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Two for One

Local Forever 21 and H&M locations may be up for some competition starting this Friday. Also specializing in trendy women’s fashions at lower prices, A’Gaci (866-362-4224,, a popular chain store that originated in San Antonio, Texas, expands to the Midwest with two Chicagoland flagship locations. The stores debut one week apart from each other, opening at the Palmer House (17 E. Monroe St.) on Thursday, August 27th and inside Woodfield Mall (5 West Dr., Schaumburg) on Thursday, September 3rd. “Why wait for the second location when we know Chicago loves fashion?” says Angela Cho, a spokesperson for A’Gaci. “And we’re confident with what we have to offer to Chicago.” Founded in 1972, A’Gaci now operates more than 40 locations in a handful of states, including California, Florida, and Tennessee. The stores primarily cater to women between the ages of 15 and 35 and feature an array of tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories, and shoes. For a girls’ night out, find a strapless black and silver-sequin dress ($28.50), motorcycle kitten-heel booties in tan or black ($30.50), and teardrop shaped earrings ($3.50). More casual looks include a deep-purple boat-neck blouse ($16.50), adjustable strap camisoles in many colors ($3.50 each), and basic ankle-length skinny jeans ($22.50). A’Gaci plans to open its third Chicago store in Yorktown next spring in addition to 10 other stores across the country. The Palmer House location hold its grand opening on Saturday, August 29th. The first 500 attendees receive gift cards worth up to $200, and those who spend $25 or more get a free A’Gaci tote bag. A similar grand opening event takes place at the Woodfield Mall location on Saturday, September 5th.

Top Sales This Week

StyleChicago ( hosts An Evening of Modern Beauty on Wednesday, August 26th from 6 to 9 p.m., at the W Chicago (172 W. Adams St.; 312-332-1200). The girls’ night out event features complimentary spa and beauty treatments, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and more. General admission tickets are $35. VIP tickets, which include goodie bags featuring products and discounts from more than 35 brands, are $45. Must purchase tickets in advance; call 800-838-3006 or visit 21 and older only.

Akira (1814 W. North Ave., 773-489-0818; 1849 W. North Ave., 773-342-8684; 1910 W. North Ave., 312-423-6693; presents the sixth annual Garden of Eden fashion show, The Tudor Rose, on Sunday, August 30th at Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St.; 312-563-0495). Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; the fashion show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at, and any Akira location. Guests can also purchase tickets for $20 at the door the evening of the event. VIP tickets, $100, include a private entrance, cocktail bar, hors d’oeuvres, exclusive seating, an Akira gift, and more. Event proceeds go toward Imerman Angels, a nationwide not-for-profit organization that provides one-on-one cancer support.

The Best of the Rest

  • Morlen Sinoway Atelier (1052 W. Fulton Market St.; 312-432-0100, takes 30 to 70 percent off all in-stock area rug floor samples, jewelry, accessories and more at its summer sale.
  • Asili Chi Salon and Spa (900 W. Jackson Blvd.; 312-633-9244, offers children a free back-to-school haircut with the purchase of one full-price adult haircut through Tuesday, September 15th.
  • Receive a complimentary bronzing application with any hour-long Glow spa therapy session at Exhale Spa (945 N. State St.; 312-753-6500, through Monday, August 31st.
  • Adrienne Clarisse Intimate Boutique (531 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; 847-573-8905, holds its semi-annual summer sale with savings on select bras, panties, pajamas, and more on Saturday, August 29th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Erin Gallagher (1017 W. Lake St.; 312-492-7548, holds a moving sale with 40 to 75 percent off selected items Friday, August 28th through Sunday, August 30th. Use coupon code “newhome2009” to receive the discount online. Starting next month, Erin Gallagher will be located in Lincoln Park at 2043 North Halsted Street.
  • A fashion show featuring the fall/winter 2010 collection of Anastasia Chatzka ( takes place at Lumen (839 W. Fulton Market St.; 312-733-2222, on Friday, August 28th. Doors open at 9 p.m.; the show starts at 10:30 p.m. Guests must RSVP to Table reservations are also recommended.
  • The Randolph Street Market Festival ( returns with a back-to-school theme on Saturday, August 29th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, August 30th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 1350 West Randolph Street, the two-day festival includes more than 200 vendors as well as the Indie Designer Market, and an adults-only exhibition with vintage erotica from the 19th and 20th centuries. Passes, $10, are good for the entire weekend; season passes, $75, cover unlimited admission for two and valet parking. Attendees who obtain the “See for Free” coupon from receive free admission between 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Use code “SPS” to receive a 10 percent off purchases from Chic Gems (888-801-8265, through Monday, August 31st. Twenty percent of proceeds go to Suicide Prevention Services.
  • Connect Chicago (1330 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-360-1520, hosts a fundraiser for the Greenheart Shop (1911 W. Division St.; 312-264-1625,, an entity of the Center for Cultural Interchange (746 N. LaSalle Dr.), on Tuesday, August 25th from 6 to 9 p.m. The event features desserts, cocktails, a local DJ, custom Artless T-shirts, and retail products from the Greenheart Shop. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door.
  • Bedside Manor Ltd. (2056 N. Halsted St., 773-404-2020; 38 S. Garfield Ave., Hinsdale, 630- 655-0497; 192 E. Westminster Rd., Lake Forest, 888-295-8371; 929 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, 847-441-0969; holds its annual down sale with 30 percent off European goose down products through Monday, August 31st.
  • With Gallery835 (, Spex (1819 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park; 847-266-6400, holds the opening reception for its next ART+VISION event on Friday August 28th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The event features works by Southeast Asian artists, which will be on display through Oct. 16th, as well as desserts.

Closings and Relocations

Ciao Bella (3829 N. Southport Ave.; 773-388-2201, holds a going out of business sale with at least 40 percent off everything in the store until merchandise is gone. The owner, Amy Lechelt-Basta, will continue to offer her styling services through a new business called “The Style Muse.”

Staying afloat for months after obtaining a new business partner in March, SoKo Fashion (1925 W. Chicago Ave.; 773-592-1089, has decided to close Saturday, August 29th. Until then, take 40 percent off all merchandise, including new fall/winter collections. Also find the shop’s clothing racks, mannequins, lamps, coffee tables, and more for sale.

The Silken Tent (2300 Chestnut Ave., Glenview; 847-510-1240, unexpectedly closed Wednesday, August 19th.