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VMR Opens a New Oak Street Store with a Refreshed Look and a Shoe Salon

Plus, discounts at Coach and Marc Jacobs, an appearance from John Varvatos, and AKIRA’s spring fashion show.

Photo: Courtesy of VMR

This Week’s Top Story

VMR (vmrchicago.com), the luxury women’s boutique, has opened in a new location at 49 East Oak Street. The move comes years after the by-appointment showroom first sprang up just down the street at 34 East Oak Street.

“We were on Oak Street for five years but on the seventh floor,” says Tina Kourasis, who co-owns the shop with Mark Gill. “We needed ground-level visibility to grow but did not want to inconvenience the clients we had already established. We loved the idea of moving to the West Randolph, area but we would be starting from scratch in terms of clients.”

So, Oak Street it is for the showroom, which now has a fresh look. Local artist LettyOutThere painted abstract murals on the ceiling and walls. “Previously, everything was white and silver [or] grey,” Kourasis says. “Now, our colors are black and yellow. Everything is bolder and edgier.”

In addition to a fresh branding scheme, the new space has a shoe salon, which is a first for VMR. “We did not have a huge focus on shoes before—clothes are our thing—but I could visualize this room so easily we had to have it,” Kourasis says.

Other highlights include a private fitting area that lets stylists and fitters work one-on-one with a client; the store’s racks are portable, and are based on a Danish design.

What will shoppers find? Kourasis that the top-selling shoe brand is Yeezy—whose clear PVC mules are currently in stock—and that the salon also displays handbags from labels such as Balmain and Off-White. She names Zimmerman as one of the brands that she and Gill are focused on for spring and summer (the flirty brand is one you may have seen on Beyoncé.) The store has begun carrying Isabel Marant, which offers cotton dresses that Kourasis calls “cool and fun.” But, her favorite piece for spring is a grey-checked blazer wrapped in blue tulle by Virgil Abloh for Off-White.

Top Sales This Week

Coach (835 N. Michigan Ave., coach.com) is offering select items for up to 50 percent off. Find a low-top sneaker with 3D Tea Rose applique (reduced from $295 to $147.50), leather ballet flats with satin trim (reduced from $195 to $117), and a Chelsea boot with embroidered prairie flowers (reduced from $395 to $197.50).

Kate Spade (900 N. Michigan Ave., katespade.com) has deals on handbags, accessories, and clothing for tots. Find a pink toddler’s dress with a bow (reduced from $48 to $38), a quilted leather tote with chain straps (reduced from $448 to $314), and a silk scarf in a tapestry print (reduced from $88 to $53).

Marc Jacobs (11 E. Walton St., marcjacobs.com) is hosting the “(It’s Almost) Spring Sale,” which takes 30 percent off select Resort 2018 styles. Pick up the sleek Editor tote (reduced from $495 to $346.50), a purse decked with bugle beads and pom-poms (reduced from $495 to $346.50) and a shopping bag printed with charms (reduced from $250 to $175).

Pop-Up

The Shops at North Bridge (520 N. Michigan Ave.) will host a pop-up shop for online brand Custom Consortium (customconsortium.com) through May 31. On the first floor of the shopping center, the activation will showcase customizable denim, jewelry, sneakers, leather goods, watches, and more.

Health & Beauty

On May 1, Barry’s Boot Camp (barrysbootcamp.com) teams up with Lululemon (shop.lululemon.com) for a special class. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Lululemon’s Lincoln Park location (2014 N. Halsted St.). After a 30-minute guided stretch, participants will jog to Barry’s studio (1937 N. Halsted St.) for an hour-long cardio and strength training class, capped off with smoothies from Barry’s Fuel Bar. Reserve a spot at Lululemon’s Halsted Street store, and call 773-883-8860 with questions.

Events

Designer John Varvatos and singer Nick Jonas will appear at Nordstrom (55 E. Grand Ave., shop.nordstrom.com) on April 24 for a conversation their Spring/Summer 2018 collaboration, which will include a capsule collection. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m.; a meet and greet will follow.

AKIRA (shopakira.com) hosts its Spring Fashion Show at Orland Square Mall (288 Orland Square Dr.) on April 26. The free event will showcase spring trends; AKIRA stylists will also be on hand to offer fashion tips.

Retail News of the Week

  • The new Air Jordan 1 shoe has two colorways that are exclusively available in Chicago. Read more.
  • Bulls player Zach LaVine collaborated on a new cologne with a woodsy, citrusy scent. Read more.
  • Local streetwear designer Stacy Igel will launch a new home collection this month. Read more.

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