A WICKER PARK RETAILER ATTRACTS NEIGHBORHOOD HIPSTERS WITH SLEEK AND EDGY ACCESSORIES — HEY, WASN’T THAT LIZ PHAIR?
Byline: Rebecca Kleinman
When hip Chicagoans want to find the latest accessories without having to hop on a plane to either coast, they head straight for Wicker Park’s Stitch. Open since 1998, the store caters to young, creative professionals, many of whom live right in the neighborhood.
According to Stitch owner Pamela Hewett, her typical customer is after functional yet good-looking items.
Leather totes and laptop cases are among the bestsellers, Hewett said. By tapping into a wide variety of resources — from Morrie Block, a sales representative at the Chicago Apparel Center, to European trade shows — she has discovered lines like Luis Esteve, known for its beautiful Spanish leathers; D’Essai, a Milan-based company specializing in leather and microfiber mixes; and Delphine Nardin, a French designer who couples brightly hued leathers with lambskin.
For novelty bags, one of Hewett’s favorite lines is by New York-based Elizabeth Powell, who works with Hewett to create custom color combinations.
The two aren’t afraid to save color for the smaller pieces only, and their collaborative daring pays off — customers are scooping up roomier bags in plum, cranberry and olive. Even Joomi Joolz’s leather-trimmed Pucci-print bags aren’t too out there for her clientele, Hewett said.
Hoops, cuffs and bold shapes take the lead in jewelry trends. Hewett’s wild about Chan Luu’s turquoise- and organza -accented leather cuffs, as well as Melissa Muszynski’s resin and sterling geometric designs. Sales representative Shilan Fine, also based at the Center, has been a great resource for jewelry, as well as for the pashmina line she designs with her sister.