A first look at Independence, a New Men’s Store in the Gold Coast from George Vlagos of Oak Street Bootmakers
Recently, GQ profiled the 25 best men’s stores in the U.S. Not a single Chicago retailer made the cut. And that’s fine, since this is a city that does not beg for glossy-magazine approval. If you’re a man that cares about style who lives in Cook county, then you already Chicago has some of the finest men’s stores in the country, from Apt. No. 9 in Bucktown to Haberdash in River North. The newest independent purveyor of men’s garments is aptly titled Independence. It’s located in a second-story shop on Oak Street in the Gold Coast, just above lingerie store Agent Provactuer (whose racy commercials make Victoria’s Secret’s look like public service ads for family values).
Independence is founded by George Vlagos, the man behind Oak Street Bootmakers, a company that produces the coolest penny loafer on either side of the Mississippi. By opening Independence, Vlagos not only has flagship store for his handmade shoes, but a brick and mortar business where he can sell other great lines of attire, like Levi’s Vintage, Gitman Vintage and Engineered Garments. Vlagos’ shop has the coziness of a lodge, while several USA flags draped over the walls remind you that the store is stocked with American-made goods. We hope to catch up with Vlagos sometime soon and discuss his new venture in more detail, but for now, here are some images of Independence that we took during its opening party.
Independence * 47 E. Oak St. * Goldcoast * 312.675.2105