This Week’s Top Story
Athene (837 Elm St., Winnetka, athene-shop.com) opened earlier this week. Interior designer Kara Mann helped lay out the airy shop, which is filled with vintage furnishings. The boutique caters to shoppers with on-site seamstresses and personal shoppers; staffers can also travel to clients’ homes to offer styling and presentation services.
For as long as she can remember, owner Ashley Quicksilver has been styling family and friends; she, herself, has dabbled in interior design. “But this is my first foray into retail,” she says. “I was inspired to open Athene because I wanted to make it easier for [women on the North Shore] to find casual pieces that fit into their everyday [lives] without compromising on style or taste.” The store stocks women’s clothing, jewelry, and handbags, and represents such lesser-known labels as Rick Owens’ DRKSHDW, Nili Lotan, and Jenni Kayne.
Quicksilver explains that one of her goals is to introduce new or underrepresented designers to the area. “My family travels quite a bit, which provides endless inspiration,” she says. “Depending on where we’re headed, I try to do some research in advance to see if there are any local designers that may have pieces that resonate. I also take special trips to meet with designers I’ve heard or read about.” Another key factor in Quicksilver’s buying decisions is approachability—she wants to make sure that everything she carries is easy to wear, and is “available at price points we feel are fair for the level of sophistication we’re offering.”
This season, some of her favorite items include a midnight suede blazer by RTA ($695), RE/DONE’s deconstructed jeans ($280), and an oxidized silver chain with 18K gold rings by local designer Sarah McGuire ($425). “Our pieces have just the right amount of edge without compromising on comfort,” Quicksilver says. “I think this is new to the North Shore, but offers another solid option for women in the city as well.”
Top Sales This Week
Steven Alan (1659 N. Damen Ave., stevenalan.com) will host its Optical Sample Sale this Friday and Saturday. Glasses and sunglasses will be discounted by as much as 75 percent.
Kate Spade (56 E. Oak St., katespade.com) is offering 30 percent off on select summer merchandise through the weekend. Items include a bangle printed with citrus fruits (reduced from $78 to $51), a gingham dress (reduced from $298 to $179), and a graphic-print dress with a smocked waistband (reduced from $398 to $239).
Renegade Craft Fair (renegadecraft.com) returns to Wicker Park (Division Street between Damen and Ashland) on Saturday and Sunday. The show will feature goods from some 400 vendors. Look for bohemian clothing from Lost Girls Vintage, flower crowns from Flowers for Dreams, and belts by Beast and Babe. The complete roster of vendors is available here.
Retail News of the Week
- Designer Maria Pinto is the subject of a new exhibition at Water Tower. Read more.
- E! News personality Giuliana Rancic will host a fall fashion event at Macy’s later this month. Read more.
- Chicago native Kanye West presented his spring 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week. Read more.