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

A Long Way Down: What does the collapse of Gen Art and its Fresh Faces show mean for Chicago fashion?

News and Dish No Comments »

Gen Art's first Fresh Faces in Fashion show in Chicago/Photo: Compliments of Julie Darling

By Rachel Sugar

After sixteen years of showcasing emerging artists, Gen Art has “succumbed to the recession,” according to a press release issued last week. The New York City-based organization, which also ran offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, aimed to promote the next generation of filmmakers, musicians, visual artists and fashion designers with a steady calendar of red-carpeted events. Their list of alumni is impressive: Brad Anderson (film), Rachel Yamagata (music), Will Cotton (visual art), and Zac Posen (fashion) are among the ranks that have been featured at Gen Art events.

SHOP Chicago, Gen Art’s annual festival/marketplace featuring local designers and boutiques, was slated for May 13 at Galleria Marchetti, but was canceled when Gen Art folded. While the organization was known around town for their annual film festival—the larger-scale New York version just wrapped up last month—and events like SHOP Chicago, they made their Midwestern mark with Fresh Faces in Chicago runway show, a highlight of Fashion Focus Chicago in recent years. Julie Darling, who headed Gen Art’s Chicago operations when it came to the city in 2002, recalls the first Fresh Faces show as a “wild success.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion Focus Chicago 2009 Schedule

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Here’s the complete schedule for this week’s Fashion Focus Chicago, in unedited form from the city:


Fashion Focus Chicago, a celebration of Chicago’s thriving fashion industry, returns for a fifth year in 2009. Running from Thursday, October 22 through Sunday, October 25 Fashion Focus Chicago showcases some of the city’s top designers, and features runway shows in Millennium Park and at various locations around the city as well as shopping events, and industry seminars.

For the first time this year, Fashion Focus has partnered with some of downtown Chicago’s most chic hotels to offer special shopping packages and exclusive Fashion Focus amenities. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a personalized experience at one of these world-class hotels while immersing themselves in Chicago’s hip fashion scene.

For more information, including making reservations for Fashion Focus 2009 events or booking hotel accommodations, please Read the rest of this entry »

Designer Spotlight: Amber Beach

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Line: Amberlynn Designs
Background: After a stint in the business world, Beach left to pursue her lifelong dreams of being a fashion designer. She graduated from Columbia College’s fashion-design program in May 2007.
The Pieces: Heavy on bright, bold colors and super-feminine cuts, the sassy designs combine an element of West Coast energy with a bit of southern flair. Beach describes them as “a punch of personality.”
Designer inspirations: Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood, Zac Posen, Nanette Lepore
Chicago Inspirations: “The people. I love the diversity that’s here; the progressive, forward thinking. You’re surrounded by artistic, passionate people, and the city is so alive with so much energy and opportunities that it fascinates me. ”
On being a designer in Chicago: “There are lots of opportunities and organizations right now, and there’s a big sense of community; a support system.”
What to look for: A summer trunk show and the launch of the Amberlynn Designs online store.
Where to find Amberlynn Designs: Wolfbait and B Girls,

New Kids on the Fashion Block

Designers, Events/Exhibitions No Comments »

As Fashion Focus Chicago kicks off this month, there’s no better place to check out the brand spankin’ new designer talent than at the Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion show. The young designer showcase (in its fifth year in Chicago, sixteenth in New York) has garnered a reputation as the place to view up-and-coming talent, and has helped designers like Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Michelle Tan and Orlando Espinoza to the next level. According to Gen Art Chicago director Amanda Nosal, fashion designers are definitely in need of extra support.
“One of the main things for designers is to show their collections during fashion week. Doing that in New York costs $50,000 and up, but it’s the only way to get collections in front of everyone all at once,” she says. The Gen Art solution? Sponsorship. Each sponsor’s logo graces the stage behind one of the collections, allowing them to showcase ten young designers, many of whom would have remained undiscovered without the helpful boost.
To create the show Nosal spends the year scouring the scene for buzz-worthy designers. A few months before the final selection she contacts in-the-know shops like Jake and Hejfina to see what new local lines they’re excited about. With many of this year’s designers on only their second or third collections, the pool of talent will undoubtedly be fashionably cutting-edge. “I think this year we’re showing designers that I haven’t heard a lot of talk about [outside the fashion industry],” Nosal says. “They’re really new and really fresh, which is exciting” Included on the list are womenswear designers Abigail Glaum-Lathbury and Moire Conroy, menswear line Wrath Arcane and accessories collections by Winifred Grace and Kinsley Handbags.
While the short-term goals of the show focus on exposing our local talent to the fashion world, their long-term ambitions involve turning Chicago into the next great designer haven.
“Chicago has great designers, but not a ton to pick from. I hope as the show and Fashion Focus grow that more designers are encouraged to stay and create their business here,” Nosal says. “That’s what the goal is.” (Molly Each)

The Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion show takes place October 9 at 7:30pm at Millennium Park. For ticket information check out or