Open for Business: Scoop NYC Gold Coast

*New Boutiques, *The Nationals, -Accessories, -Menswear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Gold Coast No Comments »

Scoop NYC is taking things slowly—its second store in Chicago, just opened in the Gold Coast, comes about four years after the company entered Chicago with its Bucktown location at 1702 North Milwaukee.

So what’s different about the new store?  The 4,800-square-foot Gold Coast store reflects an updated version of Scoop, says Heidi Hoelzer, the buyer director and divisional merchandise manager. “We will open the store with our best product and brands and, after spending more time with the Gold Coast Scoop customer, we will edit as necessary. I think we will see more tourists in our Gold Coast store than we do in Bucktown, with a higher demand for designer items,” says Hoelzer.

For this reason, the Gold Coast Scoop store will add Roberto Cavalli and Missoni to its designers roster, which includes Helmut Lang, Alice & Olivia, Free City, Burberry, Camilla Skovgaard, Anya Hindmarch, Zac Posen, Dsquared, Billy Reid and Simon Spurr. “From the best shirt, denim, blazer, cocktail dress, or beach cover-up to a strappy sandal, we have it all under one roof for men and women,” Hoelzer says.

Under that roof are two stories of men’s and women’s merchandise, with women’s clothing, accessories and shoes on the first floor and a glass staircase leading to menswear on the second. A 375-square-foot terrace provides event space, and Scoop expects to host a book signing event for the authors of “Who What Wear,” as well as trunk shows and charity events. (Sarah Alo)

Scoop NYC, 1011 North Rush, (312)649-9880

Big Foot Strikes Back: Stephanie Sack puts some kick into her plus-size wonderland with Violette shoes

*New Boutiques, -Women's Shoes, Bucktown No Comments »

Stephanie Sack

By Sarah Alo

Like many women, I love shoes. But like many, I have trouble finding a pair that satisfies the quadruple whammy of shoe needs: comfort, style, affordability and—most importantly—availability. Especially for us women of substantial foot size, it’s rare that a store carries larger offerings, let alone in the sale section. But let us all rejoice: Bucktown’s new boutique Violette, 2031 North Damen, offers all that and more.

Owner Stephanie Sack says she has had a fantastic response since her opening at the end of May, in part because customers from her plus-size clothing boutique, Vive la Femme, have been pleading for shoes.

Violette only carries shoe sizes 7-12, and specifically stocks up on larger sizes. “I’ve been finding clothes that didn’t exist for nine years, so I knew I could find shoes too,” Sack says. She feigns outrage at the thought of carrying smaller sizes. “I don’t open a business to ape what others do, I open a business to set the standard.”

Over the years at Vive la Femme, Sack’s heard regular customer requests for lingerie, wedding and shoes; she found shoes to be the most democratic. “Vive is for the stylish women of size in Chicago, and Violette is for the stylish women of Chicago,” Sack declares. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Kathryn Kerrigan

*New Boutiques, -Women's Shoes, Bucktown No Comments »

At first glance, Kathryn Kerrigan seems like just another tempting shoe store in Bucktown. However, once you step past the all-glass storefront you’ll notice that the boutique is a bit grander than all the others. Literally, bigger is better at Kathryn Kerrigan; the store only carries shoe sizes 9-13.

Have you ever noticed how, at a sample sale, all the frenzied women are battling for the size sevens, eights and nines while it’s all calm and collected in the size-twelve aisle? Although the majority of women do wear sizes seven-to-nine, as the new store’s owner Stephanie Sack puts it: “women of size are an underappreciated and overlooked market.” And Sack is capitalizing on this notion. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Sir & Madame

*New Boutiques, -Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village No Comments »

As the saying says, “it’s all in the name.” And for this contemporary men’s and women’s boutique, the name exudes both the story and the sophistication behind the store, before even stepping in the door. Sir & Madame is a boutique and clothing line founded by husband-and-wife team Brian and Autumn Merritt. The Merritts, however, are no strangers to the Chicago fashion circuit. In 2006, they opened Solemates, which dished up street-smart footwear for those whose urban chic hailed from top to bottom.

They certainly mastered the art of the cool shoe, but closed the store down to embark on a new adventure, moving from their Lincoln Park location over to the even hipper Ukrainian Village. Autumn appreciates being able to “feed off the energy of other local businesses.” Regardless of the cachet of the neighborhood, Sir & Madame holds its own, oozing a sense of nostalgia mélanged with a modern sensibility, or as they call it “classic with a twist.” Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Florodora Shoes

*New Boutiques, -Women's Shoes, Loop No Comments »

For Michael Blossom, history and fashion go hand-in-hand. In 2007 he opened Florodora, a high-end women’s boutique featuring a vintage-inspired collection of clothing and accessories, some of which are designed and produced locally. The boutique is located in the South Loop on the first floor of the Monadnock Building, a historic landmark for the city, but also a personal landmark for Blossom. His grandmother worked on the seventh floor of the building in the early twentieth century. Everything about Florodora is inspired by that time period: from the antique chandeliers and ornate wooden furniture pieces inside the store, to the clothing, handbags and jewelry.

Blossom’s newest venture also combines fashion and history. Florodora Shoes is located just south of Florodora and on the same block, at 348 South Dearborn. After some research on the Monadnock Building, Blossom learned the corner retail space that now houses Florodora Shoes has been home to multiple businesses, most interestingly, two different shoe stores. From 1902 through the 1940s, a shoe store named Hassel’s occupied the space. In the 1950s, a retailer named Hardy moved in, and also sold shoes. “You could tear up this carpet and find ‘Hardy’ in places,” Blossom says. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Nike + Saint Alfred

*New Boutiques, *The Nationals, -Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Streetwear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Bucktown No Comments »

It’s Friday night and the sounds flowing off the DJ’s decks easily drown out the traffic outside the doors on Milwaukee Avenue. But the noise doesn’t seem to faze the boisterous crowd of sneaker heads, hipsters, bloggers and beauty queens gathered within, checking out the new wares and, of course, each other. Just like another shoe-release shindig for the St. Alfred’s regulars, perhaps, but we’re a long way from Niketown,  tiger. This is Nike+St. Alfred’s coming-out party.

The global shoe giant and the Chicago sneaker mecca have teamed up in a promising retail collaboration that’s taken over the Hejfina space next door to Saint Alfred’s storefront on Milwaukee Avenue, starting this Thursday, and lasting through this summer’s World Cup, at the least. The pop-up shop offers selective Nike sportswear, most notably its licensed soccer gear from competing countries, Saint Alfred x Nike Co-Lab pieces and exclusive artist collaborations. Read the rest of this entry »

Open for Business: Sarca

*New Boutiques, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Gold Coast No Comments »

stuff 019It’s been just six weeks since the opening of Sarca, but the store has already made its mark on the Chicago fashion scene—and its closets.

Opened in early December by Alexis Cozzini, the high-end women’s clothing shop is a treasure trove of edgy finds. “I had known just in the back of my mind over the years brands that I wanted to have in my store when I opened it,” Cozzini says. She’s certainly had a lot of time to ruminate—she broke into the fashion biz at the tender age of 15.

“I worked in Lincoln Park at Celeste Turner,” she says. “It’s not there anymore, but it was like the hottest boutique at the time. I worked there after school in high school… and I loved it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Keep it Fresh: Jugrnaut and SuccezZ bring streetwear to the South Loop

-Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Streetwear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Near South No Comments »

By Emily Torem

Two still fresh-on-the-scene streetwear boutiques in the South Loop prove that the Windy City is not just a place for trends to proliferate; it’s where they’re made. Lifestyle store Jugrnaut stocks everything from clothes and accessories to art, hats and action figures, while self-described “sneaker geek and stylist” SuccezZ focuses on providing rare and limited-edition footwear to the shoe-obsessed. Both stores are big supporters of local talent, whether it’s through music, art, style or design.


“There are people who are fashion forward in Chicago that are ahead of the curve, like in Japan, but not that many. It’s a slow process, but we’re getting there,” says Roger Rodriguez, one of the South Loop streetwear shop Jugrnaut’s owners.

The team of four men—Rodriguez, Brian Navado, Manny Rodriguez and Arthur Banks—opened the store in October of 2007 after a previous venture fell through. The four own and operate the shop, as well as their own eponymous brand, which includes hats and shirts with the store’s lightning-bolt logo. The partners emphasize that the store is more than just a retailer of apparel. Read the rest of this entry »

Deliciously Vintage

*New Boutiques, -Accessories, -Menswear, -Vintage, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Pilsen No Comments »

1747 S. Halsted, (312)733-0407, [ratings]

Goods: Vintage clothing with modern tailoring for men and women, but primarily for women. Shoes and accessories, including hats, jewelry and designer sunglasses. Designers: Dior, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Oscar De La Renta, St. John and others. Read the rest of this entry »

DNA 2050

*New Boutiques, *The Nationals, -Accessories, -Jewelry, -Mens Shoes, -Menswear, -Women's Shoes, -Womenswear, Chicago Boutiques, Gold Coast, Shoes No Comments »

900 N. Michigan, Level 3, (312)944-0040 [ratings]

Goods: Men’s and women’s denim, shoes and accessories. Designers: The store houses thirty women’s denim brands and twenty men’s, including C.R.A.F.T. Denim, Hudson, G-Star, Rebecca Minkoff, House of Harlow, Naked & Famous, Nobody and Grace Sun to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »