Not the First, Not the Last

After years of gaining popularity across the United States through her designer sample sales, Colleen Schmidt opened the Midwest’s first permanent Thread Lounge (918 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-281-0011, last month. The new Lincoln Park shop offers up to 75 percent off wholesale clothing and accessories from more than 350 designers, including 2bfree, Gossip, and T-Bags. With two other permanent shops in California, Thread Lounge Chicago is Schmidt’s third permanent location. She plans to open another 16 shops within three to four months and sets as her goal 60 locations by May 2010, including stores in Dallas, Boston, and Aspen. “No matter where you are, people always want a deal,” Schmidt says. “I want people to still be able to shop during tough times, whenever they want to shop.” Even with the growing number of permanent Thread Lounge locations, Schmidt still intends to hold eight to 10 sample sales a year. Thread Lounge Chicago carries items that range from $10 to $6,000. The shop currently has Lewis Cho dresses and tops in a variety of colors and styles ($20 to $150) as well as Helena Di Natlio leather clutches and bags ($50 to $150).

Top Sales This Week

Bucktown’s vive la femme (2048 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-7429,, a boutique for plus size women, celebrates seven years with three days of sales and events, starting with a book release party for local author Kate Harding on May 15th from 6 to 8 p.m. On May 16th, enjoy complimentary mini-makeovers from NARS Cosmetics makeup specialists. Buy four NARS products and get a free skin care analysis, full makeup application, and a Dolce Vita lip gloss while supplies last. The anniversary celebration concludes with a Kathryn Kerrigan shoe trunk show May 17th from 3 to 5 p.m.

As part of Walk the West Loop, 11 boutiques offer up to 20 percent off their merchandise on May 14th from 5 to 9 p.m. Visit for a list of participating shops.

Educating women on the latest clinical advancements at medical spas across the United States, PrettyCity ( holds its third annual MedSpa Month. The event offers services including Botox, laser hair removal, and chemical peels for $99 throughout May. Visit for a full list of participating spas and their discounted services.

The Best of the Rest

  • Eclectica (1006 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-697-9929, helps ShopWalk owner Danielle Lutz launch her new personal branding business, Styling by Danielle Lutz, on May 14th from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event also features Vika Brown, Orlando Espinoza, and Diego Rocha trunk shows; complimentary Champagne; and style tips. RSVP to
  • Throughout May, Frankie’s on the Park (2322 N. Clark St.; 773-248-0400, holds a special occasion promotion with 30 percent off all boys’ suits, sportcoats, tuxedos, dress shirts, slacks, ties, and belts.
  • Mulberry & Me (2019 W. Division St.; 773-952-7551) launches its exclusive line of jewelry, Boho Metal, with a spring soiree on May 13th from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature margaritas, wine, snacks, and spring fashions.
  • Take 20 percent off leather items at Roche Bobois (222 W. Hubbard St.; 312-644-9080, May 14th through May 24th.
  • Jake (939 N. Rush St., 312-664-5553; 565 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, 847-501-5253; launches its new in-store, pop-up shop, “it’s great to be jake,” on May 15th. The shop features clothing, books, candles, and more. Spend more than $100 get a $20 gift card through May 17th.
  • Book any standard facial service at Continuum Studio (5671 N. Clark St.; 773-728-7883, through May 31st and receive a complimentary 30-minute “Sexy Back” service.
  • His Stuff ( holds a 7 Diamonds and Mavi Jeans trunk event with complimentary Champagne at its Lake View location (3162 N. Broadway; 773-281-6111) on May 16th from 12 to 6 p.m., and at its Andersonville location (5314 N. Clark St.; 773-989-9111) on May 17th from 12 to 6 p.m. Attendees receive 10 percent off 7 Diamonds shirts and 25 percent off Mavi denims and a special gift with purchase.
  • Andersonville Galleria (5247 N. Clark St.; 773-878-8570, celebrates its re-opening with free wine and hors d’oeuvres on May 15th from 6 to 10 p.m. The store offers special discounts through May 17th.
  • Pet accessories boutique Tails in the City (1 E. Delaware Pl.; 312-649-0347, marks five years with a party for dogs and their owners at Level nightclub (1045 N. Rush St.; 312-397-1045, on May 15th from 6 to 9 p.m. The event, $40, features an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, activities for pets, and goodie bags. All proceeds go toward The Anti-Cruelty Society.
  • Halo [For Men] and Nicholas Joseph Custom Tailors celebrate the grand opening of their newest joint location at 70 West Madison Street with a Whiskey and Cigars open house on May 14th from 4 to 7 p.m. Attendees receive complimentary Jack Daniels cocktails and coupons to the new shops. The first 25 guests receive a free cigar. RSVP to
  • Annie O Enterprises ( holds a sample sale with 20 percent off select apparel, shoes, and accessories, and a $10-or-less section at Showroom 2140 (2140 W. Fulton St., Unit D; 312-421-8676) May 14th from 12 to 8 p.m. Cash only.
  • In honor of local designer Kristin Hassan’s appearance on Bravo TV’s new reality show, The Fashion Show, Kate Boggiano (2150 S. Canalport Ave., #3A3; 773-474-7987, offers 10 percent off its sleeveless Isadora shirts and dresses, May 14th and 15th. Enter coupon code “FASHIONSHOW” at online checkout to receive the discount.
  • SERPICO (1514 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-252-5940, holds a spring soiree with cocktails, appetizers, and live music, May 14th from 6 to 9 p.m. Shoppers receive 15 percent off all merchandise, and 10 percent of event sales go toward the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. RSVP to
  • Chic Gems Etc. Jewelry (312-602-2561; and A Beautiful You ( appear in a Berry Beautiful event at 25 East Washington Street, Suite 825, on May 13th from 4 to 8 p.m. Attendees receive discounts on skin care treatments and 20 to 50 percent off Chic Gems jewelry. The event also includes chocolate covered strawberries, sparkling cider, and goodie bags. RSVP to by May 12th.