Perry Farrell - January 18, 2008 - Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chicago, IL

Date: January 18, 2008
Location: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chicago, IL
Recorded: No known recording
Status: Confirmed
Type: DJ Set

Show Information:

Wendy Donahue
January 27, 2008
Chicago Tribune

Store, designer make a Marc

After five days of suspense over whether he would make it to Chicago, designer Marc Jacobs blew in from Paris for the opening celebration of his Marc by Marc Jacobs store last weekend, landing in a dinner chair with his own breathless: "I'm here physically, but that's about it."

He's been a bit busy, you see, designing four collections. There's Marc Jacobs men's, whose runway show is in Milan; Louis Vuitton, which shows in Paris, and then the Marc Jacobs collection and its younger, more affordable sibling, Marc by Marc Jacobs, which shows separately in New York in less than two weeks.

So he was forgiven for blankly greeting my giddiness over the trinkets scored in the Marc by Marc Jacobs store at 1714 N. Damen Ave. (773-276-2998): bicolor lacquer bangles for $2! A rhinestone-flecked ring for $5! Extra-long loops of white and smoke-colored pearls for $12 and $15!

These guilt-free pleasures accented far more substantial Marc Jacobs frocks on guests at the glam opening party for the Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Jan. 18. The event raged just down the street from the Marc boutique in an anonymous two-story space above the Levi's store.

About 400 guests dined and then danced to '80s-emphasis tunes from deejay Perry Farrell (creator of Lollapalooza and former frontman of Jane's Addiction).

Many revelers were from Jacobs' coterie of New York employees, who had been flown in to set the right guyliner-wearing tone for the store.

On one afternoon, it bustled with white-booted and bearded hipster shoppers, as well as the occasional grande dame.

Although Jacobs' brands are carried at boutiques and department stores in the city, much of the Marc by Marc merchandise is only in its freestanding stores -- as much as 80 percent, said Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs International.

Among the oddities were rain boots emblazoned with "Chicago" and a surfboard bearing the Japanese flag. (One actually sold, Duffy said.)

The opening-days' receipts beat every other Marc by Marc Jacobs store in the country, Duffy said.

Perhaps other shoppers' defenses were lowered by the pieces-for-a-pittance at the front of the store.

Then, drawn into its deepest corners, they, too, added a glitter-threaded Jackie-like jacket ($458) to their loot, or a men's topcoat ($698), lubricated by the compliments of sales associates who pride themselves on a rare blend of non-threatening cool.

"No one's intimidated to come in here," Duffy said. "If I were to use one word to describe us, I'd say 'friendly.' "

But not exactly safe.

City unveils fashion site

The city's new tool to connect the growing fashion community is getting a warm welcome.

The launch party for, created by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, isn't until Tuesday.

But the RSVP list for the event, at Lumen, reached capacity within days of it being announced.

The Web site offers resources for designers -- they can find sewing contractors or tips on starting a business. It also promises shoppers the latest information on boutiques, designers and events.