How do you launch a luxury shopping website? Obviously, you throw a party. For the Calgary-based Upside, it only made sense to have it in an upscale Mount Royal home — with some of the most beautiful walk-in closets you have ever seen.The Upside is Canada’s largest online luxury consignment retailer offering authenticated designer goods. Yes, that means they’re second-hand. It also means prices are in Canadian dollars. With no obscene shipping duties.Normally, buying used items online would make me nervous. But after getting the chance to see the merch myself, I can confidently say they are more pre-ignored than pre-loved. Dirt-free. Unscuffed. Some items still have their tags.I wasn’t the only one who was intrigued. The party was packed with power shoppers, like philanthropist and political campaign manager Cynthia Moore, who take their clothes seriously. With a capital ‘S.’Unforch for the male guests, the curated inventory – comprising 250 + designers – only caters to women. But the soiree offered a chance to peak inside an abode that may have been home to Leonardo DiCaprio when he was filming The Revenant in Alberta. I couldn’t quite confirm that, but the good news is that luxury realtor Gordon Ross will be happy to assist you in acquiring it for yourself — it’s for sale.Downstairs, in the living room, while watching Upside founder Lauryn Zhukrovsky on the mic, I got the distinct impression that partygoers were being encouraged to tweet about it. Meanwhile, like all good parties, everyone ended up in the kitchen.
Wishing you’d been there? There’s another chance to get up close and personal with the Upside’s high-end goodies with the Black Weekend Pop-Up Sale, November 27-28. A selection of retailers will be under one roof in the former Domicile space on 11th Avenue S.W. Meanwhile, you can shop til you drop online — 20% off everything tomorrow.