Kerry O’Brien-Judy, confirmed carrot top, draws on eclectic designers for her Red Head Boutique.
Lest anyone wonder, the month-old Red Head Boutique in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood is not for redheads only. But it’s run by a redhead — Kerry O’Brien-Judy. And there’s a certain pixieish charm and mischievous daring about the shop’s stock that’s in keeping with the redhead mystique.
Bold red awnings and a whimsical painting of a spike-haired redhead beckon from the street. Inside, a wide-aisled layout manages to marry a coolly industrial space with a warm burgundy color scheme and welcoming atmosphere.
Racks are filled with garments from over fifty designers, ranging from vintage-inspired Haley Bob, a Los Angeles-based line loaded with embroideries, lace treatments and bohemian touches, to the soft touch of Brooklyn-based Ohm’s baby blue and brown angora sweaters with silk cowls and matching wool-embroidered tapestry skirts.
Prices range from $38 to $72 for simple peasant-style blouses to dressier Cynthia Steffe designs ($162 for a ribboned polyester silk sheer blouse in plums and browns; $175 for a pair of cotton/nylon spandex pants that are like jeans but dressier).
O’Brien-Judy left a career in advertising sales just over a year ago to pursue her own boutique. "I always wanted to do something like this," she said, "and loved this neighborhood."(In fact, the boutique is right down the street from Krista K, profiled on page 74.)
Learning the ropes, O’Brien-Judy worked for a few local boutiques for several months "to get the feel and logistics" of the business before she started building her mix.
"In the beginning, I just went through my own closet, looked at the labels and selected the vendors I liked," she said. Her biggest challenge thus far: "Figuring out how much inventory to buy and how it would fit in the store."
Conversations with designers — such as Julie Diller, designer and owner of Ohm, in Brooklyn — helped O’Brien-Judy become familiar with fashion shows and the sequencing of seasonal clothing collections. In Diller’s opinion, O’Brien-Judy’s direct approach made a lot of sense. "When it comes to boutiques," said Diller, "I find that when the owners believe in the labels they bring in, they’re usually very successful with them."Thus far, the strategy’s worked for Red Head. For fall, corduroy skirts by Ruth and blouses by Haley Bob sold out almost immediately, and have been reordered. "But everything’s selling well," said O’Brien-Judy, who added that the store had hit its first month goal of $70,000. "My clientele ranges from singles to young moms. I make it possible for them to embellish what they already have in their closet—to make it more fun with a special blouse or sweater." She hasn’t hit New York for spring buys yet, but generally speaking, is looking out for "lots of color and softer materials."
"Right now the majority of my designers are from New York and Los Angeles," she said. "But I’ve got some Chicago designers — such as Neesh by Dar, and jewelry by Kristen Amato and Jean Beckman — and I’m very open to adding more." Accessories range from painted-leather and bead belts by Chan Luu, to oversized floral duffles by Wisconsin-based Tracy Porter and bracelets made from vintage records by Chicago designer Meg Makely.
Her advice to fellow new store owners, "It’s really important to have a strong identity. There’s a lot of stores that you can walk into that are selling so many styles that it’s confusing to the customer."
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)