Store Opening. Oprah Expands Her Empire in Chicago

February 29, 2008 • Shopping


Oprah’s new store at 37 N. Carpenter is exactly what you would expect Oprah’s new store to look like. Located inside a small building near Harpo Studios on Chicago’s west side, there is a handicap entry-way (so P.C.) and a nice silver sign with the powerhouse name written in that signature cursive. Upon entry, however, I felt as if I had walked into a store that wasn’t open for another half an hour or so. Not a single shopper present, there were a few too many sales associates on the floor, appearing mildly bored with the anniversary special that has been playing on the flat screens since the store opening. I was approached by a security guard (seriously), who informed me that photography is not allowed inside the store, but he would be glad to give me a ‘tour’ and answer any questions. I was able to sneak a photograph of il David at La Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence last summer, but not the interior of the Oprah Store? Interesting.

The highlight of the shop is Oprah’s Closet, which houses worn garments and shoes from the lady herself. The crocodile boots I kept reading about had just sold, according the security guard. There is also a section with specialty goods made by African women, which proceeds go to Oprah’s South African School for Girls, while all other proceeds go to her Angels charity. The rest of the store is filled with coffee mugs, ‘passion’ journals, athletic gear, ultra-soft robes and pajamas, lovely cashmere sweaters, and any other goods and garments you could sew a signature O onto. After all, what’s a few more bucks and an O on the ankle of your gym sock compared to giving to others’ in need?

—Emilie Furda

Image: Chicago Sun Times

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