I hopped into my rental car and sped over to River North to get to Blake (212 W. Chicago) before it closed. After trying to figure out the new parking meter system, I was left with 10 minutes to shop.
Blake is in an old Post Office building and there is no signage announcing its presence. The windows are empty with nary a mannequin in sight. The interior is white and stark. The salesgirls are sort of like the decor.
Blake has a decidedly different feel from Ikram, which will ensure its survival. The goods were hipper and more avant garde. There was tons of Dries, Marni, and Alaia. The best part? Most of the store was on sale. I spotted a gorgeous Givenchy trench marked down to $1400 from $2020. Some Dries pieces were a mere $200.
My one complaint was with the salespeople. They were both slightly annoyed that I came in so late and told me that they were in the process of closing up and that if I saw something I needed in another size, I could come in another time to try it on. Um, thanks?
I also got sort of a hard sell. I tried on a massively discounted Céline top, only to have her tell me that the new fall version was much cuter and would probably fit better. Both true, but it was also more than twice the price. They were obviously not happy that I walked out with nothing. But I will definitely check out Blake again when I have more time. The sales were truly impressive.
June, while not the best month for shopping, is definitely the best month to see Chicago. You have two weeks left before the disgusting summer humidity hits.
(Note: Chicago also has a thriving vintage scene. I did not have time to explore this, but please check out the adorable Isa and her Chicago style blog for a taste. She’s given me so much information about vintage in Chicago that I wasn’t able to use this trip.)