality product offerings
are thriving in these areas, such as the Global Pet Foods brand
(3114, 851 – 8A Avenue S.W.).
Global Pet Foods offers a unique line of natural, organic and
homeopathic pet food, and is in the top of its category for quality
Chinook Centre has become a hot bed for international
retail brands with product offerings focused on luxury and
fashion. American retail icon Nordstrom’s will introduce its
140,000-square-foot store on two levels located at Chinook
Centre in the fall of 2014.
J. Crew and Eileen Fisher have also announced their expansion to the Calgary market with an immediate focus on Chinook
Centre. These brands cater to the affluent mature shopper
focused on high fashion and quality.
Luxury-focused retail brands have also made a home in Calgary’s busy downtown shopping district.
The Core Shopping Centre is home to iconic fashion brands
such as Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, Brooks Brothers, Cartier,
Tiffany and Hermes, to name a few. The Core has created retail
oasis for high-end fashion, jewelry and food-service establishments.
Specialty shops have also thrived in this setting, bringing
unique product offerings to the hustle and bustle of downtown
Calgary. The introduction of the Oil and Vinegar brand has
been an exciting edition to the facility, giving shoppers the opportunity to experience the best food products from around the
Inner-city urban business districts such as Inglewood, Kensington and Mission have also been a focal point of retail development with a focus on fashion, home décor and food services.
These retail developers have been focused on food-service
establishments focused on creating a unique experience for the
customer. Mission, located south of 17th Avenue on 4th Street,
is a vibrant hub of fashion, food and culture.
The Mission on 4th Street will experience an increase of over
130,000 square feet of new retail and office space over the next
12 to 14 months. This increase will provide a unique opportunity
for high-quality focused retailers to thrive in an affluent captive
Calgary continues to be a major focus for retail brands and
retail space developers alike. The jewel of Western Canada will
continue to provide innovative shopping experiences to customers from far and wide.
algary’s luxury home market is the beneficiary of an economy that will lead the country in growth this year.
“It’s outstanding,” Mark Milne, president of Mark Milne
Luxury Real Estate says of the high-end housing sector. “The
sales for the first four months of have already exceeded the annual total in 2012.”
Figures provided by Milne show that to mid-April, 171 homes
priced at $1 million or more have already changed hands, compared with 114 for all of last year.
“We are seeing the impact of strong economic growth and
healthy population increases,” says Milne, who focussed on the
luxury market three years ago at a time when Calgary was clawing its way out of the international economic downturn.
The Conference Board of Canada has forecast economic
growth in Calgary to sit around 3.7 per cent annually through
“But another element at play here is the fact that people are
taking equity from their existing homes and moving up in the
marketplace — I mean, we’re seeing teardowns in neighbourhoods like Mount Royal with multi-million-dollar homes going up
in their place,” says Milne.
For the first quarter of this year, there were 15 communities —
14 of them in the southwest quadrant of the city — with an average selling price of more than $1 million, says the Calgary Real
“There’s a lot of infill construction going on and demand for lots
in these communities are affecting affordability,” says Milne.
As an example, Milne says the average sale price for a home
on a 30- to 35-foot lot in Marda Loop has climbed from $1.02
million last year to more than $1.2 million this year.
“I think it would be safe to say that luxury market is a seller’s
market. The demand is so strong that in many cases we’re seeing multiple offers — and some at more than the asking price,”
At the same time as the re-sale market in charging ahead,
new home construction is also seeing an uptick in activity at the
high end. Milne work with seven custom home builders in areas
such as Hawk’s Landing at Priddis, Bearspaw, Heritage Pointe,
Springbank, along with close-in neighbourhoods like Altadore,
Briar Hill, Varsity, and Elbow Park.
And while a lot of the buyers are locals moving around in the
marketplace, there is also a significant number from Toronto,
Montreal, Vancouver, and Houston whose jobs are bringing
them to Calgary.
Milne says that compared to these other centres, the luxury
home market in Calgary is viewed as a “good investment opportunity” by new executive-level arrivals.
“The economic fundamentals of the city support the level of
home prices, which will continue to rise at a slow rate in the next
couple of years,” says Craig Alexander, senior vice-president
and chief economist for TD Bank.
Figures from the Conference Board of Canada show that another 20,000 people are expected to move to Calgary this year,
that employment growth will climb by nearly four per cent and
the level of disposable income will move up by slightly more than
four per cent.
“There are all kinds of dynamics at work in Calgary’s luxury
home marketplace,” says Milne. “And it’s all being generated by
economic growth, population, and increased levels of equity.
Luxury is a special publication of the Calgary Herald. zx Project co-ordinators: Jamie Zachary and
Jennifer Worley zx Cover design: Charlene Kolesnik zx Advertising inquiries: 403-235-7168
Excellence in sales and customer service
Infiniti was the first to feature a 360The seven-passenger JX offers easy“We never settle for less than the best, and now we can see that you don’t either.”
degree camera, and lane departure
access with every seat and every row
— Hyatt Infiniti
and backup interprevention systems.
is easy to reach.
Inspired performance comes naturally.
The moment you enter Hyatt Infiniti’s showroom, you know you’re in for a different experience
For one thing, it looks like the lobby of a
There’s high-grade leather seating, hardwood floors, rich walnut appointed image
walls and unique pieces of art everywhere.
It’s not a stereotypical dealership environment.
In the world of Hyatt Infiniti, superior customer experience reflects the quality and
luxury of the vehicles the dealership sells.
“In this automobile industry, there are
multi tiers, and at Hyatt Infiniti, we work very
hard to provide our clients with a Tier 1 approach to purchasing and owning a car,”
says co-owner Perry Itzcovitch.
“People want great quality, great service,
and no hassle … they want a comfortable
place in which to do business.”
This Tier 1 approach is one of the reasons that, for the better part of a decade,
it has won Infiniti Canada’s Master Elite
Award each year.
“The award is not just related to sales,
but to the overall operation — customer
service, parts, sales, as well as volume.
It’s the whole picture of how a dealership
operates,” explains general manager Mike
Hofer. “It’s recognition for our staff who have
done a fantastic job giving our customers
that luxury experience.
“It’s part of the DNA of Hyatt Infiniti.
Everyone talks about making sure the customer is looked after … it’s like when you
walk into any sort of luxury restaurant, (or)
hotel; there’s a certain level of expectation
customers have in terms of professionalism
Part of that DNA is also the superior luxury
vehicles that carry the Infiniti name.
“It comes down to the quality of the
vehicle,” says Itzcovitch. “The quality
begins with the manufacturing and it
continues with the delivery and after-sales
experience. By building a better car to
start, we’re able to provide a higher level
of confidence to the customer. And that
higher level of comfort and our belief in the
product is what has helped rank Hyatt Infiniti
as among the top dealerships for well over
Itzcovitch credits the team-leading efforts
of Mike Hofer and sales manager Mazen
Aboulhosn for helping raise the bar for customer service, along with Infiniti’s no hassle
the quality and
luxury of the
way of doing business.
“We have some clients on their eighth Infiniti, and we know families with three in the
driveway,” says Itzcovitch.
It’s not hard to be confident when you
have models such as the 2013 JX allwheel-drive SUV, a multi-award-winner,
including Best Three-Row Luxury SUV from
“Luxury SUV is one segment of the mar-
ket that’s been growing,” says Itzcovitch.
“If you look at the price and quality and the
unique features, it’s been very much a conquest vehicle for us.”
And with aggressive pricing programs
such as zero per cent interest rates and
rebates up to $7,000, buying a luxury Infiniti
like the JX is within many’s people’s price
“With the JX, we’re seeing everyone
from the executive to the family person
who prices out a Toyota or Honda van and
says, ‘I could buy an Infiniti JX for the same
price,’” says Itzcovitch.
Hyatt Infiniti is located at 46 Heritage
Meadows Rd. S.E. For more information,
visit hyattinfiniti.com (watch for weekly updates on the progress of the game-changing 2014 Q50) or call 403-258-2255.
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for 24 months**
G37x COUPE ALSO AVAILABLE
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$2,000 IN CONQUEST CREDIT
Available to Acura, Honda,
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46 Heritage Meadows Road S.E.
FOLLOW US ON
Cash purchase price for 2013 G37x Sedan AWD (G4XG73-AA00) model is $45,945 / 2013 JX-35 AWD (J6TG13-AA00) model is $46,895. Includes freight and PDI Charges $1,995. Recycling and AC Tax $120, Safe and Secure PKG $498. AMVIC Fee $6.25, License, Registration,
Insurance, GST and other applicable taxes are extra. Prices reflect factory rebates to dealer. Lease offer 2013 G37x Sedan/JX35AWD Model is $41,945 / $46,895. Lease APR 0% / 2.9% for 24/48 month term, monthly payment is $338/$468 plus taxes, with $6,850/$8,750 down
payment or equivalent trade. $5,250 rebate available for lease purchasers only. Low KM lease based on 16,000 KM per year with excess charged at $0.15/km. Residual $26,370 / $19,307. Total lease obligation $15,586.25/$23,088.25 plus GST taxes. License, registration, and
insurance extra. Offers subject to availability and may be cancelled or changed without notice. Certain conditions may apply. Vehicle may not be exactly as shown. Limited time offer OAC. All cash purchase rebates to dealer reflected in cash purchase price.
Trickle Creek Custom Homes’ Kananaskis model in the Watermark at Bearspaw development. Calgary Herald Archive.
Luxury homes limited only by the imagination
uxury means many things to many
people, but one unifying theme in many
upscale homes today is something you
can’t actually see — space.
This means there is enough room for kids
and adults to do their thing without intruding on
each other, and enough to get together comfortably as a family.
Along with the space element, folks living
in these upper-end homes also want the stylish good looks and the technology, toys and
gadgets that come with them while keeping a
close eye on spending.
“Buyers definitely have a budget,” says Chris
Jones, director of revenue for Trickle Creek
Custom Homes. “Even a $10,000 to $20,000
difference in a budget of $1 million or so is crucial. Every dollar counts and being on budget
is one of the tougher parts of the process.”
With a “sweet spot” of between $1.2and
$1.5 million and with typical buyers in their
mid-30s, Jones says the majority of Trickle
Creek’s clients are going for open-concept, two-storey homes with three, four,
or more bedrooms each with their own ensuite, a large kitchen, finished walkout or
basement levels, and special-use rooms
that vary depending on personal preferences.
Kitchens continue to be a focal point and
a gathering place for family and visitors, so
much effort is spent on making this part of the
home comfortable and useable.
“Islands are still popular and clients are making them larger and larger — averaging somewhere between eight and 12 feet long — because it is the main area for day-to-day meals,
doing homework and for entertaining,” says
Jones, adding some prefer formal dining rooms
while others are happy with a large nook.
Other trends in luxury homes?
zx Engineered hardwood floors of oak or
zx Commercial-grade appliances like cooktops, freezers, refrigerators and ovens.
zx Quartz and granite on countertops, floors,
and accent areas.
zx L uxurious spa-like bathrooms with dressing areas.
zx Fireplaces, likely gas but possibly woodburning, in dens, studies, living rooms, rec
rooms and even bedrooms and ensuites.
ully-developed lower levels with games
room, bedroom and ensuite.
tucco and stone exteriors, some with
zx Sound and security systems throughout the
home controlled by a smartphone or iPad.
zx Three- and four-car attached garages.
zx Elevators for people and for cars, and
Jones says the options available to buyers
are limited only by their imagination, lifestyle
considerations and budget.
Trickle Creek recently sold its custom show
home in the award-winning community of
Watermark At Bearspaw for $2 million. It has
projects in inner-city neighbourhoods such as
Marda Loop and Altadore, and on acreages
“The million-dollar market is doing great,”
says Jones. “When we sold our Watermark
home, we had two backup offers.”
In March, according to figures from the
Calgary Real Estate Board, 40 homes
changed hands that were priced between
$1 million and $1.25 million compared to 26
a year ago.
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selling price of the vehicle before taxes. Acura cash purchase incentive cannot be combined with special lease, finance or other offers. Selling price includes $1,945 freight and PDI, $100 excise tax, $20 new tire surcharge and $6.25 AMVIC fee. GST, license, insurance and registration are extra. Retailer may sell for less. Retailer order/trade may be
necessary.Vehicle shown for illustration purposes only. Offers are only valid for Alberta residents at Alberta Acura retailers until May 31, 2013. See your Calgary Acura retailer for full details.
Customers appreciate the hand-crafted pieces sold by Birchwood Furniture Galleries for their uniqueness but also because they are made by local artisans.
Luxury for a lifetime
A hand-crafted piece of furniture is an investment piece that will stand the test of time
hat makes a product luxurious? Is it the smell of the
wood, be it mahogany or
walnut? Is it the careful application
of the stain, which looks as if it’s
always been there?
Perhaps it’s the journey of the piece?
The story of how it was transformed by
the hands of a skilled craftsman into a
remarkable item for the home from a
tall tree in the B.C. interior.
For those looking for furniture
that is not only going to work in the
home but add a layer of luxury to
the décor, all of the above ring true.
The story of how a piece came to
be is in the forefront of people’s
minds when looking to purchase
quality home furnishings.
Locally built and sourced furniture is becoming increasingly popular with Calgarians. Knowing that
the steps from forest to furnishing
are less than certain ’Made-In-Asia’
products is an important factor in
deciding on a piece of furniture.
The term LOHAS (Lifestyle of
Health and Sustainability) was
given to the folks who were early
adopters and vocal supporters
of green initiatives such as hybrid
vehicles and organic food. This
market has recently exploded to
encompass 30 per cent of the
U.S. retail market, and retailers
both large and small are marketing to this group of consumers.
This group has retailers more ecominded as they create new products and consider that consumers
aren’t just concerned about the
Bryan Frischbutter of Birchwood
Furniture Galleries says people
tend to select home décor pieces
first on looks, but then the conversation turns to sustainability.
“In our store, 80 per cent of the
products sold are domestically
made. This means it’s either from
Calgary, Canada or the United
States — in that order,” says
Frischbutter. “The other 20 per
cent is offshore, which is a neces-
sity because you are competing
with the big-box stores across the
street with such low prices.”
Frischbutter says the human
touch that comes from handcrafting a piece is not just about the
uniqueness of the item but also
about supporting local artisans.
Consumers like to support their
neighbours, he says. Also they
know if they run into issues down
the road, they won’t have the
hassle of trying to contact some
offshore entity that might not stand
behind their product.
Bracko Brothers Furniture owner
Carey Bracko says there are three
price points and quality levels consumers should be aware of. First
is the offshore product made in
mass quantities, perhaps a chair,
which he says is $169. Then, there
is a Canadian-made chair made
by several people on an assembly
line that could be $295. Finally, you
have a hand-crafted chair made by
one man in the Amish or Mennonite
community that will retail for $595.
With each price point, the expectation should be different, says
“You notice the quality in handcrafted products when you use
them,” says Bracko. “The table
inserts open and close easily. The
chairs are more comfortable to sit
in and they last for years. A good
quality piece of furniture should last
through numerous moves, years of
usage and generations.
“A quality chair made by the
Amish for example will have a lifetime warranty. You can’t do that unless you expect it to last 100 years.”
Another appeal to buying local
is the customer service factor. In
grand estate homes, standardsized furniture simply won’t fit the
bill. Often, pieces that are in the
right style and colour and large
scale to fit 4,000 plus square feet
just aren’t out there and thus, the
luxury market demands customization.
Birchwood Furniture Galleries
works with a Calgary-based up-
holstery company that has been
Calgary-owned and operated for
30 years. This allows consumers to
actually see where their material is
being made. Not only can the upholstery be customized but also the
scale, profile and colour of the wood.
This is truly where the luxury
buyer has power. With a higher
budget, truly anything can be commissioned to ensure it will fit perfectly into any space.
According to Elle Décor, this
year’s home décor trends will feature brass metals instead of the
usual go-to stainless steel, shades
of Emerald in furnishings and paint
colours (it was the Pantone 2013
Colour of the Year) as well as embellished walls rich in pattern, texture and colour.
In Calgary due to our mountainous climate, log cabin and mountain rustic styles will always be
favoured because frankly, they just
makes sense in -20 C.
However, many will swerve
strong trends and instead choose
investment pieces that will stand
the test of time not only due to their
design but also their construction.
You notice the
products ... the
open and close
chairs are more
to sit in.
Woodridge Ford Lincoln carries
the largest inventory of Lincoln
automobiles in Canada.
The MyLincoln Touch system
offers the finest in comfort and
driver control throughout its line.
Woodridge Ford Lincoln
Since the first automobile rolled off an assembly line, the name Lincoln has been synonymous with luxury
Well-appointed, streamlined Lincolns
in the 1940s were declared the most
beautiful car in the world, with the
historically famous Continental even
being honoured by the Museum of
Modern Art in New York.
Although still a piece of coveted art,
plenty has changed in the Lincoln line,
along with the driver.
That celebrated style has been
re-fashioned by comfort, distinction and an
untouchable modern driver interaction to
produce the current and future Lincoln Motor Company automobiles.
“We’re seeing a much younger, higherincome earning professional coming in
buying our cars,” says Woodridge Ford
Lincoln general manager
and the newly
MKS to the
GENERAL SALES MANAGER:
PRE-OWNED SALES MANAGER: Navigator,
style that is
BODY SHOP MANAGER:
shining, split-wing grill to the wrap-around
tail lights, the modern Lincoln is of a
lavish, sleek design. A steep windshield
and smooth lines add to the aerodynamic
The newest MKZ sedan displays an
uncompromised craftsmanship with the
genuine wood-trimmed dash casting a
subtle glow over the spacious cabin
framed by a leather-bound steering wheel.
“With the newer, redesigned Lincoln lineup
we are seeing people who have traditionally
shopped fior BMWs, Audis, Lexus, Acura —
all those type of products,” says Eade.
“The redesigned Lincoln is a re-brand of
itself as a standalone product. This is not
just a Ford that has been dressed up.”
Most Lincoln models can be equipped
with the environmentally friendly EcoBoost
system which uses direct injection to utilize
every drop of fuel.
This ensures delivery of a low-end torque
for maximum horsepower and better fuel
“In our new MKZ, which is a brand new
car, it comes with a two-litre EcoBoost or
an available 302-horsepower V-6 that
comes with all-wheel drive.”
Critical on comfort, Lincoln developed a
drive-control system for a smooth ride and
confident handling which responds to the
driver’s every command.
Combined with Continuously Controlled
Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension,
power-assisted steering and active noisecontrol systems — all standard on the MKZ
— Lincoln offers an unmatchable ride.
Its new MyLincoln Touch offers sport/
normal/comfort modes for a dynamic
Eade says many of these standard
comfort options, not offered by competitors,
come at thousands less.
These also include an immense
retractable panoramic roof, inflatable
outboard rear seat belts, heated and air
conditioned seats, optional blind-spot
monitoring and integrated Bluetooth and
Every aspect of luxury has been
addressed in the Lincoln line up, but the
high-end treatment doesn’t stop at the
Woodridge Ford Lincoln offers full
service for vehicles and Lincoln service loaners for clients as well as a spacious, comfortable waiting room at its state-of-the-art facility.
From the showroom to service shop
it is committed to excellence with an
“ever-better, ever-forward” philosophy.
As the largest Lincoln store in Canada,
Woodridge carries a huge volume of
product in stock with many different
models and colours ready for a test drive.
Woodridge Ford Lincoln is located at
11580 24 St. S.E. Call 403-253-2211
or visit www.woodridgeford.com.
THE NEW LUXURY STANDARD.
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AWD100A: MSRP: $47,650 PLUS FREIGHT AND AIR TAX OF $1,700
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AT DEERFOOT TRAIL AND DOUGLASDALE BOULEVARD
(403) 451- 6185
GET TO KNOW THE 2013 LINCOLN LINEUP AT
PLEASE READ. All offers OAC. All factory rebates to dealer. All offers include freight, admin fees and air tax but exclude GST. Lease payments based on ultra low km limits with downpayments and rates listed above. All offers end May
31st, 2013. Dealer inventory may vary versus offers listed above and factory order/dealer trade may be required. See dealer for full details.
Thousands of fabrics from
around the world are available
Birchwood sofas range in price
from $1,199 to $3,000; upholstered
chairs start at $799.
Birchwood Furniture Galleries
Focus on locally crafted and sourced furniture sets Calgary company apart from the competition
In today’s global economy, the possibility
of seeing your new living-room sofa being
constructed right in front of you seems inconceivable.
But that’s exactly what Birchwood Furniture
Galleries offers its customers.
All of Birchwood’s upholstered products
— including sofas, chairs and ottomans —
are made right in the city, says owner Bryan
Local production has always been Birchwood’s modus operandi, ever since Frischbutter’s father, an immigrant from Paraguay,
started the company in 1978.
“It’s important for us to support our own economy, first and foremost, in our own backyard,
and employ our own neighbours,” explains the
younger Frischbutter, who now operates Birchwood Furniture along with his sister.
“It’s kind of that local, small–town mentality.”
Whenever possible, Birchwood Furniture uses
local products, or those sourced from as close
to Calgary as possible, in its furniture construction. For example, the environmentally friendly,
soy-based foam used for padding in sofas and
armchairs is made in Calgary. The lumber for the
frames comes from Golden, B.C. Only materials
such as fabrics come from overseas.
Birchwood Furniture prides itself not only
on its local production, but also on its ability to
customize its furniture offerings to the minutest of customer specifications.
“We can manipulate it and say, ‘We’re going to make this four inches wider, longer,
higher,’” says Frischbutter
This applies not only to the upholstered
products Birchwood manufactures itself, but
also to the casegood products the store carries from approximately 25 other vendors.
“We only work with vendors who have the
same mentality we do,” says Frischbutter.
If someone wants a dresser’s dimensions
changed by even an inch or two, Frischbutter
says Birchwood Furniture – and the vendor in
question - can accommodate.
“The ability that we can make changes to
the furniture, people find fascinating,” he says.
While Frischbutter admits there is an element of “re-inventing the wheel” when designing new furniture, he says Birchwood’s
in-house furniture designers introduce new
products about three times a year.
“We go out and find new SKUs, new looks
and say, ‘That looks interesting. Let’s try to make
that our own.’ So we play with our frames and
come up with new ideas,” Frischbutter explains.
“For every 10 new ideas, maybe one might
work, but that’s just part of R&D. It’s part of
the cycle of the fashion industry, really.”
In fact, Frischbutter says, the patterns and
fabrics you see on the fashion catwalks in
Paris and New York will start popping up in living rooms about 18 months from now.
He points to floral patterns on upholstered
goods as one example of a current trend that
began life on the runway.
“Greys are very strong right now. Grey is kind
of the new light taupe, and then you accent it
with a splash of colour,” Frischbutter says, highlighting another trend in home styling.
Clean lines and tufted sofa backs are also
“in” right now, he says.
Designers are on hand in the store to help
customers decide what best fits their lifestyle.
And, Frischbutter says, Birchwood’s furniture is meant to last.
“I’d love to sell you a new sofa every three
years, but that’s not going to happen,” he laughs.
Frischbutter says unlike many other couches
on the market, sofas made by Birchwood feature a curved frame is one continuous cut, lending strength and longevity to the design.
m a d e i n ca l g a ry f o r ov e r
“People are buying here because they
know they are getting a quality-made product — they can trust where they are buying it
from,” he says.
7315 –11ST. S.E. Just south of Trail Appliance at Heritage and 11th St. SE | 403 252-5111 | MON.- WED. 10 - 6 | THURS. FRI. 10 - 8 | SAT. 10 - 6 | SUN. 12- 5 |
A CALGARY HERALD ADVERTISING PUBLICATION
MAY 29, 2013
W W W. C A L G A R Y H E R A L D. C O M / L U X U R Y
FA S H I O N & AC C E S S O R I E S
2014 Acura RLX
Fast and fabulous
Calgary’s exotic luxury car market just keeps revving along like a high-performance engine
very so often you see one. It’s akin
to spotting a brightly coloured exotic
bird, all the more striking among the ordinary four-wheeled denizens of the city’s
freeways and byways.
Ferrari. Aston Martin, Acura: . You name
the luxury brand and it’s bound to be found
on a Calgary street these days.
And these high-end, high-tech expressions of ultimate wealth can be spotted with
increasing frequency in the last decade, says
a leading dealership of exotic, rare cars.
“It’s always evolving and growing,” says
Kulu Punia, owner of Kulu Motorcar. “For
the relatively small population of Calgary
and the relatively short season, I think
there’s a surprising amount of high-end
luxury and exotics for this kind of market.”
Punia sells primarily pre-owned exotics.
These are luxury cars, but they’re more
“For some, luxury can be a $40,000 car,”
he says. “It’s subjective because for others
that can be a $250,000 car, but generally
speaking, the majority of the cars we sell
are more than $100,000.”
By far, the most popular luxury sports cars
he sells are Porsches. They make up about
40 per cent of his business. In part, that is
due to the fact that for a longtime Porsche
was among the only luxury sports car dealerships in the city. Sure, BMW, Mercedes,
Audi and other well-known luxury makes
have had a stake in the city for decades.
But for those seeking to buy a vehicle with
costs on par with the average home here,
they’d often have to look outside the city to
quench their desire for the ultimate in automotive luxury.
Yet in the last few years, the world’s high-
2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage
est end carmakers have taken note. Calgary is a market to be reckoned with.
Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, Spyker and
Fisker now all have a presence in the city.
Steve Normore is general manager of
Distinctive Collection, which sells new and
pre-owned Aston Martin, Bentley, Fisker
and Spyker vehicles.
He says it’s the only dealership in Canada
selling Spyker—which makes top-of-the-line
sports cars inspired by fighter jet designs.
“Spyker is for the distinct collector that
wants something unique,” he says. “I think
they’re built pretty much as acquired. It’s
not a full production car.”
But every vehicle sold at Distinctive involves a major financial commitment.
“The average new car here is somewhere between (the) $200,000 and
$275,000 mark,” he says.
Even Normore says he is surprised at
how well high-end vehicles sell in Calgary.
“Since I’ve been involved with Aston Martin
and Bentley, there appears to be more highend car buyers than I thought there was here.”
As of the beginning of May, the dealership had sold 18 vehicles for the year—up
dramatically from the previous year.
Certainly, the economy has an impact
on the velocity of sales at all luxury dealers,
During the Dot-Com boom in 1999 to
2000 and the big oil price run up about five
years ago, demand for high-end vehicles
was incredible, he says.
Then came the market crash in 2008
and 2009, and sales dipped.
“It’s picked back up since then, but maybe
not quite to like the 2007 days,” he says.
Still, regardless of the economy, there’s
a segment of the city’s population who are
steady business. They’re not happy with
just one. They’re collectors.
“We certainly have some people that
come in who may have an Aston Martin, a
Bentley and Ferrari,” Normore says.
“You’re getting into people who just really
enjoy vehicles and they want a bit of a collection.”
Yet the collectors are a very small slice of
the overall luxury market pie in Calgary.
“There is a lot of hard-earned and selfmade money with a lot of it having to do
with oil and gas,” he says. And they’re not
afraid to treat themselves with the ultimate
reward for a job well done. “That’s where
something like a Bentley or an Aston Martin
comes into the picture,” he says.
Typically, the average buyer for a luxury
vehicle is a male with grey in his hair.
“Women might make up about 10 per
cent, but the average buyer is a male between 45 and 55 years old,” Punia says.
Many are oil company executives. Others are successful entrepreneurs and a
handful of doctors, lawyers or other highly
“It’s varied in ages,” Normore says. “We
recently had a young gentleman who (at)
27 years old, picked up a Bentley.”
And no, he wasn’t a pro hockey player.
He was in the oil and gas business, Normore adds.
Despite the appetite for four-wheeled
luxury in the city, he says the market still has
yet to reach the size of its larger cousins: Toronto, Vancouver and even Montreal.
“It’s a younger population that is growing
in wealth,” he says. That’s compared to the
‘old money’ of the larger cities with more
established luxury markets.
“We’re a new market and still getting our
legs,” he says. “But I certainly like the way
2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport
who are steady
happy with just
2014 Porsche 911 GT3
One of a kind
Bracko Brothers’ custom furniture
allows clients to choose the style, type
of wood and fabric for their pieces.
Bracko Brothers got its start in
Calgary 33 years ago as a solid
oak furniture speciality store.
Meeting Calgary’s furniture needs, from traditional to ultra-modern and luxurious
Calgary has grown over the years to
become a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. In much the same way, Bracko
Brothers Quality Furniture and Mattresses
has evolved to meet the changing times.
From its start as a solid oak furniture speciality store, Bracko Brothers is now a full
retailer of quality furniture, from traditional to
ultra modern and luxurious — all at prices
that still offer tremendous value.
“We’ve been known for quality solidwood furniture for years, but now there’s
a lot more upholstery, leather and accessories, with a lot more contemporary, transitional, rustic and even industrial looks,” says
owner/general manager Carey Bracko.
Bracko says the company continues to
focus on quality furniture and superb customer service as it has from the beginning
33 years ago.
Leading-edge design elements have
been added to the store’s selection. This
includes everything from stunning modern
wood pieces to gorgeous leather sofas, the
full line of Simmons Beautyrest mattresses,
and all the accessories needed to furnish a
room or an entire home.
Of course, customers are still offered
amazing flexibility in creating personalized
furniture. This can include choosing a style
of furniture, the type of wood and the perfect fabric or leather to complete a piece.
Bracko notes there are seven different types
of woods available, 56 colour choices on
some of the wooden tables and too many
leather options to count.
While the store’s 10,000-square-foot
showroom has plenty of amazing items on
display, it’s only a small representation of
what Bracko Brothers has available from its
“If we had a million square feet, we could
fill it,” says Bracko.
To meet different budgets, customers
can also choose from three levels of luxury,
quality and durability, including furniture with
a lifetime warranty.
Bracko says he has customers come into
the store who bought furniture 30 years ago
and are now passing it along in great shape
to their grandchildren. Now they are shopping for new designs of furniture for the condos and the homes they recently purchased.
After many years, Bracko Brothers knows
which manufacturers offer the best value,
and has aligned itself with some of the best
in Canada and the United States.
One of the feature lines is handcrafted,
hand-finished furniture from SImply Amish,
made by skilled craftsmen who sign each
piece they produce.
Some recent new styles include a railroad-inspired line with Trestle Bridge coffee
or side tables, or a cleverly designed Sophia
bureau that hides a flat-screen TV behind a
On a tour of the showroom, Bracko
points out the difference that quality construction makes in a piece of furniture,
from the superior amount of solid wood
used to the way furniture is constructed.
He demonstrates how smoothly a fullextension drawer slides open, and then
softly shuts with a self-closing glide
On a buttery soft leather sofa, he explains
why the seat and back cushions are attached together and float as single unit to
perfectly support a person, rather than
the back cushion being sewn to the frame allowing the seat cushion to shift and slid out.
To demonstrate the quality of a mechanical component, he easily slides open a
large dining table to reveal hidden leaves.
Bracko says his staff educates customers on what to look for in quality furniture so
they can make informed decisions when
For more information on Bracko Brothers Quality Furniture and Mattresses, go to
brackobrothers.com or visit the showroom
at 5711 Blackfoot Trail S.E.
B define your style
5711 Blackfoot Trail SE, Calgary, Alberta 403.252.8554 www.brackobrothers.com - A division of Bracko Brothers Quality Home Furnishings
New Cadillacs are available to
lease from GSL GM City starting
at less than $400 a month.
GSL GM City recently changed its name
from GSL Chev City to better reflect the
wide range of GM vehicles it sells.
GSL Chev City
Family owned and operated for generations, Calgary’s oldest vehicle dealership knows a thing or two about luxury
For many, luxury has always been spelled
“People always say, ‘This is the Cadillac of
tennis rackets,’ or the Cadillac of whatever,”
says GSL general manager Ashley Wolfe,
who is the fourth generation of her family to
work in the industry.
“Cadillac has always been synonymous
with the best of the best.
“Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, if you owned
a Cadillac, you were said to have made it in
life. And that’s because it’s a beautiful car.”
In fact, Cadillac literally wrote the rule book
most vehicle designs follow today.
“The first car ever produced that was laid
out the way we’d expect a car to be laid out,
with pedals all in the right places, was a 1916
Cadillac,” says Wolfe.
GSL GM City (formerly GSL Chev City) predates even that watershed moment, dating
back to 1910. That means it has seen lots of
changes in the luxury auto industry over the
years — including a change in how people
“Cadillac was always considered an old
man’s car — but they aren’t. They are the
ultimate in performance and luxury vehicles,”
And buyers are listening. The new 2013
Cadillac ATS is heralded as Cadillac’s entry
into the small-car luxury segment of the
“This car was designed to compete directly
with the BMW 3 series and the MercedesBenz C class,” says Wolfe.
“This is the first year for the ATS and it has
won pretty much every automotive award you
can imagine. It was designed to take on the
European sport sedans, and you can get it
turbocharged or with a six-cylinder engine.”
Sounds expensive — but the 2013 ATS
starts at less than $40,000, before any rebates and incentives. “They say, statistically,
over half of those who are buying the new
ATS have never driven nor owned an American vehicle before,” says Wolfe.
But that doesn’t mean the luxury experience is going away. Far from it. GSL, for
example, offers a Cadillac concierge service
that will see a service department representative come to your home or place of business
and not only pick up your Cadillac for servicing — a loaner Cadillac will be left behind.
Cadillac has always been synonymous
with the best of the best
Owners also get access to yearly free detailing, Wolfe says.
All this on top of a four-year, 80,000-km
full-service warranty (“All you have to buy
is the gas,” says Konanz), and six-year,
110,000-kilometre powertrain warranty that’s
one of the best in the business.
But what if you want your Cadillac or Chevy
Camaro or other vehicle to really impress the
world — to have the ultimate in horsepower
GSL offers Hennessy performance upgrades, which can see your Cadillac sedan,
coupe or sport wagon, for example, upgrade
its engine to anywhere from 600 h.p. all the
way up to 1,000 h.p.
“Every single (Hennessy upgrade) we build
is a numbered, limited edition,” says Wolfe,
adding the 800- and 1,000-h.p. upgrades
require new engines and take place at Hennessy’s plant in Texas.
“We have one customer who has a 2012
Camaro convertible with a twin-turbo 1,000h.p. Hennessey package and his serial
number is No. 001; it’s the first one in North
Long-term sales staff make return visits
to GSL a pleasure. “One of the best things
about our store is the longevity of our sales
team — four of them have been here longer
than 15 years,” says Wolfe.
“Whether a client is buying an entry-level
GM or their third Cadillac, they’re treated with
the same experience and expertise here.”
GSL GM City is located at 1720 Bow Tr.
S.W., just west of downtown. Call 403-265-
7690 or visit gslgmcity.com.
2013 Cadillac ATS
All new Cadillac models
feature 4 years of worry
free driving and include all
scheduled maintenance at
2013 Cadillac CTS AWD
2013 Cadillac SRX AWD
SMART PEOPLE READ THE FINE PRINT. ALL REBATES TO DEALER. OAC. VEHICLES MAY NOT BE EXACTLY AS SHOWN. ALL LEASES CALCULATED WITH $0 DOWN PAYMENT AND 20,000 KM PER YEAR. ATS RESIGUAL $23,104 PLUS GST.
SRX RESIDUAL $20,853 PLUS GST. CTS RESIDUAL $17,214 PLUS GST. ALL SALE PRICES AND PAYMENTS INCLUDE A/C LEVY, AMVIC FEE, TIRE LEVY AND DEALER ADMIN. GST EXTRA. DEALER MAY SELL FOR LESS, BUT THESE DEALS ARE PRETTY
AMAZING AS THEY ARE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, PROHIBITED WHERE VOID. SALE PRICES INCLUDE $1,500 CONQUEST REBATE. TO QUALIFY, ANY VEHICLE OTHER THAN CADILLAC MUST BE REGISTERED TO YOUR ADDRESS.
1720 BOW TRAIL SW, CALGARY
simple. honest. different.
w w w. g s l g m c i t y. c o m
Where luxury lives
When it comes to high-end homes, location is as important as square footage
he decision to put pen to paper
on a luxury home doesn’t end
with what’s included in its sizable
What surrounds that upscale purchase
can mean just as much. Whether that’s a
return on investment or bringing lifestyle
value to a long-term stay, the community
makes a difference.
“Location is still number one,” says
Larry Thomson, owner of Calbridge
Homes, on what attracts high-end house
hunters. “It’s about where they want to
His company was crowned Builder of
the Year at this year’s Canadian Home
Builders’ Association Calgary Region
SAM (Sales and Marketing) Awards.
Calbridge Homes offers a wide range of
housing types including models priced
upwards of a million dollars. Now, location can mean a number of
things, including distance to amenities
and what owners can see from their
great room or kitchen window.
“Mountains, water, cityscape or green
space are very high on customer lists,”
says Thomson. He adds proximity to
schools and strict architectural controls
are also priorities.
And when it comes to where to build
a home around the million dollar mark,
Calgary buyers aren’t short on selection.
Fans of downtown flock to infill opportunities, where old homes are knocked
down and luxury homes are built in their
But the inner-city route isn’t for everyone. Lavish new communities designed
for big ticket homes are on the rise in
and around Calgary. Four developments
opened within city limits last year and two
more broke ground within a 10 minute
drive of Calgary.
One of the developments is Watermark
at Bearspaw, a scenic property slated
to include 469 lots and 101 villa units
on land off 12 Mile Coulee Road west of
Calgary. It boasts a number of water features, including a selection of cascading
Watermark earned both Calgary Region Community of the Year and New
Community of the Year honours at this
year’s Calgary Region SAM Awards. Developer Macdonald Development
Corp. says Watermark at Bearspaw offers big lots, but doesn’t sacrifice con-
one on what
nection between neighbours.
“I believe that the majority of luxury
home buyers today are looking for an
overall sense of community, as opposed
to in the past where luxury buyers were
seeking privacy or seclusion on large
acreages,” says Matthew Jones, associate vice president of sales and marketing. Lots at Watermark at Bearspaw start
at 82-feet wide.
“The consumer wants a luxury home,
but still a community where (the) kids can
safely ride their bikes and where families
have amenities in place to gather with
friends and neighbours.”
Watermark at Bearspaw opened its first
phase with a show home parade called
the Street of Distinction, which features
builders Astoria Custom Homes, Homes
by Us, Trickle Creek Custom Homes and
Wolf Custom Homes. The collection was
later joined by Albi Homes, which has a
show home under construction.
The look and feel of upscale communities have evolved over the years. Jones
says 20 to 30 years ago, luxury communities in the Calgary region were mainly
comprised of large homes on two to four
acre lots surrounded by mostly vacant
green space and a gravel trail. Today,
luxury home buyers want more.
“(In the) past 10 years, you see more
communities such as Elbow Valley or
Watermark that, while still offering large
lots that accommodate estate homes,
provide more of a communal feel by way
of amenities, gathering areas,
playgrounds, extensive paved trail
systems, and even simpler things that
were typically lacking in acreage communities.”
The other Calgary area community to
open last year was Artesia at Heritage
Pointe in DeWinton. This development
tees up value through a 27-hole golf
course, located within the community. Builders in Artesia include Calbridge
Homes, Albi Homes and Astoria Custom
Homes. The new luxury communities in Calgary include Riverstone of Cranston in
the city’s southeast, West Point Estates
and Aspen Summit in the southwest and
The Ridges of Valley Pointe Estates in the
While Riverstone of Cranston sits near
a number of shops and services, along
with quick access to arterial roads, it’s
noted for different amenities. The community is on land facing the shores of the
Bow River and within walking distance of
Fish Creek Provincial Park. Other new upscale communities in
Calgary include West Grove Estates
and Currie Barracks, both in southwest
In recent years, residents moving to
these neighbourhoods have changed,
say builders. Luxury homes are no longer
an option exclusive to older couples who
have had years to put enough money in
“They are younger,” says Thomson. “In the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, there were
few true luxury homes built.” An influence
on this is the number of families with
more than one person earning income
from a high-paying job, adds Thomson.
General manager of Prominent Homes
Pal Shergill says he’s also seen an upswing in buyers of multi-million dollar
homes in their ’30s and ’40s.
When paying the price they do, today’s
purchaser takes a deep interest in what
they’re getting, he adds.
“The luxury home buyer is very knowledgeable on many things in their home
and the construction process,” says
Shergill. “They research many of the
items for their house and are educated
on what they want and what they are
When measuring what luxury home
buyers get in and around Calgary compared to other parts of Canada, it’s a
noticeable step up, says Justin Bobier,
zx A $12 million French Country home
by Pacer Signature Homes is the most
expensive home ever listed in Calgary.
The home is 14,500 square feet and
located in The Heights, an enclave in the
southwest community of Aspen Woods.
zx Last year, a home belonging to a
retired media mogul hit the market for
$11.5 million. The 9,801 square foot
home is on 0.2 hectares of land on Crescent Road N.W.
zx The priciest home in Airdrie was put
on the market for $1.5 million earlier this
year. The home is 4,400 square feet and
on a 74-foot wide lot in the community of
zx A buyer set a new sales record for
the city, after forking over $8.99 million
for a penthouse at a downtown Calgary
development called The River last year.
zx Luxury home sales broke a monthly
record in May 2012. That month, 74
homes changed hands for more than
$1 million. The previous record was 61
deals in March and July 2007.
Crystal Creek Homes president. His
company builds in Aspen Summit and
West Grove Estates.
“I believe in Calgary the quality we
expect from our trades as standard
cannot be compared to any other city in
Canada,” says Bobier.
“When we visit homes across the
country in the multi-million dollar range
we see that the quality of workmanship in those homes compares to what
we would expect to see in a so- called
starter home in Calgary.”
Jones agrees, that Calgary’s got an
edge in value.
“The biggest difference in my mind between luxury communities in Calgary versus other big cities in Canada is the price
point,” says Jones. “If you look at the type of estate home
you can purchase in Calgary for $1 million, and then look at $1 million homes in
other big cities, there is no comparison.
You get a lot more bang for your buck in
Lone Star Mercedes-Benz opened a
state-of-the-art preowned showroom in
2012, offering VIP service.
The very first Mercedes-Benz vehicle
was the Benz Patent Motorwagen,
released in 1886.
When you get behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, you expect luxury, comfort and an
esthetic experience like no other.
At Mercedes-Benz comfort is combined
with superior performance and fuel efficiency,
and a drive to continually improve the wheel.
“What makes Mercedes-Benz luxurious is the
way you feel when you’re moving from Point A to
Point B,” says Simon Clarke, sales manager of
the new car department at Lone Star MercedesBenz. “In one of our vehicles, it’s very much about
the journey more than the destination.
“We do this by making you feel extremely
safe, because we surround you with passive
and active technology that will protect you
and/or prevent you from having a collision.
And we use very fine materials to please your
senses from an esthetic standpoint, such as
fine leather material, and every piece of wood
you see is actual wood — it’s not plastic
made to look like wood.”
Add to this finely machined metal finishings, and it’s no wonder Mercedes-Benz has
remained the luxury brand of choice for more
than a century and Lone Star the city’s top
choice for luxury for some 40 years.
The 2013 GLK 250 BlueTEC compact SUV
has arrived, offering Mercedes-Benz luxury
and comfort, combined with state-of-the-art
diesel engine technology boasting superior
power and efficiency.
“BlueTEC uses an exhaust fluid additive that
combines with the pollution created by com-
GENERAL SALES MANAGER:
PRE-OWNED SALES MANAGER:
NEW CAR SALES MANAGER:
busting diesel fuel, and it washes the bad stuff
out of it,” explains Clarke. “It carries no smell,
and it’s quiet — it doesn’t rattle like the old diesels. We’ve taken many of our customers out
for test drives and they didn’t even realize they
were driving diesel-engine variants.”
The GLK 250 BlueTEC is typically 30 per
cent more fuel-efficient than standard gasburners, Clarke says, offering 5.9 litres per
100 kilometres on the highway and 8.3 litres
per 100 kilometres in the city. “You can antici-
pate getting over 1,000 kilometres to a tank
of gas — that’s Calgary to Vancouver with
some change,” he says. “It’s the most fuelefficient SUV in the class of compact luxury
SUVs — there is no equivalent.”
Even for those who don’t mind paying extra
at the pump, the appeal of BlueTEC is environmental friendliness combined with performance
that is superior in zero-to-60 comparisons than
On the horizon, Lone Star’s sales staff are
excited about the new range of 2014 CLAs, the
next generation of compact cars that combines
the best of both worlds — Mercedes-Benz’s
classic appointments, superior performance
and efficiency, with a price point that allows you
to get behind the wheel of this classic brand
from only $32,900. The CLA line includes the
250, the 250 4MATIC (all-wheel drive), and the
45 AMG model that boasts a 355-hp engine
from a four-cylinder power plant. Watch for the
CLAs to arrive at Lone Star in the fall.
Lone Star also prides itself on superior service, with a 300-vehicle secured parkade so if
you bring your vehicle in for service, it’s secure
and protected from the elements.
Lone Star Mercedes-Benz is located at 10
Heritage Meadows Rd. S.E. For more information, visit lonestarcalgary.mercedes-benz.
ca or call 403-253-1333.
Ensure spring isn’t the only one who’s arrived.
This season, take advantage of great offers on a wide range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
So you can get the car you want, and all the attention you deserve.
THE 2013 C 300 4MATIC™. TOTAL PRICE1: $42,630**
A Daimler Brand
• Sliding Glass Sunroof
• Heated Seats
• Power Folding Mirrors
Lone Star Mercedes-Benz 403-253-1333
10 Heritage Meadows Rd. S.E., Corner of Deerfoot Tr. & Heritage Drive
Mercedes-Benz Dealer Of The Year 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008 & 2010
© 2013 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. 2013 C 350 Sedan with optional 18” AMG 7-spoke wheels shown above, National MSRP $44,750. **Total price of $42,630 and down payment include freight/PDI of $1,995,
dealer admin fee of $495, air-conditioning levy of $100, EHF tires, ﬁlters, batteries of $16, PPSA up to $27.80 and AMVIC fee of $6.25. *Lease and ﬁnance offers based on the 2013 C 300 4MATIC™ available only
through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services on approved credit for a limited time. Lease example based on $348 per month for 48 months. Down payment or equivalent trade of $6,386 plus security deposit of $400
and applicable taxes due at lease inception. MSRP starting at $39,990. Lease APR of 1.9% applies. Total obligation is $25,816. 18,000 km/year allowance ($0.20/km for excess kilometres applies). Finance example
is based on a 60-month term with a ﬁnance APR of 0.9% and an MSRP of $39,990. Monthly payment is $614 (excluding taxes) with $6,639 down payment or equivalent trade in. Cost of borrowing is $829 for a total
obligation of $43,432. Vehicle licence, insurance, and registration are extra. Offers may change without notice and cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer ends May 31, 2013.
Paul Hardy is perhaps Calgary’s most well-known fashion designer who has been creating collections for more than a decade and garnering the attention of celebrity clients. Calgary Herald Archive
Suave and sophisticated
For fashion-forward Calgarians, it’s not about the logos on their lapels, it’s the construction and fabrication
of their garments that defines luxury style
is out there.
pen up any fashion magazine,
and what do you see? Page
upon full-page ad for Gucci
dresses, Prada eyewear, Louis Vuitton
handbags ... the list goes on and on.
While many people may not consider
Calgary a fashion mecca, the fact is, all
of these luxury brands are available right
in our own backyard.
“Whether people realize it or not,
Calgary has a very vibrant scene. There
have got to be fashion events every
week,” says Louise Hood, who works
for The Fashion Institute.
The Institute is an initiative of Olds College that offers fashion marketing and
apparel technology programs from the
Institute’s “new digs” at Calgary’s Bow
Valley College downtown campus.
Douglas Wilkinson, who has worked
at Holt Renfrew for 23 years, says
Calgary has “come a long way on the
fashion scene” over the past couple of
“Back then, we weren’t really known
for having a breadth of assortment, or
the brands that people would see when
they travelled. Now, we have the same
assortment as Toronto and Vancouver.
Even in a store in New York, you’d see
the same brands we have here,” adds
Wilkinson, who now serves as a personal shopper at Holt Renfrew.
To give you an idea, Holt Renfrew in
Calgary carries nearly three hundred
luxury brands that span accessories,
fragrance, jewelry and fashion. (By comparison, the Holt Renfrew store in Toronto
carries more than four hundred lines.)
Wilkinson says more designers are
being added all the time to Calgary’s
Holt Renfrew roster. New this year, for
example, are Balenciaga and The Row.
“The Calgary customer is very
cosmopolitan. They’re well travelled.
They’re surfing the Internet. They’re
getting blasts from Saks and Bergdorf
Goodman. They know what is out
there,” Wilkinson says.
Bernard Florence, owner of Calgary
“If you take major fashion centres
like Paris, New York, London and
Hong Kong, those are centres that are
very influential that men and women
look at. I try to bring that sense of
fashion into the Calgary market,” Florence explains, adding that his job involves “keeping on top of” the Calgary
consumer, who is aware of the trends.
And that’s the interesting thing: The
more a city’s luxury fashion and jewelry
market grows, the more like other urban centres that city becomes, as the
cosmopolitan consumer wants local access to high-end, international brands.
So is there anything that makes Calgary’s luxury fashion scene unique?
Florence thinks so.
“Calgary has a certain suave look all
to itself,” he describes, attributing this,
in part, to Calgary’s culturally diverse
Wilkinson says what makes the Calgary luxury market unique is the way
Calgarians interpret the word “luxury.”
“It’s not necessarily about a logo, but
it’s in the construction and fabrication.
The luxury is in being understated and
quiet,” Wilkinson explains, pointing to
Swiss label Akris as an example of this
“quiet luxury” many Calgary women
And, Wilkinson says, that quintessentially Calgary legendary event — The
Calgary Stampede — does lend a
regional spin to Holt Renfrew’s Calgary
“We’re always looking for great denim
for Stampede or items that would work
for Stampede,” Wilkinson says.
Mealan Mezzarobba, whose eponymous boutique, Mealan, has existed
along 4th Street S.W. for the past four
“People wear a lot of denim in this
city, but they express themselves with
a different top, or a different jacket,” she
Wilkinson says Calgary is also a “real
luxury market” for men’s suits, naming
Tom Ford, Canali, Prada, and Gucci as
some of Holt Renfrew’s most popular
sellers in the menswear department.
In typical friendly Calgary fashion,
Florence, Wilkinson and Mezzarobba all
emphasize that luxury is not just tied to a
stratospherically high price point.
“We help people from students to
CEOs,” says Wilkinson.
“We cater to most everybody. If you
want something for $200 we have it. If
you want something for $20,000 we
have it,” says Florence.
In the world of luxury fashion and jewelry, finding a “unique” item upon which
to splurge is also crucial.
“There’s nothing more enjoyable
than wearing a pendant that everybody acknowledges with, ‘Where did
you get that? It’s so unique.’ Those
are words that make you feel very
warm,” says Florence.
To this end, many of the lines Florence carries are exclusive to his store
in Calgary, such as Yvel, a jewelry line
from Israel featuring pearls and colourful
Mezzarobba ensures her customers
are getting something unique by carrying, for example, only one of each size
for a particular item.
Needless to say, with so many wellknown luxury brands on offer in the city,
it’s difficult for homegrown designers to
get much exposure.
Perhaps most well known is Paul
Hardy, a Calgary designer who has
been creating collections for more than
a decade, garnering attention south of
the border and accruing a lengthy list of
Local designers who are still growing their labels showcase their work
at Western Canada Fashion Week in
In addition, about five years ago, a
group of young Calgary artists formed
an organization called PARK, which
hosts local fashion shows to showcase
the work of emerging Calgary designers such as MaNoKin Design and NRT
Mezzarobba helps out the local cause
by carrying the work of two Calgary
designers in her store: leather jackets
by Bano eeMee and jewelry by Lina
“I’d like to be able to be a platform
to bring in local designers. I know how
hard it is to get a foot in the door,” Mezzarobba says, adding she also used to
carry the work of Calgary designer Lara
Presber (who now has her own boutique) and Caitlin Power, who re-located
“I’d like to see more designers in this
city. We could have a larger scale,”
And Calgary will, if The Fashion Institute has anything to do about it.
“I always believe the Fashion Institute
could act as a catalyst for activity in
this sector,” says the Institute’s Calgary
Campus director, Morgan Ross.
Mezzarobba says in order to support
the growth of a local fashion industry,
one that will be unique to this city, Calgarians need to shop local.
“You go to a place like Vancouver and
some people don’t even go to a mall….
Calgarians need to support their local
boutiques. They’re such an important
part of our community,” she says.
Redesigned four-door luxury
sedan arrives for 2013 with
new look, both inside and out
Dynamic redesigned 2014 sports
sedan is expected to arrive
at Lexus of Calgary in June
Lexus of Calgary
Luxury dealership in city’s southeast makes buying or servicing a Lexus vehicle feel like a VIP experience
In its relentless pursuit of perfection,
Lexus of Calgary has been taking
customer service to a whole new level —
and the results speak for themselves.
Not only does the dealership provide
an exemplary buying experience, it also
recognizes that the ownership experience
for most customers lasts much longer, says
general manager Kevin Olfert.
With that in mind, every customer who purchases a vehicle receives a letter outlining the
dealership’s signature VIP Service. A highlight
of VIP Service is free pickup and delivery of
your vehicle anywhere in Calgary for service
or repair at Lexus of Calgary’s service facility.
For example, a customer can drive
his or her vehicle to work and, during the
day, a valet will show up and take it to the
dealership, then return it.
The pickup and delivery service is so
effortless that the only way some customers
can tell that their vehicle was serviced is the
fact that it is returned sparkling clean.
Included with every service appointment
at Lexus of Calgary is an exterior wash, interior vacuuming and window cleaning. With
customer approval, the service department
can even touch up window stone chips.
For customers who prefer not to use
the pickup and delivery service, alternative
transportation is available while their
vehicle is being serviced, including shuttle
service or loaner vehicles.
Lexus of Calgary’s VIP Service is provided
free of charge to all customers buying a new
or used Lexus vehicle at the dealership.
All aspects of the dealership are dedicated to continually improving the customer
experience, Olfert says. The full-time service
reception staff is available to handle customer requests, and the phone system has
recently been updated to make booking
service appointments easier.
Service hours have also been extended
from 6:45 a.m. to 10 p.m., while special
touches are offered to customers such as
fresh baked goods picked up early each
morning at a nearby bakery, and the services of Calgary’s only full-time dealershipbased barista. All the while, customers can
surf the Internet on one of the available iPads
and relax in the BODO massage chairs lo-
cated in the guest lounge.
As part of its VIP experience, Lexus
of Calgary even holds special VIP events for
its customers, which have included hosting
more than 600 people for a meal at one of
Calgary finest dining establishments — all
courtesy of the dealership.
No wonder Lexus of Calgary has seen an
incredible growth in customers since it first
opened its doors in 1991.
To handle that growth, Lexus of Calgary
moved in 2006 to a new state-of-the-art dealership facility at 22 Heritage Meadows Rd. S.E.
The dealership continued to grow this
year, adding two 60-inch televisions in the
Lexus of Calgary is a certified Lexus Express Facility (LES). That means more than
30 service items can be completed in an
hour or less. Amazingly, that includes the VIP
Service cleaning, inside and out.
In a sign of the times, Lexus of Calgary is
also further improving its already excellent
environmental initiatives with the completion
and implementation of a Green Work Plan. It
includes all aspects of the dealership’s operations, from solid waste disposal to energy-efficient lighting and office paper management.
Concern for the environment also extends to the vehicles that Lexus of Calgary
sells. Olfert says Lexus is unique in having a
hybrid vehicle in every category of its lineup,
right up to the flagship LS.