Cult of Personality
The iconic housewares design company Alessi has opened a new Chicago flagship store at 611 North State Street (312-274-6500, alessi.com), one of six nationwide. The Italian-based company made its name by asking architects to design housewares and kitchen items. Many became cult objects, such as the Anna G bottle opener ($49) designed by Alessandro Mendini and the Michael Graves tea kettle ($149) equipped with a bird whistle. At the store, you’ll find the line’s trademark whimsical items such as the parrot corkscrew ($49) and the brightly colored Kaj watch ($85) from artist Karim Rashid, as well as its sleek serving pieces, kitchen utensils, and pots and pans. After the grand opening on Oct. 18th, the store will offer a wedding registry, cooking classes, and product demonstrations. The store will also sell the Agreste kitchen line displayed in-store with appliances like stove tops available for order.
Top Events This Week
It’s time again for the LuxeHome Open House (Merchandise Mart, 1st floor; 312-527-7939) on Oct. 6th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., an event that will include presentations from designers and lecturers (such as how to choose a designer) with product demos and treats. Michael Payne, an interior designer and the host of HGTV’s “Designing for the Sexes,” gives the keynote speech about the latest kitchen and bath trends at 10:30 a.m.; register for it at merchandisemart.com/luxehome.
The Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center, the oldest continuous charitable fashion show in the country, hosts its 81st annual fashion show at the Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-942-6513) on October 4th at 6:30 p.m. Members of Chicago’s most prestigious families (look for members of the Field and Crown clans among them) will model designs from local stores including Neapolitan, Ultimo, Frances Heffernan, and Escada. Tickets range $25 to $150.
The Best of the Rest
- Andersonville’s Studio 90 closed in June, but Angela Turley, half of the team behind the former shop, has joined her daughter for a new concept in the same space—a women’s clothing boutique called Turley Road (5239 N. Clark St.; 773-878-0097). Look for brands such as Neesh, CYDWOQ, and Studio 90. The grand opening is Oct. 5th from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Buffalo Exchange (2875 N. Broadway, 773-549-1999) has opened a second city location in Wicker Park at 1478 North Milwaukee Avenue (773-227-9558). The store takes a slightly different approach to consignment by buying, selling, and trading directly with customers. (Used clothes can be traded for any item in the store.)
- The eco-friendly boutique Pivot (1101 W. Fulton Mkt.; 312-243-4754, pivotboutique.com) hosts a grand opening event with appetizers, beverages, and 15 percent off purchases on Oct. 3rd from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Grace (1917 N. Damen Ave.; 773-384-7223), a new shoe shop, hosts a trunk show with a personal appearance by the Chicago shoe designer Elizabeth Brady on Oct. 6th from 3 to 7 p.m. You’ll get a sneak peek at her fall collection and be able to pre-order certain styles.
- Burton (56 E. Walton St.; burton.com), the Vermont-based snowboard retailer that recently opened a Chicago flagship, hosts riders Shaun White and Molly and Mason Aguirre on Oct. 3rd to sign autographs from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit burtonworldtour.com for more information.
- Nineteen merchants in Roscoe Village team up for a Charity Shop Crawl on Oct. 4th from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature live music, appetizers, drinks, raffles, discounts, and giveaways; 15 percent of sales that evening benefits The Children’s Place Association. The shops, situated on Roscoe Street and Belmont Avenue (between Damen and Oakley avenues) include Cinnamon (2104 W. Roscoe St.), Kickin’ (2142 W. Roscoe St.), and Isabella on Roscoe (2238 W. Roscoe St.).
- The custom-suit purveyor Richard Bennett Custom Tailors (208 S. Lasalle St.; 312-332-3016) hosts a trunk show with rare 100 percent worsted Vicuña and baby-cashmere fabrics from the Italian mill Loro Piana on Oct. 5th and 6th.
- Saffron (2064 N. Damen Ave.; 773-486-7753) celebrates its 10th anniversary with treats, wine, and a raffle on Oct. 6th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Receive a Cotè Bastide gift with purchases totaling $500 or more, and various other giveaways with October receipts totaling $200 or more.
- Take advantage of Pretty’s City’s 31 days of $31 beauty during the month of October, on services like facials, massages, and pedicures to raise awareness and money for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Visit prettycity.com/pink for a list of participating salons.
- Continuum Studios (5671 N. Clark St.; 773-728-7883) hosts its Think Pink fundraising promotion. The studio will donate 25 percent of October sales of items specially marked with pink packaging to support the Lesbian Community Cancer Project.
- Through Oct. 6th, Ciao Bella (3829 N. Southport Ave.; 773-388-2201) hosts its one year anniversary sale with 20 percent off all men’s and women’s sweaters.
- Todd Oldham, a nationally recognized interior designer and the host of Bravo TV’s “Top Design,” signs copies of his new book, Charley Harper—An Illustrated Life, at the store of the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-280-2660), 2 p.m. on Oct. 6th.
- Neiman Marcus (737 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-694-4016) hosts its Hip Event on Oct. 5th through 7th. Receive a Philip Lim 3.1 navy-blue tote filled with T-shirts and designer goodies with purchases of $450 or more in contemporary, or a pair of Diesel jeans with any $450 purchase in men’s sportswear. On Oct. 5th, Rachel Roy presents her fall 2007 collection with a sneak peek at the 2008 collection from 3 to 5 p.m. in designer sportswear on the second floor. Call 312-694-4072 to make reservations.
- A percentage of every ticket sold to ShopWalk’s “Made in Chicago” tour on Oct. 6th benefits the non-profit Nest, which fights global poverty. The tour starts at Hot Chocolate (1747 N. Damen Ave.) and includes visits to eight boutiques with shopping and Champagne. Call 773-255-7866 or register at chicagoshopwalk.com for a $30 ticket, or pay $40 at the door.
- Dressy shoe shop Blue Tux (1920 N. Damen Ave.; 773-252-3200) has marked down white satin styles to $39 (from $98) and select metallic shoes from $90 to $29. Sale runs while supplies last.
- Check out the two new online arms of local stores: Nika Le Butik (143 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge; 847-696-1700) can now be visited at nikabutik.com. And Southport Grocery (3552 N. Southport Ave.; 773-665-0100) has added an online grocery store at southportgrocery.com.
- Chicago Premium Outlets (1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200) and Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets (601 Wabash St., Michigan City, Ind.; 219-879-6506) hosts a Columbus Day weekend sale from Oct. 5th through 8th with extra discounts at stores such as Anne Klein (40 percent off outerwear) and Brooks Brothers (25 percent off all men’s and women’s outerwear).