May 3, 2005

Sales Check
By Christine Houde

Destination: Ukrainian Village
Xyloform (1423 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-455-7949), the retail arm of Lee Weitzman’s furniture design business, was a longtime loner in now simmering Ukrainian Village—also home to chef Shawn McClain’s much-lauded vegetarian paradise Green Zebra (1460 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-243-7100) and Donnie Madia’s nightspot Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-226-7600).

In the past year, the area’s main drag of Chicago Avenue east of Ashland Avenue and west of Milwaukee Avenue has welcomed 3Three Design (1431 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-738-0333), a show room for furniture designers Sean Scott, Danny Garcia, and Pradeep Shimpi, and Aesthetic Eye (1520 W. Chicago Ave., 312-243-1520), a boutique-gallery hybrid with contemporary and antique artist-made paintings, furniture, and sculpture. This March, the addition of Urban Source (1432 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-455-0505) cemented the strip’s reputation as a hotbed of home furnishings and design. The brainchild of Rose Tejeda-Navarre and Jennifer Rossingnuolo, the show room offers commercial-quality wallcoverings, window treatments, upholstery fabrics, and more, previously available only to interior designers and Merchandise Mart shoppers. “We wanted people to walk in the store and say, ‘This is so cool,’ but we didn’t want to overwhelm them with too many options,” Rossingnuolo says. The selection skews clean and contemporary, from wallcoverings made of crushed and colored windshield glass to metal mesh draperies. Traditionalists will fall for the deep, jewel-toned, nubby silks used for window treatments and the updated damask upholstery patterns.

Items are arranged by price and hung from long poles attached to the wall. “We tried to create a space where shoppers aren’t afraid to pull things off the wall and play around with different patterns and textures; where the design process is demystified,” says Tejeda-Navarre. The hands-on duo, who encourage customers to bring in paint and carpet swatches before sifting through their selection, also offer in-home consultations for a fee. In celebration of its new neighbor, Xyloform is holding a sample sale May 6th through 8th. Save 10 to 70 percent on new orders and floor samples, including a mahoghany and stainless steel chair by Jeff Miller (originally $3,250, now $2,500) and a French walnut pedestal table by John Wiggers (originally $850, now $495).

No Place Like Is No More
We were shocked and saddened to hear that No Place Like, a furniture and accessories store in River North, which was a favorite of design-savvy city dwellers since its arrival nearly 10 years ago, abruptly closed its doors April 22. Boyce Moffitt owned the store with his partner, Lee Pomerantz, who died last year. “It’s a real loss for the city,” says stylist Susan Victoria. “Boyce was a champion of the small designer.”
—Jan Parr

Maybe There Will Be a Little Left Over in the Clothing Budget for Mom
Kids clothes usually fall into two camps: practical and affordable or stylish, fanciful, and more expensive than Mommy’s new shirt from Banana Republic. Fun, well-made clothing that doesn’t break the bank can be found at Zozo for Kids (1920 W. Montrose Ave.; 773-506-6120), where most prices hover around $30 to $40 and top out around $150. The clothing comes from smaller manufacturers in Europe and the United States: For girls, choose an adorable Oilily-type dress from Dutch company Tiny Tulips or cutout t-shirts from Danica and Dylan. For boys, pants and cargo shorts come from Sonik Jeans and K. Kauffman provides options for dressier occasions. “We’re trying very hard to have a good selection of things for boys,” says co-owner Katie Hogan. “I know from shopping for my own son that it can be really difficult to find boys clothes that aren’t the same as what you see everywhere else.” A fun selection of gift-appropriate items, such as hats shaped like birthday cakes and stuffed animals handmade by Appalachian dollmakers round out the well-selected mix.

Run, Do Not Walk
Current season styles from Michael Kors, Yohji, and almost 40 other top labels will be 25 percent off at Ultimo (114 E. Oak St.; 312-787-1171), which holds a one-day sale in celebration its fifth anniversary on May 5th. Everything in the store—including the selection in the fully stocked sale room—will be discounted. The regular store hours will be extended from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bits and Pieces
Designer Lela Rose will be at Neapolitan (715 Elm St., Winnetka; 847-441-7784) to preview her Fall 2005 line on May 4th and 5th. . . . His Stuff (5314 N. Clark St.; 773-989-9111) holds a trunk show of sorts at Charlie’s Ale House (5308 N. Clark St.; 773-751-0140) on May 3rd from 6 to 9 p.m. The event features the complete spring/summer collections from 7 Diamonds, Mavi Jeans, and PF Flyers. Store owners Ralph Fasano and Jeff Worth will be on hand to discuss summer trends for men, and cover the tab for the evening’s open bar. . . Between 50 and 100 bridal gowns and mother-of-the-bride dresses, as well as veils, handbags, and shoes by Badgley Mischka are reduced up to 50 percent at Escada (840 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-915-0500) on May 4th through 7th. All sales are final, and no alterations will be offered. . . . All perfume bottles at Aroma Workshop (2050 N. Halsted St.; 773-871-1985) are 20 percent off through May 15th. . . . Vive la Femme (2115 N. Damen St., 773-772-7429) celebrates its third anniversary with a Champagne and Shopping Soiree to showcase spring/summer collections on May 5th from 5 to 8 p.m. Author Wendy Shanker will be on hand to sign copies of her book The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life.

Want more?
Pick up Chicago SHOPS, Chicago magazine’s special issue devoted entirely to the best and brightest in area retailing. Available here or by calling 800-999-0879.