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A Collector’s Sneaker Boutique

Encore, Encore
Sneakerphiles, you have a new mecca. The owners of West Loop lifestyle-and-footwear shop Self Conscious have opened Encore (3941 N. Sheridan Rd.; 773-477-4007), which co-owner LaVelle “V-Dot” Sykes says is more sneaker driven than the other store. Sykes, who has designed shoes for Nike for 13 years, says the store cultivates exclusivity with its stock of hard-to-find sneakers. “Almost everything in the store is one of a limited run,’” he says. “If you miss it, you miss it.” For example, his stock of the Adidas Consortium consists of one pair per size (8 through 13) of only 100 pairs made, and Encore is one of five stores nationwide to carry them. You’ll also find the limited-edition Nike Air Force leather-and-suede shoes, in three color combinations, and the Nike Air Max “Back to School” family of shoes, each style inspired by the packaging for Crayola crayons, Elmer’s glue, and black-and-white composition notebooks ($150 for low tops, $175 for high tops). Most of the shoes in the store run $150, although there are a few exceptions, such as the Nike Air Force One red-crocodile sneakers with 14-karat-gold tips on the laces for $2,000. The limited runs make the sneakers collector’s items, and Sykes says a lot of his customers buy two pairs: one to wear and one to put in the vault. The store will also sell shoes on consignment, or, for $100, it can customize a pair of sneakers using laser technology to embed a design in leather. “I want Chicago to be a sneaker city,” he says. “We can be trendsetters.” The store is open seven days a week and on weekends until 10 p.m.

Made With Love
Artist Eva May (5643 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-551-1875, evamay.com) has opened an eponymous store to showcase her handmade accessories and apparel. “There’s something about handmade items,” May says. “You know when you wear something if someone put their creativity into it.” May, a Swedish immigrant and silk-screening teacher at Lillstreet Art Center, came to Chicago for Ray College of Design (now the Illinois Institute of Art) and began her business soon after. After touring 46 art fairs on the circuit last year, she wanted to open a permanent space. Her adorable silk-screened shirts vary from the whimsical (a screen-printed monkey) to the ornately beautiful (a branch-and-flower design.) Most shirts are $35 and up. Also find hand-sewn and silk-screened bags ($30 to $120), hats created using 100-year-old techniques, and scarves. May hosts a grand opening on Aug. 30th from noon to 8 p.m., and on Aug. 31st and Sept. 1st from noon to 6 p.m.

Top Sales This Week
All four area locations of Bloomingdale’s (900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-440-4460; 600 N. Wabash Ave., 312-324-7500; Old Orchard, 847-675-5200; Oakbrook Center, 630-974-4300) host the store’s annual shopping benefit on August 29th from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment. A $10 ticket benefits 60 Chicago-area nonprofits and entitles the ticket holder to 15 to 20 percent off purchases all day. Call 312-440-4515 or visit bloomingdales.com for a full list of events.

Check out the latest in old-school plaid at the Nordstrom Burberry runway show. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s creative director, hosts a runway show previewing the fall/winter Burberry Prorsum women’s collection on Aug. 28th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Millennium Park Rooftop Terrace (205 E. Randolph St.; 773-477-9257). An on-site boutique will carry the latest collections. Tickets are $100 and benefit the Lookingglass Theatre Company. Can’t make the show? Check out the fall collection on view at Nordstrom (55 E. Grand Ave.; 312-464-1515) on Aug. 29th from noon to 2 p.m.

The Best of the Rest

  • Take an extra 50 percent off already discounted furniture, books, and clothing at the Mount Sinai Resale Shop (814 W. Diversey Pkwy.; 773-935-1434), which hosts its only sale of the year on Aug. 30th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Two Fish Art Glass (7401 Madison St., Forest Park; 708-366-6800) holds a Labor Day sale from Aug. 30th through Sept. 2nd with 20 to 50 percent off selected store items, such as art-glass lighting and entertaining accessories. The shop also has an ongoing “box buy back” program. Bring back a lamp box or 10 gift boxes or bags in good condition and receive a $5 credit toward your next purchase.
  • The twice-yearly outlet sale at Jayson Home & Garden (1885 N. Clybourn Ave.; 800-472-1885) runs Aug. 31st through Sept. 16th. Take an extra 10 percent off outlet items (already marked down 30 to 80 percent off), including furniture from JHG Furniture Collection, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Oly. Free delivery is included with the sale.
  • Merchandise from brands like Free People, Roxy, Billabong, and Original Penguin is discounted up to 75 percent off through Sept. 2nd at Stellar26 (4164 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-388-2626).
  • Woodstock Gallery (964 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka; 847-446-1190) is closing its doors. Owner Jill Meyer is moving to Sante Fe, and plans to close up shop on Oct. 1st. Take 40 percent off merchandise, and mention “Sales Check” for an additional five percent discount.
  • Stock up on T-shirts at Art Effect (934 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-929-3600) through Labor Day. Buy one shirt to save 10 percent; two shirts to save 15 percent; and three or more shirts to save 20 percent. The sale only pertains to non-sale items, from brands such as Splendid, Tokidoki, and Tattooed Tees.
  • Lissa on Maxwell (729 W. Maxwell St.; 312-536-9470) is offering 50 percent off denim—all styles and all brands, while supplies last.
  • Alright, so the product has an embarrassing name. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Bliss Chicago (W Chicago, 644 N. Lake Shore Dr.; 312-266-9293) hosts a sneak preview of its new neck treatment, “thinny thin chin” to slim the neck and chin region on Aug. 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. Take 20 percent off all Bliss and Laboratoire Remède products during the event, and see a free preview of the treatment, which officially launches Sept. 1st. R.S.V.P. to the spa.
  • Stock up on sunglasses at both locations of Eye Spy Optical (3350 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-477-2670; 2130 N. Damen Ave., 773-252-8660), where every pair of sunglasses in the store is discounted 10 to 50 percent off throughout August. Brands include Anne et Valentin, Lafont, Persol, IC Berlin, and Maui Jim.
  • Remember cootie catchers, those finger games made from folded-up paper that we used to play in grade school? Pet-accessory store Red Dog House (2031 N. Damen Ave.; 773-227-7341) is using one to determine discounts. Stop by from Sept. 1st through 8th, and play the game to find out your discount on selected sale items, ranging from 5 to 25 percent off.
  • Save at the outlet malls over Labor Day weekend, with additional discounts on outlet prices from Aug. 31st through Sept. 3rd at Chicago Premium Outlets (1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200) and Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets (601 Wabash St., Michigan City, Indiana; 219-879-6506).

Want more?
See last week’s column www.chicagomag.com
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