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Montreal Paulo Branco, manager at the new GoGo Lounge on 124th Street in Edmonton, left, chats with Arthur Fafard, owner of Blackbyrd Myoozik on Whyte Avenue at the Dr. Martens grand opening party at West Edmonton Mall.

From left, Tyler Coper, an engineer, with Molly Hughes of fashion blog VanitEtown and Mario Giguere at the Dr. Martens grand opening party at West Edmonton Mall.

Artist Jordanna Kuefler, left, sells her original acrylic paintings with friend Marina MacLeod at The Whyte Avenue Art Walk.

Stylist Zoe Kreider, left, and Laurie Callsen of fashion blog Retro Reporter, right, enjoy a few scoops of ice cream while previewing the latest looks at the Dr. Martens store opening on Europa Boulevard at West Edmonton Mall.

Dr. Martens Shannon Pagett Coupal, left, and Erin McMillian of Chapel Hats, right, at the Dr. Martens grand opening on Europa Boulevard at West Edmonton Mall.

Kathy Stachniak, a desktop publisher, left, with Carly Bruce, a social worker, at the 17th Annual Whyte Avenue Art Walk.

From left, Brelyn Shannon, operations manager at the new Dr. Martens store in West Edmonton Mall, with Gravitypope owner and Dr. Martens franchise owner Louise Dirks, centre, and head of Dr. Martens USA, Douglas Segal.

Curtis and Deb Mooney enjoy the 17th Annual Whyte Avenue Art Walk with daughters Katie, second from left, and Shannon, second from right.

Sven Anders, right, and Oliver and Julia Rossbach, tourists visiting from Germany, take in the 17th Annual Art Walk on Whyte Avenue.

Erika Montgomery, left, and Jill Hollett, right, at the Dr. Martens grand opening party at West Edmonton Mall.

EDMONTON The independents are making it big in E town.

If we needed any more proof that Edmonton is doing well economically, we now have it. (Not to mention, American powerhouse retailer J. Crew recently launched its first Alberta location at WEM, and Simons, a 170 year old department store, will open its first location outside Quebec at WEM this September). Edmonton is a fashion retail machine.

Doug Segal, head of Dr. They sipped Prosecco and cooled off with coconut flavoured gelato from Edmonton’s Pinocchio Ice Cream as they previewed the Fall 2012 Doc Martens lineup. Party goers also heard more about the company’s upcoming collaboration with Brit “it girl” and model Agyness Deyn, and swooned over one particular pair of floral print boots, a welcome revival from the ’80s.

On Saturday afternoon, I took my new Docs and wandered Old Strathcona for the 17th Annual Whyte Avenue Art Walk. This family friendly outdoor event is a four kilometre walking tour along 14 city blocks and two parks, and showcases work from hundreds of local artists over three days.
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