I visited Chicago last month, and while my time was limited, I took some time to visit a few of the great city’s best shops.
Independence Chicago sits in an upper suite on a relatively tony downtown street. Walk up the stairs and you’ll find a jam-packed treasure trove of American and Japanese goodies in the narrow space.
I was greeted enthusiastically by shopman Timothy Grindle, and got down to business, inspecting the goods. Highlights included a pretty broad range of Engineered Garments and LVC, and some truly beautiful Kapital pieces like the scarf shown above. It being Chicago in late autumn, there were plenty of cold-weather choices, too, including some big, beautiful outerwear from Crescent Down Works.
I had a nice chat with Timothy about the challenges of running a shop like this in Chicago. He told me that it’s taken years for the ownership to convince certain brands they can sell in the Midwest – and some of those brands they convinced have become top sellers.
Independence is also a sort of flagship store for Oak Street Bootmakers, an American-made shoe and boot brand who offer outdoor-inspired footwear with a very Chicago vibe – a little bit of Northeastern moc-toe, a little bit of Midwestern broad shoulders. I walked out with a twill LVC shirt and a pair of socks by a Japanese brand I hadn’t heard of, Rostersox.
For those in Chicago, it’s worth the trip. For those who aren’t, you can check out their excellent web shop.
47 East Oak St., Chicago, IL