When Emilia Dlugolecka was laid off from her corporate job in January, she never imagined she’d become an entrepreneur.
“At first it was like, this is great, I’m gonna hibernate this winter and I don’t have to fight traffic or get on the El when it’s like zero degrees,” she recalls. A few months later, she went into panic mode. “I kind of woke up from hibernation in late March and said, ‘ohmigod, I don’t have a job,’” she says. “I literally got in my car one day and started looking for storefronts… I called every place on Clark in Andersonville that had a ‘for rent’ sign on it.”
Just two months later, Dlugolecka was “standing in line downtown, getting [her] business license. I’m going, ‘what the hell am I doing here?’” she says. Read the rest of this entry »
Law Roach and Siobhan Strong
Most of us don’t have a celebrity image consultant to help us decide what we should wear the next day, but now there’s a clothing store in Chicago where we can get a “free consultation” included in the price of any purchase. Celebrity fashion stylists Law Roach and Siobhan Strong have dressed stars like “America’s Next Top Model” Eva Pickford, “Prison Break”’s Rockmond Donbar and supermodel Veronica Webb and—at their new Pilsen store Deliciously Vintage—they will do the same thing for any customer who walks through the door. Read the rest of this entry »
Ashley Zisook and Allison Zisook Goldstein/Photo: Geoff Adler
Trends come and go, but elegance never goes out of style—and sisters and co-owners Ashley Zisook and Allison Zisook Goldstein are reintroducing that element to the Windy City with their vintage boutique, Sofia. Ashley says she and her sister named the store for Hollywood goddess Sophia Loren (her given name is actually Sofia). “She is the epitome of beauty, class and glamour; all of the qualities that the store embodies,” Allison says in the store’s press release.
Sharing a love of vintage that began in their grandmother’s closet as children, Ashley says she and Allison aim to bring back the grace of eras like the fifties and sixties. “Girls don’t have to wear tiny little dresses with their boobs hanging out to look pretty,” she says. “We’re bringing back those dress lines and shapes from [those eras].” Read the rest of this entry »
1452 W. Chicago, (312)243-3100, dovetailchicago.com
Goods: Men’s and women’s vintage clothing, shoes and accessories. Designers: Cole Haan, Cortina, Joseph Magnin. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: YELLOW JACKET VINTAGE IS NOW CLOSED IN CHICAGO (2-14-09)
2959 N. Lincoln, (773)248-1996, yellowjacketvintageclothing.com
Goods: Clothing and footwear for women and men. Large selection of multicolored wigs, accessories, clothing patterns and vintage artwork. Designers: While brand names aren’t the deal, there is an impressive stock of comfy Levi’s, Jordache and Wrangler jeans. Owner: Jennifer Rau opened Yellow Jacket’s first location in Milwaukee’s trendy Brady St. district in 1993. Four years ago, she brought her retailing expertise and thrifty eye to Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Vibe: Classic hardwood floors and vintage playhouse seating play an attractive yet understated backdrop to the racks of vibrant and funky clothing and accessories that steal the show. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate The Look: 1960s, 1970s and 1980s streetwear. Shopper’s Perks: The stylish staff is friendly and complete with advice and the four changing rooms and ample space allow perusing without tapping boots.
Yellow Jacket Vintage
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2008
855 W. Belmont, (773)549-1038; 1318 N. Milwaukee, (773)384-8448, belmontarmy.com [ratings]
Goods: New and vintage clothing and shoes for men and women. Designers: Ben Sherman, BB Dakota, Nice Collective, B. Son, Common Projects, Cheap Monday, Fiber & Fellow, Frye, Nike, Converse, Vans, Gravis, New Balance, Shades of Greige, Schmoove, Insight, Levi’s Capital E, Lifetime Collective. Owners: Chang Yoo, Tae Yoo, Tony Lee and Craig Scholla moved the legendary Belmont store over to the West Side when the Brown Line expansion forced the closing of the original location. They’ve reopened on Belmont as well, near the original spot. Vibe: The upstairs stock is completely new, while the vintage goods are in the basement. The clothing (yes, even the vintage) is neatly arranged and the staff is completely hands-off (unless you need them, of course), which makes for a totally no-pressure shopping experience. Price Range: Inexpensive-Expensive. The Look: Trendy hipster upstairs, thrift-store devotee downstairs. The person who shops on both floors has a personal style that is completely their own, and thrives on blending pieces to create a unique look. Shopper’s Perks: Massive amounts of both new and used clothing in one location. Perfect for fashionable friends with dueling shopping styles.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009
Wicker Park Store
2639 W. Fullerton, (773)772-2007 [ratings]
Goods: Men’s and women’s designer resale and vintage clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, coats and gift items like soaps and lotions. Designers: Marc Jacobs, Prada, Franco Sarto, Armani and dozens of vintage labels. Owner: Maria Morales took her personal collection of vintage items and filled a vacant storefront in her Logan Square building. Vibe: The hundreds of items are displayed in an organized clutter. Gorgeous pieces pull your attention from all corners, but Morales helps narrow the search for those on a mission. Price Range: Moderate. The Look: Like you just stepped out of a 1940s fashion magazine. Head-to-toe vintage makes a splash at a cocktail party, while an old-time purse or necklace is eye-catching anywhere you go. Shopper’s Perks: Morales takes consignment.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009
4617 N. Lincoln, (773)293-2903 [ratings]
Goods: Vintage and contemporary clothing and shoes for women and a dazzling array of new purses. Designers: A bevy of higher-end designers supply the must-have purses that could easily fit in at Anthropologie. Owner: Carmen Mooses’ friendly demeanor has turned her vintage store into a neighborhood staple—friends come to peruse her latest handpicked finds or just stop by to chat. Vibe: The true definition of vintage, this tiny store is chalk full of timeless furniture lined with gently used designer swag. Price Range: Inexpensive. The Look: Perfect for grad students or aspiring actors: this shopper knows how to stand out in a crowd while on a budget. Shopper’s Perks: The secret in this closet? Walls of affordable, stylish purses that seem to have found their way off Madison Avenue.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2008
A Secret Closet
3744 N. Broadway, (773)975-8199, kreativesoulsbypilar.com [ratings]
Goods: Shoes, tops, dresses and skirts for women; jeans for both men and women; vintage and handcrafted jewelry. Designers: Most of the clothing is vintage, and the jewelry comes from owner Pilar Audain-Reed’s own line. Owner: Audain-Reed walked away from her career as an epidemiologist to open this store and design jewelry. Vibe: Not a spot in this store is empty, but instead of feeling cluttered, it’s as though you’re being embraced by the universe. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate. The Look: Chunky amber necklaces. Sheer blouses with sequined spider webs. T-shirts with positive life messages. Mellow and gorgeous. You could hang out any place across the globe and be the hippest person there. Shopper’s Perks: Pilar handcrafts jewelry for her clients while they wait; she also dispenses life-wisdom that will give you goose bumps.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009
2918 N. Clark, (773)296-6630, myspace.com/clothesoptionalchicago [ratings]
Goods: This vintage resale shop features goods from the 1950s-1980s, including clothing for men, women and children alongside home goods. Designers: Polyester disco shirts, Levi’s bell-bottoms, Members Only jackets, “plaid anything and everything.” Local designers are included on a rotating basis. Owner: Jamie Owens owns up to an “obsession” with items from the fifties through the eighties and opened the boutique over six years ago to “create a nostalgic flashback into time.” Vibe: Swag lights and disco balls hang from the ceiling, dangling over well worn mannequins, while oldies waft from the speakers.Owls—the store’s signature motif—show up everywhere. Price Range: Inexpensive-Moderate. The Look: Casual, funky and retro-flavored. Shopper’s Perks: Originality, of course. Be the only person at the party with a Twiggy-esque mod shift dress, or an old- school Donna Reed shirt dress.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009