Christina Monley
Monley at the Robey Photos: Petya Shalamandova

Christina Monley’s road to fashion design was anything but ordinary. After years as a broker on the New York Stock Exchange, the Wicker Park resident launched Christina Karin, a boardroom-to-barstool clothing line that flips professional dress on its head. As she rolls out her fall collection, Monley, 34, shares some favorite things.

Best Chicago meal

Fettuccine and clams at the Robey. I’m from the East Coast. When I find great seafood, I’m loyal.

Fashion item I’ll never retire

My silver Gucci Jordaan loafers. They’re the most comfortable neutral I own. I could walk 20 miles in them.

My signature style

Downtown chic meets edgy cool.

Hidden local gem

The Desert House at the Garfield Park Conservatory. In the winter, it’s 85 degrees—and the architecture is very Great Gatsby.

Where I spend the most

Olivia’s Market in Wicker Park. It’s great for food staples, and they have a beautiful flower section.

Beauty secret

Highlighters from Glossier have the perfect dewiness—a bit of sheen but not too much sparkle.

Where I shop for home decor

South Loop Loft. It’s an appointment-only showroom in West Town [open to the public on Saturdays]. It’s great for when you want something beautifully made but not by a big brand.

Organizational tip

I write everything down in a black Piccadilly notebook.

How I treat myself

ZaZaZoo in Bucktown gives the city’s best manicure.

Loewe elephant-shaped leather bag

Loewe elephant-shaped leather bag

“Perfect for a mom on the go: sturdy, with plenty of room for bottles and diapers.”
$1,150 to $1,550, Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St.


Jennifer Fisher hoops

Jennifer Fisher hoops

“They look thick and full, but they’re hollow. Perfect for daytime.”


'In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art'

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

“Like being a fly on the wall when the modernists were in France.”
$14, Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster Ave.