“DESIGNING WOMAN CLOSES UP SHOP:
MARILYN BROOKS, A FORMIDABLE FORCE IN THE CREATION OF CANADA’S FASHION INDUSTRY, IS MOVING ON …”
The Calgary Herald – Sunday, February 2, 2003
by Doris Montane, The Calgary Herald
“To most people that’s called retirement, but not to Brooks.”
“We don’t use the ‘R’ word,”Brooks says.
“It’s the ‘F’ word, fulfillment of a different kind. I’m going to do some things I’ve not been able to do.”
At the top of her list is Brook’s first love … painting.
“FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS, THIS DYNAMO-DESIGNER HAS SHAKEN AND STIRRED CANADA’S FASHION LANDSCAPE.”
The Toronto Sun – January 21, 2003
by Sylvi Capelaci, Style Editor
“In the ’60s she rode around Toronto in a Rolls-Royce flashing her Chelsea snake-skin boots. Vacations in Acapulco, wild theme parties, orgy-style fashion shows, metal miniskirts, chain mail bras, and even a Velcro bikini, featured in Time magazine, were all part of the Marilyn Brooks lifestyle. In 1963, Brooks opened her first T.O. boutique, Unicorn, bringing a hip Carnaby Street vibe to the city. “Traditional retailers, designers and manufacturers shook their heads in somewhat disgruntled amazement at the attention paid to Marilyn Brooks, an old Sun article recalls.
There was nothing like the Unicorn in this city. We only had predictable little dress shops. You’d never go into any store and see mushroom candles, funky wine glasses and Mary Jane candies next to a rack of clothes,” says local retailer Mary Lu Toms.”
“She was the first to bring a boutique-style store to Toronto that was both fashion and lifestyle. She broke the barrier and made retailing exciting.”
“Brooks was also a sharp marketer, instigating gargantuan shows at the Coliseum and O’Keefe Centre. Her 1970 Unicorn presents, “Spring Fashion Orgy” was a Roman-epic with grapes, gladiators, lions, leopards and full frontal nudity”.
“I rode in on a chariot,”
she recalls as if it was yesterday.”