Back before we rarely changed out of our sweats, Shilpa Shah and Karla Gallardo launched Cuyana, a clothing company that preaches the curation of a smaller but higher-quality wardrobe. “It sounds crazy: a fashion company that wants you to buy less,” says Shah. The duo debuted their line in 2011, pushing the ethos of sustainability: They avoid overproduction by maintaining a maximum of around 150 styles at a time and assist customers in donating items no longer wanted to women in need. In March, Cuyana opened an Oak Street location that offers pieces like baby alpaca capes made in Peru and leather weekenders from Argentina. To help counteract the carbon footprint of such far-flung importing, material sourcing takes place in the same regions as manufacturing. Though online sales of a cashmere cardigan and pima cotton jumpsuit — designed specifically for working from home — surged during the lockdown, Shah hopes that Chicagoans will come to the Gold Coast store postisolation. The 1,200-square-foot shop reflects the brand’s tenor, with feminine, curved seating and an earth-toned palette. Just the kind of comfort zone we’ll crave. 56 E. Oak St., cuyana.com
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