Sales Check

7 years
ago

 

French Finery on Michigan Avenue

Très Chic
Is your kitchen lacking a certain je ne sais quoi? Newly opened Genevieve Lethu (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-423-9948) can help. The luxury housewares store is the first U.S. outpost for the French tabletop-and-textile company. Located in the 900 Shops mall, the store is full of bright, fun tabletop items such as tablecloths, napkins, and plates and flatware sold by the piece or by the set. The company releases four to six tabletop collections a year that coordinate with previous collections, “treating housewares like fashion,” says Michaelene Nichols, the company’s manager for U.S. operations. For instance, the dinner-plate pattern called L’Amour ($25 a plate) matches a set of dessert plates ($66 for six) whose…

7 years
ago

 

Wicker Park Bubbles Up

Clean and Cozy

It’s rare for a bath and body store to so effectively blend the masculine and feminine, but the newly opened Wicker Park boutique Pour Vous (1750 W. Division St.; 773-698-6024), with its brown and blue décor, flat-screen television, and river rock fireplace, somehow manages it. Owner Tonja Legittino left a corporate job as an insurance broker to open her relaxation haven, stocked with soaps, lotions, bath bombs, robes, and pajamas. Soaps from Splash come in enormous slabs that she cuts down to individual bars. The brand’s light soufflé body lotion ($16.95), shower gels ($9.25), bath bombs ($2.95 to $6.95), bubble bath in grown-up scents such as lavender or “island fever,” and massage bars ($8.95) are reasonably priced because of the no-frills packaging. Or try the Oliba organic soaps ($6.25) and lotions ($6.95) in lovely scents such as papaya mango and ginger pear, or the powder soaks from Biggs and Featherbelle; Legittino discovered both lines at the Renegade Craft Fair last summer. Try the sugar and salt exfoliation scrubs in…

7 years
ago

 

Bucktown Gets Fancy

Tickle Your Fancy
Need a last minute New Year’s Eve dress? You’re in luck. Recently opened Veruca Salt Fancy (1921 N. Damen Ave.; 773-276-9888), the sister store to the more casual Veruca Salt Fun (1937 N. Damen Ave.) down the street, carries cocktail dresses, trousers, and shoes that skew, well, fancy. Find a stunning Susana Monaco black leather cocktail dress ($449) and pair it with leather opera gloves ($145), or a silver pleated mini-dress ($350), or a sparkly gray holiday dress from Collective Clothing ($69.99). Dressy favorites from Rachel Pally and Sunner mix it up with more work-appropriate attire such as the classic trouser from Raven Tailored ($212), a big, buttoned white coat from A.B.S. ($349), and gorgeous cashmere from Emma & Posh ($130 for a striped sweater.) Also find jeans with a sequin clasp from Rich & Skinny ($220), and shoes from oh . . . DEER! and Sam Edelman, such as…

7 years
ago

 

Pilsen’s Got a Brand New Shoe Store

Kick Up Your Heels
New shoe stores are sweeping the city and a recently opened Pilsen boutique fills a West Side void. Zapatillas (1421 W. 18th St.; 312-226-4040, zapatillasinc.com), or “slipper” in Spanish, emphasizes adorable affordability, with prices ranging from $24.99 for flats up to $199.99 for boots from the brands such as Nine West, Chinese Laundry, and Madden Girl. Unlike many ballet flats that don’t allow for a bend in the foot, the ones here from Me Too ($69.99) are actually comfortable; we also liked the Anne Michelle tweed pumps ($29.99) and the trendy oxford heels ($92.99). The store also carrries a few Mexican imports such as the purple suede heel from Via Libera ($74.99) and beautiful ostrich leather boots in colors from muted tan to festive red ($169). The purse selection is also worth a look, including…

7 years
ago

 

An Art Mart in Andersonville

Art, Smart
The new Andersonville Galleria (5247 N. Clark St.; 773-878-8570) lets you shop local with less legwork by combining the wares of more than 40 artists in one three-floor, loft-like space. Here you’ll find stall after stall of everything from fine art to T-shirts to toffee. The nice selection of artists and designers also includes many that are usually only available online, such as world-shoppe.com. Hand-printed tees from Novem Studios include a black one with a graphic silver el ($25). You’ll find vases and sconces from the Streeterville florist City Scents; antiques, such as the fun and kitschy assortment from Vintage Swank; Chicago-themed coasters from Denise Riesen ($35 for four); and fine art from boldly graphic oils to photography. This one-stop shopping galleria is so inspired, we hope it catches on in other neighborhoods. The top floor is scheduled to open, with 45 more stalls, in…

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7 years
ago

 

New Gift Boutique in River North

A Little June in December
Finding a gift for that discerning person on your list just got a little easier. June Blaker (870 N. Orleans St.; 312-751-9220), who has owned Chicago stores on and off over the last 30 years, opened an eponymous River North boutique a block away from the location of the store she shuttered in 2001. Stocking an eclectic mix of high-style novelty home accents, jewelry, and purses, Blaker defies the usual gift store bric-a-brac mishmash. Gorgeously sculptural graphite objects (such as lips, flowers, and animals) can be used as paperweights or writing utensils (hands are $65; feet are $58 for the pair). Mounted insects and butterflies, one of her trademark objects over the years, defy creepy and use nature as art form ($125 to $1,500). Also check out the…

7 years
ago

 

Happy Thai Imports Come to Lake View

A Touch of Whimsy
“Happywear for women and men” is the motto of the new Lake View boutique P + L (2956 N. Clark St.; 773-248-3758), and true to its slogan the shop stocks graphic-print tees, chunky jewelry, and outerwear that blends style with a sense of humor. Husband-and-wife owners Leena and Paul Chicmmongkoltip scoured her native Bangkok for innovative designers, hard to find elsewhere in the U.S. Kitschy “feel me” tanks ($26) hand-stitched with fuzzy animals such as a rabbit with an eye patch from Zavonna, graphic tees from Cisse, and a skirt with a delicate flower cut-out along the hem ($75) from Keven are all unique Thai finds. Those who have shopped in San Francisco may recognize Cop-Copine, a Paris-based line well-loved on the West Coast, such as the gorgeous white turtleneck with lace embellishment ($158). Menswear veers graphic, such as printed tees from Brownsound ($28) and MomiMomi ($46) and a messenger bag ($50) from Goorin Bros. Among our favorites are…

7 years
ago

 

A Greener Gift in River North

Have a Heart
Just in time for the holiday season, the gift store Greenheart (746 N. LaSalle St.; 312-264-1625944-2544, greenheartshop.org) has opened its doors inside the Center for Cultural Interchange in River North. The Chicago store, the only location inside the United States (there is another one in Ibiza, Spain), carries fair-trade and eco-friendly products from local and international artisans. Store manager Katherine Bissell Córdova says the store is a way to use consumer power for good. “People are becoming more aware of what they’re buying and shopping is an easy way to effect positive change,” she says. You’ll find home accents like vases ($39) and bowls, fair-trade chocolates and teas, and bath and body products. The store also sells totes created from recycled rice bags made by women in Cambodia, purses made from…

7 years
ago

 

Me & Ro Opens on Oak Street

Be Jeweled
Me & Ro (61 E. Oak St.; 312-957-8181), a jewelry line frequently seen in the pages of Vogue, has opened a Chicago store, only the fourth in the country. Prices for the silver and 10-karat gold line start at $150 for earrings, rings, and pendant necklaces, with precious jewelry running up to $40,000. Known for stackable rings and hammered metals, the line uses organic materials and precious, semi-precious, and rare stones in designs that reflect nature, so it’s appropriate that the graceful shop is decorated with dark wood and red Venetian glass walls and an in-store pond. Look for the set of three Lotus Dish stackable silver rings ($240) and a beautiful 18-karat gold rutilated quartz drop pendant ($845). Some pieces are carried exclusively in the Chicago store, such as the 18-karat gold…

7 years
ago

 

Clandestine Destination

Fall Out Fashion
Clandestine Industries (952 W. Newport Ave.; 773-857-3525, clandestineindustries.com) may not be a household name yet, but its chief designer certainly is: Wilmette-born Pete Wentz, the bassist for a little band called Fall Out Boy. The line just opened its first stand-alone store in the space formerly occupied by the Lakeview Manufacturing Co., a boutique that sold the clothing-and-accessories line. Stephen Westman, who ran the former store as an offshoot of his bar, Lakeview Broadcasting Company, now owns and operates Clandestine Industries. “When I opened the Lakeview Broadcasting Company, I partnered with Clandestine and used their clothing for our uniform,” Westman says. “The opening of the Lakeview Manufacturing Co. was merely a response to the overwhelming interest people had in our…

7 years
ago

 

Nanette Lepore Opens in Bucktown

Amore, Lepore
Chicagoans have been shopping her feminine, bohemian apparel for years, and now Nanette Lepore opens her first Midwestern boutique in the former Jolie Joli space in Bucktown at 1623 North Damen Avenue (773-489-4500). Opening on Nov. 1st., just in time for cool weather, the boutique offers Lepore’s luxurious fall line, which features gorgeous jewel tones and lush fabrics such as velvets, satins, and tweeds. The collection offers a range from more formal eveningwear—a sequin shift dress ($370) and a sparkly brown cocktail dress ($410)—to more casual items such as a purple satin top with a keyhole front ($215) or a tweed bubble coat ($495). The store’s décor combines…

7 years
ago

 

Lake View’s Latest

Perchance to Shop
The new Lake View boutique Perchance (3512 N. Southport Ave.; 773-244-1300) strikes just the right note with its lush, vintage glam décor and feminine shoes, supplemented by a smart selection of women’s and children’s clothing and body products. Go vintage with the ‘40s-inspired shoes from Bettye Muller, such as the gray suede heel with a bow ($405) or the cute flats ($215) from Delman, the same brand Marilyn Monroe wore in her famous white-dress-over-the-grate photo. The heels from Anyi Lu, a former designer for Taryn Rose, have a shock-absorbing insole made from material invented by NASA, called Poron, for long-lasting comfort; the faux- croc patent heels are $345. You’ll also find an array of comfortable boot options,…

7 years
ago

 

Alessi Opens Shop

Cult of Personality
The iconic housewares design company Alessi has opened a new Chicago flagship store at 611 North State Street (312-274-6500, alessi.com), one of six nationwide. The Italian-based company made its name by asking architects to design housewares and kitchen items. Many became cult objects, such as the Anna G bottle opener ($49) designed by Alessandro Mendini and the Michael Graves tea kettle ($149) equipped with a bird whistle. At the store, you’ll find the line’s trademark whimsical items such as the parrot corkscrew ($49) and the brightly colored Kaj watch ($85) from artist Karim Rashid, as well as…