Founded in Montreal in 1986 by Francine Fontaine, Revenge played a key role in the visibility and commercial success of Quebec fashion designers. Located at 3852 St. Denis Street, the store was known for offering exclusively made-in-Quebec creations.
More than a multi-brand shop, Revenge was considered a hub for young up-and-coming designers.
Among the well-known names who got their start at the store are Jean Airoldi, Hélène Barbeau, Angela Bucaro, Christian Chenail (MUSE), Michel Desjardins, Denis Desro, Chantal Levesque (SHAN) and Marie Saint Pierre.
In addition to offering these designers an official space to sell their merchandise on consignment, Revenge set up various promotional events, notably brunch-fashion shows, and published special “Quebec Designers” inserts in the magazine Clin d’oeil. Francine Fontaine was supported in these efforts by a team of people that included Daniel Lussier, Régis Thibeault, Guylen Fortin, Guy Deschênes, Joël Fhima, Jessica Harnois, Richard Lanthier and Christine Couture. In 1990, they created the Association pour la promotion des designers de mode du Québec. Three years later, this non-profit organization became a true professional association: the Association professionnelle des designers de mode du Québec.
In 1998, Revenge was purchased by Michel Contant and Francine Ouellet, the store’s long-time accountant. This acquisition came at a time when a growing number of Quebec designers were opening their own boutiques. Since Revenge was no longer the only place to find the work of Quebec designers, its new owners had to broaden its base and begin stocking Canadian designers whose products were harder to find in Montreal. In the spring of 2002, the duo launched its own line of men’s clothing under the TAM label, featuring high-end suits that combined classic and urban style.
Revenge went out of business in 2009 just as many St. Denis Street merchants were closing their doors.
In 2011, Francine Ouellet launched her own company of synthetic fur pieces under the Bluff Fourrures label. She has been a member of the Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec since 2017 and takes part in various craft fairs and shows.
“Revenge souffle ses 20 bougies”, La Presse, Thursday 7 December 2006, (accessed in Eureka 26 September 2018)
“Mutation dans le commerce de la mode”, La Presse, Tuesday 6 February 2001, (accessed in Eureka 26 September 2018)
Madeleine Goubau, Collaborator