The Cozzini sisters are 11 months apart in age and only a vestibule apart in business. Lifelong Chicagoans whose family owns the local Cozzini Bros. knife-sharpening company, Alexis, 27, and Camille, 26, share a Gold Coast address, but the concepts for their boutiques differ: Sarca (Alexis’s brainchild) caters to women who have a taste for European design, and Odile (Camille’s shop) stocks clothing, blankets, and shoes for those women’s children.
Alexis started her retail career at Celeste Turner in Lincoln Park when she was 15. Since then, she has worked in several boutiques around town and served as an assistant to the celebrity stylist for Calvin Klein in New York. “I’ve worked in retail long enough to know there are women in Chicago who love fashion but, because they live in the Midwest, get pigeonholed in that stereotype that people here don’t care about style. That’s not the case,” she says.
Her customers travel, so Alexis stocks lines from Italy, France, England, and Australia. One of her favorite designers is Markus Lupfer, known for his signature knits with bold, sequined prints: Find his sweaters, a sequined sailor dress ($1,375), and a tuxedo jacket adorned with a Swarovski crystal snake ($1,805). Sarca is also the exclusive U.S. carrier of the Italian knitwear line Stefanel ($350 to $715). More casual offerings include denim from Grey Ant and Sass & Bide and skinny jeans from Siwy.
Next door is the kid’s shop Odile, owned by younger sister Camille. (Although the boutiques share the same address, they have different entrances and are separated by a wall.) Camille, who has worked at Trousseau and interned at Chanel, says she envisioned a high-end children’s store that brought European designers together. “These are heirloom pieces,” she says. Find keepsake items such as a hand-knit cardigan ($402), corduroy overalls ($182), and a pram liner in faux fur and velvet ($800) by the Italian brand Le Nouveau Né. A small shoe selection includes moccasin-type loafers from Baroni ($150) and girls’ leather riding boots from Alberto Fasciani ($700)—an identical grown-up version of the latter (from $1,100) is available next door at Sarca.
WHERE 710 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-255-0900 (Sarca), 312-255-0800 (Odile)
EXCLUSIVES Sarca carries 24 designers, many of which are exclusive in Chicago, including Markus Lupfer, Stefanel, and Jane Carr (scarves). Most of the designers at Odile are exclusive.
HOURS Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
PARKING Metered parking is available on Wabash Avenue, or in the Fordham Building, accessed by heading west on Huron Street from Wabash Avenue.
Photography by Kendall Karmanian