On the surface, the consignment industry appears to be reserved for those with deep wallets and even deeper devotion to the brands that make the editorial headlines. Consignment house Luxury Garage Sale caters to these individuals, but is also one of the most accessible shops for the general public with a penchant for the sartorial. With a storefront opening in Old Town, I sought out LGS founders Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal with a few questions about their work, their background and the elusive world of consignment.
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1444 N. Wells, (312)664-2222
Goods: Men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry and accessories. Designers: Genetic, Citizens of Humanity, Ella Moss, Splendid and Junk Food are all in rotation at this premium denim boutique. Owner: 25-year-old Mallory Ulaszek may be young, but when it comes to denim, she knows her stuff. “I’ve been shopping for premium denim since I was like, 10!” she says. Vibe: Loud tunes and bright colors put the final spin on this edgy little shop – it’s a total rocker’s paradise. Price Range: Moderate to Inexpensive. The Look: Rock and roll all the way. Amongst the Jimi Hendrix tees and record-based display cases you’ll find everything you need to channel your inner superstar. Bring back the ’80′s with some acid-wash jeans, or go back a little further with a hip tye-dye scarf: no matter what decade you’re going for, Ulaszek pays homage to it Shopper’s Perks: All of the art is up for grabs – all you have to do is ask!
As summer months fade into fall, it’s easy to get a case of the blues. But new denim-based boutique City Blue Denim & Apparel is here to prove that’s not always such a bad thing.
Celebrating their grand opening November 6, owner Mallory Ulaszek says her Old Town shop is one part rock and one part roll. “[The store] is basically revolved around being… a denim and simple apparel boutique where it’s casual and comfortable and it has a little bit of a rock ‘n’ roll edge,” she says. “I carry styles that a lot of places don’t carry.”
Like the celeb-driven brand Genetic, for example. “It’s a big denim player right now,” Ulaszek notes of the high-end label. “It’s something that’s a little more edgy and different.” Read the rest of this entry »
1405 N. Wells, (312)587-9800
Goods: Men’s and women’s couture clothing and shoes. Designers: Big names like Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Moschino and Richard Tyler are present, to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nicole Briese
Wake up, Wells Street—Trevian has arrived. With just three little words, Chicago’s resident fashionista has made her presence known, and Old Town just may never recover: Hot. Ass. Sale.
Painted in the window of Wells Street’s newest boutique, the unapologetic advertisement is definitely turning heads. “We wanted to see how [the neighborhood] would respond to our least aggressive window display,” owner Trevian Kutti says. Opening her namesake in March, Kutti has decided the time has come to introduce Old Town residents to luxury retail—Trevian style. “[We’ve been] taking our time… gauging the [area,]” she says. “As you can see, the sign in the window is like the warmup. It’s like touching water to see if it’s too hot. Right now it’s lukewarm.”
But not for long. Not if Kutti has anything to do with it. Known for her Oak Street staple G’Bani, Kutti is no novice to the world of retail—or the controversial “statement window.” “We do windows that show we are human beings before we are a business,” Kutti said in a New York Times piece that featured her button-pushing displays in January 2006.
Currently in the process of relocating G’Bani to Old Town, Kutti and husband B.J. have already begun implementing their plans to dominate the block with their latest venture. “We wanted to make Trevian completely upscale, so now we do Moschino, Richard Tyler [and] Chloe…to bring a destination luxury boutique to Wells Street,” she says. Read the rest of this entry »
1343 N. Wells, (312)335-1962, shopsarajane.com
Goods: Clothing and accessories for women, a small section of baby gifts. Designers: Billy Blues, Orion, Anoname Jeans, Crash & Burn. Owner: Sara Plocker, who worked in wholesale before opening her own urban chic boutique. Vibe: A clean display of merchandise with careful spotlighting. Fitting rooms are tucked behind swooping cream curtains topped with chocolate fringe. At Sara Jane, fun with fashion prevails: “We try not to take ourselves too seriously in here,” Jane says. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate. The Look: A taste for off-the-beaten path designers. Retro cuts mixed with modern accessories. Old-fashioned and girly—think lacy collars and silky, pastel camisoles. Shopper’s Perks: The staff prides itself on honest feedback.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009
1706 N. Wells, (312)751-2929, handlewithcarechicago.com
Goods: Women’s clothing, accessories, perfume, candles and cards. Designers: J Brand, Gold Hawk, Three Dots, Nanette Lepore, Theory, Shoshanna, Rebecca Taylor, Hudson, Rozae Nichols, Trina Turk, Diane von Furstenberg, House of Harlow, Citrine By the Stones and Tibi. Owner: Brinton Coxe recently took over this 25-year-old boutique. Vibe: The rooms are bright and elegant, with delicate chandeliers and exposed brick walls. The sales staff is dressed adorably and an upbeat mood prevails with eighties and nineties hits in the background. Price Range: Moderate-Luxury. The Look: Each room increases in price and dressiness, so there’s something for any occasion. Wear to drinks on a friend’s patio, your college roommate’s wedding or dinner at NoMi. Shopper’s Perks: Client books kept by the staff remind them to alert you when your favorite designers come in. A classy handwritten note thanks customers for purchases.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009
Handle With Care
1350 N. Wells, (312)440-1300, haberdashmen.com
Goods: Clothing, accessories, shoes and grooming supplies for men. Designers: John Varvatos Star USA, Steven Alan, Rag & Bone, Vince and Timberland Boot Company. Owner: Adam Beltzman, a former lawyer, set up this Old Town shop as an alternative to the cookie-cutter men’s store. Vibe: Sleek, masculine decor includes polished wood and oversized leather chairs. The totally clued-in staff has the scoop on each item and designer in the store. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: Polished, confident and cool. Shopper’s Perks: All the guys who work here are simply dashing.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009