Retail Therapy: Primitive Culture


Both avant-garde and upmarket, Primitive Culture (814 16 Ave. S.W.) in the heart of 17th Avenue, is a city gem that’s bringing some of the world’s most exclusive, cutting-edge fashions, directly to Calgary’s doorstep.

Attracting the city’s gypsy-minded elite since the early ’90s, Primitive Culture is all about comfortable living, with an edge.

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Stocked with luxurious contemporary-wear that interprets a lifestyle of relaxed nonchalance, Primitive embraces a comfort that’s both cool and refined, bohemian and laid-back.

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The store is solely limited to women’s attire and accessories – think distressed leather clutches, delicate jewellery, milliner-made hats, and garments by designers like Gary Graham, Alexander Wang, Raquel Allegra, Anna Sui and Soyer.

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The selection of sophisticated (and beautifully chunky) knits is vast; Primitive supplies versatile daywear options that can be worn with evening panache, and eveningwear that’s easily worn with daytime ease. We love the heavenly-thick cashmere cardigan by Soyer, which can be worn as a daytime or eveningwear piece.

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The 1,000-square-foot space reflects Primitive’s worldly aesthetic, seen in the likes of pieces such as embroidered jackets, sequinned tunics and hand-embellished tops.

The interior’s low-key boho-industrial theme includes modern furniture, wooded coffee tables, and natural cowhide rugs. Art Deco-inspired lighting, a distressed ruby-red leather armchair, concrete flooring, and metal accents add a dose of character and creates the environment’s simple, urban feel.

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The solid pewter pendent light hanging from the middle of the space – a find from a Los Angeles flea market with origins dating back to the 1930s – originally hung in an L.A. theatre and captures the energy and bohemian vibe of the store perfectly.

It’s Malibu meets New York, and it’s culture at its finest.

Visit Primitive Culture at 814 16 Ave. S.W., and follow them on social:

Twitter: @primitiveinc



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