words/MEGAN SIBLEY pictures/ KEEGAN HUGHES
At first glance, Ottawa’s newest independent boutique reminds me of math. The name “Lgebra Concepts” brings me back to my high school days, staring at a blackboard with my mouth hanging open, trying desperately (with little success) to calculate the value of the ominous “x.” Thankfully, happier times are upon us. Minus the “A” in the English version of the word, Lgebra derives from the arabic term “al-jabr,” meaning “reunion of broken parts.”
Isah Alsahi, owner and operator of the boutique on 246 Dalhousie Street, describes the mood of his boutique as clean and refreshing. “We keep the background pure to highlight the silhouettes and textures of the clothing,” says Alsahi.
And refreshing it is. Picture white walls, shiny floors, and perfectly placed racks of pristinely kept pieces. According to Alsahi, the store is one giant piece of art; a place he lovingly refers to as his “hypothetical closet of artistic insights.” In simpler terms, a tangible place where Alsahi can give his perspectives on fashion a home.
“I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist with a minimalist view on what is beautiful, so I like to place emphasis on simple things: natural lighting, earth tone palettes and void space,” says Alsahi.
The opening of Lgebra began with a plan to move to Canada and create something big. When Alsahi couldn’t find an opportunity that fit the ideals of his dream job, he built his own. Five years down the road, Alsahi dreams of international creds: with Lgebra gaining presence in the world’s fashion capitals.
“It’s not about ego, being rich or well known; I simply want to meet people with the same vision, and see them wearing our products,” Alsahi says. “It’s about mastering the perfect balance between art as a passion and a business.”
Now of course, the part you’ve all been waiting for, on to the clothes themselves. The boutique is more of a collection, really. It’s a gallery of specifically curated pieces that work together to form the most aesthetically pleasing exhibition. Alsahi selects every piece from the brands of designers across the map, searching for clothes that blend cutting-edge style and the quality of pieces that you can keep forever.
“I want to present the mad passion of each designer we feature,” says Alsahi. “Inspiration comes in all forms, especially in new artists; we respect the vibrancy of new brands in our boutique.”
Lgebra’s products covet neutral colours and bold textures, exemplifying what Alsahi calls a “mature vision of fashion.”
“We value the maturity of a piece, and take interest in classic silhouettes that have a kind of avant garde essence to them,” says Alsahi. “I always choose labels that pay careful attention to fabrics.”
To say that Lgebra is simply another streetwear boutique would be a gross understatement. It is a vault packed full of a new breed of clothing. Lgebra houses pieces that are a hybrid of fashion and function, while preserving the simplicity and ease that dressing should be.
“At the end of the day clothing is something you embrace; it’s a second skin that should never negatively affect your wellbeing,” says Alsahi