JGEREN Opens a Studio in Lincoln Park

Local leather brand JGEREN, a young company that pulls inspiration from its Chicago roots, has opened a studio and appointment-only showroom in Lincoln Park. “Local” is the key word here – the brand’s founders, Jen Gerenraich and Lori Wallis, work with a factory in Cicero to hand make their current line of handbags, all named after Chicago streets: The Astor ($795), The Cedar ($495), The Hudson ($1,395) and The Sheridan ($1,295). They plan to keep production in Chicago as they grow, providing jobs to local craftspeople rather than outsourcing.

In the new studio space, hides of leather hang along the back wall and tables are filled with leather samples for shoppers to touch. Gerenraich and Wallis source an English bridle leather and tornado glove leather for their bags, meticulously finished to bring out the perfect amount of luster.

While JGEREN steadily gains a following for its luxury handbags, the founders are working on new styles, including a line of belts and cuffs, to be released for spring. Not limiting themselves to women’s accessories, Gerenraich and Wallis have a men’s line on the horizon and will debut a line of leather outerwear next year.

Make an appointment.

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The Best of the Rest

  • Shoe icon Manolo Blahnik is making a personal appearance at Barneys New York (15 E. Oak St., Floor 2) on Friday, February 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. to debut his exclusive capsule collection, XO. The event is open to the public and Blahnik will sign all new purchases of his shoes on-site at Barneys. RSVP at shoeicon@barneys.com.
  • One of Chicago’s oldest designer consignments stores, Cynthia’s Consignments (2218 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-248-7714) in Lincoln Park has just begun its annual Winter Sale. Save 50 percent off store-wide, now through February 28.
  • Men’s and women’s boutique Sir & Madame has begun its end-of-season 50 percent off sale. Shop brands like Goldie London, Cheap Monday and AXS Folk online or in-store at Sir & Madame’s Ukrainian Village shop (938 N. Damen Ave.; 773.489.6660) or its Hyde Park pop-up (1504 East 53rd St.).
  • The Lincoln Park Merchants Association is hosting its second annual Warehouse Sale on Thursday, February 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. at 2207 North Halsted Street (formerly Wish Baby Registry). More than 20 boutiques will be participating, including Comfort Me, Shop 857, Moi Boutique and Rara Avis Boutique. There will be wine, a DJ and sales of up to 75 percent off apparel for women, men and children; jewelry; gifts and home décor.
  • Children’s boutique The Red Balloon holds its Winter Warehouse Sale at 2125 North Damen Avenue in Bucktown this week. Find deep discounts on brands like Zutano, Little Traveler, Stella and Petit Lem from February 6 through 9. Sale hours are Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lakeview furniture store I.D. (3337 N. Halsted St., 773-755-4343, idchicago.com) began its floor sample sale this week with discounts up to 60 percent off best-selling pieces from brands like Gus Modern, Blu Dot and Design House Stockholm.
  • Noble Square boutique Dovetail (1452 W. Chicago Ave., 312-508-3398) celebrates all things mushy with its annual Valentine’s Day party on Friday February 7 from 7 to 10 p.m. Along with holding a sale on jewelry and bowties, the store will pass out spiked love punch and V-Day treats, serve up love-themed psychic readings, and local designer Tina Ardon will debut her new line of jewelry. RSVP on Facebook.
  • On Sunday, February 9, the Peter Pilotto capsule collection for Target launches city-wide. If you want a piece of the print-tastic collection that ranges in price from $14.99 to $79.99, you’ll want to be first in line with stores open at 8 a.m.
  • Subtlety is overrated. Choose your own gift at Luxury Garage Sale’s (1658 N. Wells St., 312-291-9126, luxurygaragesale.com) Valentine’s Day Gifting Event on Monday, February 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring your significant other and sip on champagne while you shop fine jewelry from Heirlume, designer pieces from Luxury Garage Sale and gift cards for a custom suit fitting at Trunk Club. RSVP to lauren@luxurygaragesale.com.