Akira swaddles customers from clavicle to toe with a collection of trendy apparel from more than 200 designer brands crafted by foreign, domestic, and Chicago fabricsmiths. Women, men, and mannequins can browse a selection of clothing and accessories that includes the signature looks of Jeffrey Campbell and Boy London. Akira has cooperated with such endeavors as Generation Y, which fosters artistic expression in Chicago public schools.
FansEdge bestows sports enthusiasts with a selection of more than 1 million officially licensed NCAA, NFL, NBA, and NFL products to proclaim team loyalty. Cubs fans can brandish a personalized jersey ($99.99), and time-displaced youth can bask in the familiar glow of a Baltimore Colts Johnny Unitas T-shirt, emblazoned with an original logo ($21.99). Bulls fanatics can enshrine their laptops in bold Chicago colors inside a 15-inch laptop sleeve ($39.99) or seat a workplace mouse atop a Bulls graphic mouse pad ($9.99). Not content to outfit people and electronics alone, FansEdge also carries a selection of mantelpiece collectibles, including signed football helmets and the costumes of retired mascots.
For more than a quarter-century, Merry Richards Jewelers' experienced gem gurus have helped patrons repair beloved baubles and add pizzazz to their soul vessels with a number of high-fashion ornaments including diamonds, pearls, and heirloom-quality watches. Snatch up elegant trinkets from designers such as Dolceoro (starting at $175) and Andréa Candela (starting at $200), who skillfully craft silver jewelry that sparkles brighter than a constellation made of neon beer signs. Lau International fashion jewelry gives wearers virtual access to catwalks and dogstands all around the globe (starting at $125), and dress-shirt sleeves looking to tame split, flat ends can find solace with a pair of classy cuff links (starting at $300).
To truly understand what makes Lori's Shoes so special, it helps to take a walk in founder Lori Andre's shoes. That exchange of footwear would send you across the globe?from the biggest fashion houses of New York City to a small boot manufacturer in Florence. Every year, Andre travels to markets in America's biggest cities before she hops a plane to Europe and spends two to three weeks searching the storefronts of France, Italy, and the exclusive, secret VIP country located between France and Italy.
Andre's obsession with fashion has taken Lori's Shoes from a small Lincoln Park storefront in 1983 to a modern empire that includes three stores in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Each one contains an impressive bounty totaling thousands of women's shoes, boots, bags, and garments. The items' tags read like a who's who of the design world?Jeffrey Campbell, Frye, and Sam Edelman are just a few choice picks from the 200-plus names that fill the stores' shelves and tables. Sales staff keep a handle on it all: "its staffers are well-versed in current trends," noted Racked in placing Lori's on its list of The 38 Essential Chicago Shopping Experiences.
Romantika Lingerie proprietors Sasha Tsupina and Kate Gordin lend their Eastern European sensibilities to fit American women with lingerie tailored for a range of sizes. Patrons glide through a store swathed in black and white with animal print accents, sifting through racks of lace and silk undergarments crafted by Californian, Italian, and French designers, including pieces by Christian Lacroix and bra strips bedecked in Swavorski crystals. Ladies can find accessories to fight fashion emergencies such as visible panty lines, perspiration, and accidentally wearing the same negligee as the lampshade.
An independent in the retail jewelry game since 1960, Smart Jewelers provides authorized sales and service for such luxury timepiece brands as Ebel, Victorinox Swiss Army, and ESQ by Movado. Keep personal timepieces in ticking order with a lifetime supply of battery changes. Bring wristwatches or grandfather clocks shackled to the ankle to sure handed jeweler—on-premises Mondays through Saturdays—for a shot of life-giving juice. Smart Jewelers' patrons enjoy complimentary parking, provided they give the time of day to the befuddled passersby who each guard parking space.