URBANITY was opened by Julia Manitius at the end of 2004 in Vancouver’s historical Gastown.

I had a dream to have a shop selling the beautiful OLEANA collection.  I had been living in Denmark since 1977 where I was inspired by the awareness and concern for materials, quality, and unique design.  After many years as a studio potter I returned to Concordia in Montreal to study for a year.  I went back to Denmark to work at a Textile College, where I taught for a number of years.  My interest in fabrics and fibres expanded to a curiosity about machine knitting.  When I saw Oleana’s designs in an exhibition in Copenhagen I knew I wanted to have a relationship with the company.

Vancouver called to me, and a few months after arriving, I opened Urbanity with the Oleana collection.  After 5½ years in Gastown I moved Urbanity to South Granville.

Oleana sets the standard for quality in Urbanity, and Oleana’s philosophy is woven into that of the store.  Annual trips to Copenhagen have broadened the selection in the store, and we now carry a number of ‘boutique’ Scandinavian brands.   The clothes and accessories we carry tell a story.  They are made in, or very close to the country of source, by people who are paid fairly and enjoy their work.  The materials are natural – wool, silk, linen, cotton.

We buy small quantities directly from the designers.  We do not have storewide sales.  The products we sell are not seasonal, and looked after properly will last for many years.

Most of the products we carry are not available anywhere else in Canada, or even in North America.  If you are looking for something unusual and unique, you will enjoy Urbanity. You will find nothing like what we offer, in Vancouver.

I look forward to your visit!

Julia Manitius