Sergio Ugartechea and Brian Moriarty, veterans of the Chicago retail industry, have switched things up. After nearly 20 years of managing Battaglia Footwear (battagliafootwear.com), the pair has left the high-end Italian shoe boutique to focus on their latest obsession: pelts. The new Gold Coast venture Fabbri Furs (50 E. Oak St.; 312-944-3877, fabbrifurs.com), specializes in restyling, cleaning, repair, relining, consignment, and alterations of fur coats and jackets. “Given the economy, not everyone is looking to spend $8,000 to $10,000 on a new coat,” says Moriarty. “We’re here to take an old coat style or hand-me-down, and turn it into something modern.” Restyling can include everything from shortening the length of a coat to adding new furs to the collar and cuffs. (The cost depends on the extent of alterations, but Moriarty says his prices will be lower than for comparable services at department stores.) “Sergio once took a coat and turned it into a vest,” Moriarty says. “We can make something fun out of something boring.” On the retail end, look for custom created pieces, such as a dyed red chinchilla three-quarter length coat ($38,000), a sheered mink jacket with a natural chinchilla collar and cuffs ($6,250), and the boutique’s home collection of fur blankets, throws, and pillows. By the end of the year, Fabbri Furs plans to add accessories, such as handbags and sunglasses, to its stock. “We may even get into women’s accessories,” Moriarty says. “We want to create an all-year-round boutique.”
Top Sales This Week
To raise awareness about the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation and its mission to find homes for dogs, more than 40 Lake View shops, including M2 Boutique (3527 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-9866, mboutiquechicago.com), participate in the second annual Hop Around the Shops. Along Southport Avenue between Belmont Avenue and Irving Park Road, the free event features shopping discounts, an egg hunt, prizes, refreshments, a balloon artist, face painting, an appearance from the Easter Bunny, and dogs from the foundation, on March 28th from 12 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 773-857-7600.
Best of the Rest
- Macy’s (111 N. State St.; 312-781-1000, visitmacyschicago.com) kicks off its “Spring is in the Air” flower show, featuring more than 15,000 flowers and topiaries from around the world, Sunday, March 28th.
- As a way to commemorate spring break, Halo [For Men] Gold Coast (21 W. Elm St.; 312-642-4256, halochicago.com) offers discounts on selected treatments through Wednesday, March 31st. Enjoy a 25-minute Thai massage for $25 (originally $45) or a 30-minute seaweed facial for $25 (originally $55).
- Get a 30-minute psychic reading from Nancy Wallace ($55) at Elevenzees (1901 W. Division St.; 773-772-1150, elevenzees.com) on Saturday, March 27th. Call 773-772-1150 to book an appointment.
- Through the end of March, buy five Hagaddot at the Spertus Shop at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago (610 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-322-1740, spertusshop.org) and get one free (some exceptions apply). Also through Wednesday, March 31st, Spertus members receive 20 percent off everything, excluding books. Spertus memberships start at $30; visit spertus.edu for more information.
- Dollparts: A Fabric and Vintage one-day sale features vintage clothing, accessories, and supplies as well as 4,000 yards of fabric in the former Beta Boutique space at 2016 West Concord Place, on Saturday, March 27th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit theheliopsis.com.
- Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barneys New York (15 E. Oak St.; 312-587-1700, barneys.com), visits the store to host a free shoe event on Wednesday, March 24th from 2 to 4 p.m. While enjoying cookies, attendees may enter to win “this season’s hottest shoe.” RSVP to 312-587-1700.
- Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414, hubbahubbachicago.com) hosts a Maruca trunk show Thursday, March 25th through Sunday, March 28th. Guests who already own a Maruca bag and bring it to the event receive 20 percent off new Maruca purchases.
- p.45 (1643 N. Damen Ave.; 773-862-4523, p45.com) holds a Brochu Walker trunk show with an appearance from the designer Lauren Walker on Saturday, March 27th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Gamma Player (2035 W. Division St.; 773-235-0755, gammaplayer.com) showcases its spring 2010 collections from Julius, Jean-Pierre Braganza, and more on Wednesday, March 24th from 6 to 8 p.m.
Closings and Relocations
Jake (939 N. Rush St.; 312-664-5253, shopjake.com) takes up to 40 to 70 percent off all items until it closes on Thursday, April 1st. The owners Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel plan to open a pop-up store this spring as well as a concept store in the fall.
In preparation for its move to 72 East Oak Street in April, Sofia Vintage (1165 N. Clark St., Suite 400; 312-640-0878, sofiavintage.com) has closed. In the meantime, shoppers can buy online at sofiavintage.com.