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 sapphire link chain ($5,210) and drop earrings ($7,055, meandrojewelry.com).
Spotlight On Alessi
Alessi US recently opened its Chicago flagship store Alessi at 611 North State Street (312-247-6500). The company, which makes artful tabletop and home accents, is known for collaborations with architects, such as the kettles by Richard Sapper and Michael Graves. The line’s espresso maker won a place in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Alessio Alessi, the company’s president, spoke with Rebecca Little:
Q: Why a Chicago store, and how does that fit into the U.S. expansion of flagship stores and stores within stores?
A: We’ve been very happy to open in Chicago because it has a high perception of designers and architecture so we can be understood here. And Chicago is the only store with a kitchen so guests can see the product in context.
Q: Alessi products all maintain a combination of high style and a sense of humor. What are your qualifications for or directives to designers to maintain that aesthetic?
A: In the 1980s, we started with a novelty concept, Coffee & Tea Piazza, [for which] architects worked in the media of silver and stainless steel to create these coffee and tea sets that were architectural and sculptural. We want to represent the best quality of creativity and innovation for everyday objects. In Italy, everyone knows Alessi. In the U.S., Alessi is well known for designer pieces but we need to make the product more accessible.
Q: Do you have some favorite products?
A: My personal favorite is the Richard Sapper kettle. It’s very complex. Stainless steel, brass, copper, and plastic—the combination of materials, the shape is beautiful, and it’s been very successful in the United States. It combines functionality and style.
Top Sales This Week
The designer-brands sample sale Threadlounge has returned, with a lengthy sale for more leisurely shopping and, we hope, less panic purchasing. The sale runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 18th at 912 West Armitage Avenue, and includes a selection of men’s, women’s and children’s designer clothing at wholesale prices from designers such as Rozae Nichols, Da-Nang, Marc Jacobs, and Lewis Cho. You’ll also find L.A.M.B. coats, and denim from Chip & Pepper, Antik, and 575 Denim. Credit cards accepted.
The Best of the Rest
- Shop for jewelry, accessories, and paper goods from Chicago crafters at the D.I.Y. Trunk Show on Nov. 17th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Pulaski Park (1419 W. Blackhawk St.; diytrunkshow.com).
- Jayson Home & Garden (1885 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-248-8180) hosts its biannual outlet sale through Nov. 21st (rescheduled from earlier this year), offering free delivery and an additional 10 percent off items already reduced by 30 to 80 percent. Brands include Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Oly. During this event, Artists Frame Service, in the basement of the store, also discounts miscut frames.
- The Armitage Association (the shops in Lincoln Park along Armitage and Webster avenues and Halsted Street) hosts a Holiday Showcase event on Nov. 15th from 5 to 9 p.m., with participating boutiques offering beverages, snacks, and gift ideas.
- The Denim Lounge (2004 W. Roscoe St.; 773-935-2820) hosts a trunk show with 1921 denim on Nov. 13th from 5 to 8 p.m. All 1921 merchandise will be 25 percent off.
- Try out and purchase new products from all over the world at the Chicago International Toy and Game Fair (Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg; 847-677-8277), which runs Nov. 17th and 18th. Visit chitag.com for more information.
- The Oak Park Arts District hosts a Holiday Kick-off on Harrison Street (between Austin Blvd. and Ridgeland Ave.) with decorated holiday windows, activities for kids, and workshops. The dates and times are: Nov. 16th from 6 to 10 p.m., Nov. 17th from noon to 8 p.m., and Nov. 18th from noon to 5 p.m. Get your photo taken with Santa for free on Nov. 17th from noon to 4 p.m. at Baby Blend Tees (140 Harrison St.).
- She (1024 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-880-8061) hosts a holiday trunk show featuring the cocktail dresses from Castle Starr and casual wear from Tart on Nov. 15th from noon to 8 p.m. and Nov. 16th from noon to 5 p.m., with Champagne, appetizers, and holiday cookies.
- The auction house Leslie Hindman (122 N. Aberdeen St.; 312-280-1212) hosts its popular marketplace auction of affordably priced furniture and mismatched sets on Nov. 14th and 15th. Preview the catalogue at lesliehindman.com.
- Bedside Manor LTD (2056 N. Halsted St., 773-404-2020; 929 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, 847-441-0969; 38 S. Garfield Ave., Hinsdale, 630-655-0497; 192 E. Westminster, Lake Forest, 888-295-8371) offers 25 percent off all in-stock linens, towels, down, blankets, and throws through Nov. 20th.
- Mention “Pediatric AIDS Chicago” from Nov. 17th through Nov. 24th at Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio (623 Grove St., Evanston; 847-869-7920), and the gallery will donate 10 percent of the sale to the organization.
- Voila (53 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff; 847-482-1700) hosts a trunk show with Naperville-based jewelry designer Sophia Forero on Nov. 15th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Preview the collection at sophiaforero.com.
- One of our favorite housewares stores, Willow (908 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-0140), has added online shopping at shopwillow.net.
- Bloomingdale’s (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-440-4515) hosts a children’s event with the Chicago Children’s Museum on Nov. 17th from 2 to 4 p.m. Stop in (during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival) to make and decorate a book.
- Stop into Hubba Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414) between now and Nov. 30th for the shoe drive. Bring in a pair of shoes to be donated to Soles 4 Souls and receive a 20 percent off coupon.
- At the Gallery (135 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park; 708-445-9793) hosts a Tabra Trunk show on Nov. 16th and 17th with jewelry designer Tabra Tunoa’s new collection of rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
- Browse the Gold & Wood trunk show of handmade frames at Eyeland of St. Johns (1819 St. Johns Avenue, Highland Park; 847-266-6400) on Nov. 17th from noon to 4 p.m., with frames made from wood, horn, titanium, plastics, and metals.