Marc by Marc Jacobs finally opened at 1714 N. Damen in Chicago last week so I had to check it out. A door man opened the door for me (a la Barneys) only he was cute and wearing jeans. My first impression was "rubbers" — I mean boots, because I was hit by that sporty gym shoe rubber scent from the rows and rows of galoshes before me. My second impression was "upscale surplus store" with bins and shelves of totes, t-shirts and all sorts of fun, utilitarian, reasonably priced, very well designed (but of course) and unique "stuff." From $1.50 for a lipstick pen to $1,500 for a handbag, this store ran the gamut on price.
Huge boxes of printed T-shirts for only $5, leather and canvas tote bags, from $78 to $15, some emblazoned with "Marc Jacobs – CHICAGO" – like a designer souvenir. White rain boots were only $15 with a Marc Jacobs logo buckle, but humorously imprinted "CHICAGO" boldly across the ankle – like fire department boots for women! Another useful item (that I loved) were colorful hombre-hued travel umbrellas, with a funky thick clear lucite handle – for only $16.
I see running into this store for "emergency items" – especially emergency gifts! There was a collection of colored leather wallets and cosmetic bags from $17 to $38. Cool chain metal jewelry included rings and necklaces from $15 to $38. For a gift? …Or maybe myself. It’s hard to not walk out of there without buying something.
Just as I was thinking "I can’t believe this is all so inexpensive." I grabbed the tag on a beautiful beige tone on tone raincoat with gold buttons – $585. I guess I found the Marc by Marc Jacobs line for women. It is interesting how the merchandise was all mixed together. The $1200 handbags were next to $28 "Wellies". (Oh, I guess there was men’s clothing there too, but that was not what I was there to see!)
The sales staff and manager were extremely friendly and the store had an casual upbeat mood. It was bustling on a freezing cold Sunday afternoon, even during the football championships. Women were trying on items from the well-stocked Marc by Marc Jacobs resort line, and I was told that the spring line will be in next week.
Fundraising T-shirts lined the shop shelves. For $38 you can support Common Threads, a non-profit organization devoted to educating children about nutrition. Or for $38 pick your favorite nude celebrity model or actor on a black and white t-shirt, and benefit Skin Cancer research. This really made me shiver, seeing the display-sized posters in the icy cold windows of beautiful celebrities – with no clothes! See, they really should have opened this store last August!
—Carol CalacciSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
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