By  on September 26, 2005

CHICAGO — How far can JLo go?

If a crowd of almost 3,000 at Marshall Field's here is any indication, Jennifer Lopez and her merchandise could go the distance and then some.

And that's what executives at Sweetface Fashions are banking on. The actress, entertainer and entrepreneur christened the first World of JLo shop at Field's Thursday with expansion planned.

"This is an incredible experience for me," Lopez told fans chanting "JLo, JLo!" who packed the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of Field's flagship. "How fitting that the World of JLo would launch at such an iconic store. I love Chicago. It's a perfect, perfect place for us."

She made no reference to the announcement this week by Federated Department Stores that Field's will be turning into Macy's in the fall of next year.

"Chicago is such a great city for fashion," Lopez told WWD after addressing the crowd during a public appearance of less than five minutes. "Marshall Field's has been so good to us, and we're happy to find a nice home for our first in-shop boutique."

The more than 800-square-foot lifestyle concept, with its ivory and dusty pink accents, features everything JLo: sportswear, jewelry, handbags, fragrances, lingerie and sunglasses. Modeled after the 2,850-square-foot Moscow freestanding boutique, which opened in late May 2004, the Field's launch marks more of what's to come for JLo and Sweetface.

"This is great," said Andy Hilfiger, president and co-founder of Sweetface Fashions, the masterbrand company for JLo. "Now we can go to other retailers and roll out these lifestyle shops."

Hilfiger has his sights set on in-shop boutiques in Macy's Herald Square in New York, Macy's West at Union Square in San Francisco and the former Burdines, which is now Macy's, in Florida, as well as a freestanding boutique in Las Vegas, but expansion abroad is most imminent.

Joseph Lamastra, co-founder and director for Sweetface Fashions, said plans are in progress to open a JLo by Jennifer Lopez boutique in Baku, Azerbaijan, in January, as the company scouts as many as nine additional sites in and near Russia, including one or two in downtown Moscow and in St. Petersburg.

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