4140 N. Sheridan, (773)472-7220, blakestandard.com
Goods: Women’s contemporary sportswear. Designers: The label’s own line is backed by creative director and designer, Pierre Colorado. Owner: Having worked for huge lifestyle labels like Abercrombie & Fitch, Perry Ellis and Levi’s, Colorado brings his twelve plus years of design experience to Oakbrook with thus, his latest venture. Vibe: SoHo chic. The store is meant to embody the London loft Colorado sees the “Blake woman” inhabiting. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. Shopper’s Perks: Although the Blake Standard line has been featured in boutiques like Perchance and Cinnamon, Oakbrook serves as their flagship – the very first to debut and exclusively feature the line in its entirety.
What do you do when you’ve designed for some of the biggest labels in the world before your fortieth birthday? Brands like Perry Ellis, Levi’s and Abercrombie & Fitch? If you’re Pierre Colorado, you take matters—and fabric—into your own hands and launch your very own clothing line.
“When I was ready to leave Abercrombie, it was kind of a life-changing decision,” he says. “I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. I had opportunities in both New York and Los Angeles, [but] I just wasn’t ready to go to another corporate community.”
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Colorado took the plunge. “Having my own label is something that I’ve always aspired to,” he says. “I was always interested in it. I was always drawing, sketching—I was always drawn to fashion.” Read the rest of this entry »
1021 W. Lake, (312)633-4000 [ratings]
Goods: Men’s and women’s footwear; baseball caps, zip-up hoodies and tees. Designers: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Timberland shoes; Artful Dodger, Levi’s, Akoo and Rich Yung clothing. Owner: Percy Gibson helms this West Side boutique in addition to his North Side sneaker shop, Encore. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. Vibe: The store is tricked-out bachelor pad meets upscale boutique. The front is filled with high-end footwear displayed like art, a big-screen TV, couches and a well-kept bar waits in back. The Look: Sneaker-head heaven—the walls are even decked out in autographed hip-hop photos. Shopper’s Perks: The store is open until midnight on the weekends, and a party vibe permeates the shop as the night goes on. Also, Self-Conscious is one of five stores in the Midwest to have a quick strike account with Nike, meaning that highly coveted shoes show up out of nowhere.
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