Celebrities Calse Hulse and Shenae Grimes make appearances at opening

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After Remembrance Day crowds dissipated across Calgary on Nov. 11, another crowd formed at the doors of Express in Chinook Centre.

People were waiting to see the inside of the city’s newest men’s and women’s clothing store, and to meet former Calgary Flames player Cale Hulse and “90210” star Shenae Grimes.

Express spokesperson Jennifer Bayley, based in New York but in attendance at the grand opening, said it’s always exciting to have local talent meet their fans.

“We definitely love having these great brand ambassadors here,” she said.

Both Hulse and Grimes said they like the clothing at Express and have shopped at its stores many times.

Grimes, originally from Toronto, said when she was younger, her dad used to drive her all the way to Buffalo, N.Y., just to buy clothing from the U.S.-based Express. Now in her adult years, she is still a big fan.

Grimes described her personal style as funky, eclectic and a little bit sloppy. When it comes to choosing the right clothing, comfort is the main aspect she looks for.

“You look at so many women and they look amazing, but also so uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I don’t like feeling that way, so I don’t dress that way.

“The more comfortable, the better.”

Express opening

From left: “90210” star Shenea Grimes, Express spokesperson Jennifer Bayley, and former Calgary Flames defenceman Cale Hulse cut the ribbon to open the first Calgary location of the Express clothing store chain in Chinook Centre.

Photo by: Pauline ZuluetaHulse and Grimes both had a stack of photos to sign for their fans. The first 200 customers received an exclusive Canada flag Express T-shirt, which represented the brand’s Canadian launch.

Before long the dressing rooms were filled with eager customers trying on items of clothing.

On the women’s side, the room sparkled with shirts, dresses, blazers and even tights covered in dazzling sequins. On the men’s side, rows of colourful ties and handsome suits could be found.

Customer April Kargard is a fan of sequins and had her eye on a gold blazer covered in them, which she said she would never be able to find anywhere else. Like many other customers, Kargard is excited that Express has finally come to Calgary.

“I’ve been to New York a few times, and every time I go, I make sure to stop at Express,” Kargard said. “I like them because they are fashion forward without being too over the top, and it’s something you can wear every day without looking horrendous.”

Two Express stores have already opened in Toronto, and the company is now looking to expand into Canada, with a target of 50 stores over the next five years.

Calgary will soon be home to three Express locations: a second store in Southcentre Mall also had its grand opening on Nov. 11, while the third will open its doors in Market Mall on Friday, Nov. 18.


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