So Long, Sofia

Following last week’s news of Roam and Le Dress closing, we’ve learned that Gold Coast boutique Sofia (100 E Walton St., Suite 106, 312-640-0878, will also shutter this month.

The Store: Over the past five years, Sofia has slowly evolved from a high-end vintage shop to a contemporary women’s boutique. After switching locations several times, owner Ashley Zisook settled into a sleek Gold Coast storefront in 2012 and stocked the space with modern labels such as Mara Hoffman, Wildfox Couture, and One Teaspoon.

The Sale: Everything in the store (including new shipments from brands including Rag & Bone, Rails, and Novella Royale) is marked 40 to 90 percent off until doors close on September 15.

Top Sales This Week

The crowd at Renegade Craft Fair

Get Crafty

Renegade Craft Fair ( heads back to Division Street (between Damen Ave. and Ashland Ave.) this weekend for its massive Chicago Summer Market. Shop booths filled with handmade jewelry, art, home goods, and other crafty objects on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. If crowds aren’t your thing, check out the Renegade Craft Fair Pop-Up tonight at Madewell (932 N. Rush St.) from 6 to 8 p.m. for a scaled-down version of the market, plus a 20 percent discount on your Madewell purchase of $125 or more.

Merchandise Mart

Can’t-Miss Sample Sale

The Design Center at The Merchandise Mart ( opens its doors to the public this weekend for its annual sample sale. Furniture, area rugs, fabrics, accessories, lighting, outdoor furnishings, and more will be marked up to 75 percent off. Find the sale in participating showrooms on floors 6, 14, 15, and 16 at the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza) on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Best of the Rest

  • Tonight, the shops in Lincoln Park stay open until 8 p.m. for First Thursday, a monthly shopping event. Comfort Me Boutique (701 W. Armitage Ave.,, for example, will serve up vino and a 15 percent discount on fall merchandise.
  • Enaz in Libertyville (111 W. Church St., celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow. From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., shoppers will be treated to 20 percent off storewide, drinks, light bites, and a free gift with purchase.
  • Locally based workout studio The Barre Code ( opens a Lake View studio (953 W. Belmont St.) on September 9, adding to its existing locations in River North, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, and the Loop.

A Little Note

Here we are, at the end. After 2½ years of covering Chicago’s ever-evolving retail landscape, I'm passing the Sales Check torch to a fantastic new writer. I've loved meeting the myriad boutique owners, designers, artists, and crafters that make up the local fashion scene, and your mad sartorial skills and fearless entrepreneurial spirits have inspired me in so many ways. This fall, I hope to make my mark when I launch my own jewelry line. Keep tabs on me at @LynnOkuraBey, and keep shopping local! —Lynn Okura Bey