Shops of the Gold Coast

Photography: Travis Roozée

1. Brunello Cucinelli  2. Emporio Armani  3. Lanvin  4. Waldorf Astoria, future home of Saint Laurent  5. Sofia  6. Tom Ford

Esquire Theater, future home of Tom Ford

Barneys New York
This splendid six-story building scratches every sartorial itch, from makeup and perfume to handbags and shoes to the less spendy Co-op shop and the full-fledged designer apparel. And then, of course, there’s the penthouse-level eatery, Fred’s—the ideal spot for refueling after visiting each floor. 15 E. Oak St., 312-587-1700,

For the brides-to-be who can’t quite stomach the typical wedding shop, Urban Outfitters brand spin-off BHLDN is a welcome alternative. Sure, it’s a chain store, though it feels anything but with vintage-inspired boho dresses starting at $600, blingy clutches, and bridesmaids dresses that might actually be reworn after the big day. 8 E. Walton St., 312-573-2573,

Brunello Cucinelli
You’d be hard-pressed to find sexier sweats than the suede jogging gear at this year-old shop. With its drawstring wool pants, pleated skirts, and reversible, down-filled men’s sport coats, Cucinelli’s apparel presents endless iterations. Seeking
inspiration? The racks have full ensembles. 939 N. Rush St., 312-266-6000,

Christian Louboutin 
Fashion followers can spot the red-soled Louboutin pump from a mile away. Divided into two stories—lower for ladies and upper for men—this six-month-old boutique, with its sharp angles, scarlet carpeting, and mirrored shelves displaying shiny, studded platform heels and (for the gents) tri-color Bruno Orlato flats ($995), is as dramatic as the French designer’s footwear. 58
E. Oak St., 312-337-8200,

Emporio Armani
Chicago’s first-ever Emporio Armani arrived in October. The 6,000-square-foot boutique, which houses upscale-casual women’s apparel on the first floor and men’s duds (such as the ultralight leather parka, $2,625) on the second, was designed by Giorgio himself. 25 E. Oak St., 312-337-3120,

A commanding spiral staircase in the center of this 6,000-square-foot space lends quite the regal air to Hermes. The flagship stocks men’s, women’s, accessories, and, of course, the line’s signature scarves. If nothing else, take a peek at the equestrian section, stocked with buttery leather saddles and canvas grooming bags, to fully grasp the luxurious Hermes lifestyle. 25 E. Oak St., 312-787-8175,

George Vlagos made a name for himself as the man behind Oak Street Bootmakers, a line of classic leather boat shoes and boots handmade in Maine. It was only appropriate that he open a brick and mortar on Oak Street, purveying his shoes alongside a slew of independent American-made menswear and accessories. Chore coats? Check. Chambray pocket squares? Check. Imogene + Willie denim? But, of course. 47 E. Oak St., 312-675-2105,

Judy Maxwell
There are many reasons to pop into this quirky shop, not least of which is the chance to spy proprietress Joan Cusack (yes, that Joan Cusack) occasionally working the floor. Named after Cusack’s favorite character in the film What’s Up, Doc?, Judy Maxwell is basically a junk store crossed with a gallery. Find a high-brow, low-brow hodgepodge of everything from paper-cut artwork to sticks of Bazooka in thumb-size silver boxes for ‘just because’ gifting. 1151 N. State St., 312-787-9999,

The three-story Lanvin, which opened in Ultimo’s former digs in December, is full of mesmerizing retail moments: the color wheel of ballet flats ($495-$1,190), the mannequin busts adorned with statement-making necklaces, and the display of iconic men’s low- ($485-$795) and high-top ($590-$1,495) sneakers, to name a few. The full collections of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories are all here. 116 E. Oak St., 312-765-7075,

After opening outposts in Skokie and Oak Brook, J. Crew’s younger sibling moved into this former Starbucks space last month. Fill your closet with as many chambray shirts, polka-dot dresses, and striped sweaters as it can handle. Finally, the city catches up with the ’burbs. (Kidding.) 932 N. Rush St.,

Madison and Friends
This one-stop-shop has been in business for 16 years, keeping the tot-to-teen set happy trying on mini versions of your favorite looks (see: asymmetrical animal print dresses and Stella McCartney sweatshirts). Best of all, you can get your jeans-shopping done too, thanks to more than two dozen designer lines at the upper-level Denim Lounge. 43 E. Oak St., 312-642-6403,

Marc Jacobs
While the Marc by Marc Jacobs in Bucktown temporarily sated shoppers’ appetites, this storefront, with tiled walls and a soaring ceiling, is Mecca for MJ fans. It’s all here: perfume, sunglasses (naturally oversized), swimwear, casual wear, cocktail, and every style in between. There are even duds and do-dads for your stylish little ones. 11 E. Walton St., 312-649-7260,

Oliver Peoples
This minimalist white storefront showcases all three of Oliver Peoples’ trendy eyewear brands: Paul Smith, Mosley Tribes, and the namesake Oliver Peoples. Find delicate metal designs and vintage plastic classics like the original, circular O’Malley frames on display for fashionable four-eyes. 941 N. Rush St., 312-266-9000,

Women staying at the Waldorf Astoria don’t have to go far for a sequined Erin Fetherston cocktail dress, a pair of Loeffler Randall booties, or a tie-dyed tunic from cult favorite Kelly Wearstler. Mary Liz Lehman’s second Perchance outpost, located across the courtyard from the hotel, brings the refreshing indie boutique experience to the neighborhood with a handful of exclusive lines and an appealing mix of midrange and high-end womenswear and accessories. 11 E. Walton St., 773-244-1300,

Saint Laurent                         
OPENING SOON. Back in 2010, the Gold Coast’s Yves Saint Laurent shuttered its former home, where Escada now resides. But the French brand, whose haute-couture collections first garnered attention for its groundbreaking trouser suits for women, was only on hiatus. Under its new name, Saint Laurent signed a lease on a new space in December, scheduled to open this spring. 11 E. Walton St.,

In just three years, Sofia (now in its third iteration and location) has evolved from an appointment-only vintage shop to a sleek women’s wear boutique. The loyal shopgirls (who double as look-book models) remain, but the store, which opened in August, has matured into a lifestyle boutique with diamond jewelry, velvet party dresses, and studded platform booties. 100 E. Walton St., 312-640-0878,

This Dutch chain’s second U.S. outpost (shown below) is hidden away four stories above street level. Inside the nearly year-old shop, perky polka-dotted walls give way to affordably priced off-the-rack and made-to-measure shirts and suits (crafted from Italian fabric), plus shoes and accessories. Have coffee on the roof deck while in-house tailors stitch away. 945 N. Rush St., 312-340-6909,

Tom Ford
OPENING SOON. Film director. Fashion designer. Ford is the king of aesthetics. Look for his line of spare, classy, and slim-fit menswear and women’s wear in the former Esquire Theater sometime this fall. If you’re lucky, you’ll see his fragrances (one fave: Delicate Blonde Eau De Parfum), eyeglass frames, and cosmetics, too. 58 E. Oak St.,

This shoebox-sized storefront specializes in one essential niche of women’s fashion: high-end, high-quality hosiery. The Austrian-based luxury line sells everything from animal-print leggings to flame-patterned tights to your basic opaques in all the colors of the rainbow. But unlike your standard Spanx, these may very well last a lifetime. 54 E. Oak St., 312-642-878,