Christina Monley’s road to fashion design was anything but ordinary. After years as a broker on the New York Stock Exchange, the Wicker Park resident launched Christina Karin, a boardroom-to-barstool clothing line that flips professional dress on its head. As she rolls out her fall collection, Monley, 34, shares some favorite things.
Best Chicago meal
Fettuccine and clams at the Robey. I’m from the East Coast. When I find great seafood, I’m loyal.
Fashion item I’ll never retire
My silver Gucci Jordaan loafers. They’re the most comfortable neutral I own. I could walk 20 miles in them.
My signature style
Downtown chic meets edgy cool.
Hidden local gem
The Desert House at the Garfield Park Conservatory. In the winter, it’s 85 degrees—and the architecture is very Great Gatsby.
Where I spend the most
Olivia’s Market in Wicker Park. It’s great for food staples, and they have a beautiful flower section.
Highlighters from Glossier have the perfect dewiness—a bit of sheen but not too much sparkle.
Where I shop for home decor
South Loop Loft. It’s an appointment-only showroom in West Town [open to the public on Saturdays]. It’s great for when you want something beautifully made but not by a big brand.
I write everything down in a black Piccadilly notebook.
How I treat myself
ZaZaZoo in Bucktown gives the city’s best manicure.