The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Marc by Marc Jacobs Chicago

A Marc Jacobs ad campaign by Juergen Teller. Ok, not really. Just my wee homage to the duo.

I finally made it to the Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Damen Avenue in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, and in a word, it is heavenly. In true Chicago style, I take pride in the fact that MJ chose to house one of just a handful of Marc by Marc Jacobs stores right in my own backyard, just blocks from my last apartment, no less. Speaking of which, I can not believe how much the hood has changed but I won't bore non-Chicagoans with that speech.

The Marc by Marc Jacobs Chicago storefront

The shop is stunning. The clothing - arranged by color - handbags, jewelry and accessories are presented like artwork in a gallery (not uncommon for fashion boutiques, I am aware, but just setting the scene). Exposed piping and the dark denim blue and gray color scheme suggest he took clues from an Army Surplus store (think Urban Outfitters, for lack of a better analogy). The window displays featured huge photographs of Marc by an artist whose name escapes me at the moment...again adding to the whole artistic vibe.

View from the entrance

This is a place for creative types to dream. I wasn't at all put off by the fact that I couldn't afford anything. I was content to look, get ideas and just admire Marc's talent. It took me back to a warm and fuzzy place back in the '90s when grunge was cool, and Starbucks hadn't yet invaded the Belmont and Clark intersection where hipsters and punks once reigned supreme. Marc is just so desperately needed in fashion. And here's the budget part: There are bins of cheap trinkets and baubles and trashy kitschy junk for as little as $1 - and I LOVE it! I scooped up a pair of fingerless gloves for $5 and an adorable fuchsia quilted wristlet for $23.

View from the rear of the store

And did I mention the friendly staff? One of the employees called me out on the Forever 21 Marc knockoff I happened to be wearing that day (gulp!), saying it looked just as good as the real thing. Not sure her boss would feel the same way, but I appreciated her down-to-earth attitude. She even offered to take my picture in the store when she realized just how obsessed I was. Yeah, I felt like a tourist but who cares? I got my photos, got my little "consolation prizes" and left feeling happy and inspired. I suggest you pay the store a visit next time you're in the Windy City, too. Take the Blue line towards O'Hare, get off at Damen, walk north to 1714 N. Damen.

Ach, you lucky DUCK! Sounds like a positively dreamy experience. And I adore your faux-Teller. Just crank up the contrast in Photoshop, no? ;-)
#1 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-07-21 11:47 (Reply)
I think Teller uses a simple point-and-shoot camera and intentionally overexposes his subject with the flash. It's trickier than you'd think to get that amateurish look he's so famous for. But yes, I cheated and just played with the levels in Photoshop. I definitely recommend trying this at home, kids! :-)
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-07-21 13:31 (Reply)
All I have to say is LUCKY!!!!!! I will have to deal with my mini Marc Jacobs store in the Galleria.

Houston is so far behind in the fashion times. Folks are still wearing cowboy boots with sundresses and rubber rain boots!
#2 TexNYQueen on 2008-07-21 15:11 (Reply)
If it's any consolation, they had Marc by Marc Jacobs wellies in navy and gray for $28. I almost bought a pair just cuz they said Marc Jacobs. Almost ;-)
#2.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-07-21 20:41 (Reply)
I loled at the first picture after reading the caption. I thought it was a real MJ ad!

I've been meaning to go into the nearby MJ store, but figured most everything wa sway out of my price range. Glad to see I can get quite a few things for under $50.
#3 Joann on 2008-07-21 17:34 (Reply)
Ironically, I just made my first visit in there Friday. I picked up the quilted evening bag as a birthday present for my gf. I was a little bummed that I didn't have more time to browse, there was definitely a lot to ooh and ahh over.
#4 Rachelle on 2008-07-21 22:23 (Reply)
glad you finally made it! :-) i do love buying the cute inexpensive stuff for friends and they're always thrilled.

p.s. on first glance, you totally had me fooled by the juergen teller homage :-D
#5 cathy (Homepage) on 2008-07-22 09:57 (Reply)
That sounds like such an experience! I've got to get to Chicago.
#6 Psyche (Homepage) on 2008-07-22 11:05 (Reply)
Awesome! I'm driving up to Chicago in late September so I'll definitely make a stop there! Maybe I'll even try to save up a little money between now and then....maybe...
#7 taylor on 2008-07-23 08:00 (Reply)
I love my Marc Jacobs tote I got for $10!! I also bought a wallet for $30.
#8 Ally on 2009-01-03 19:57 (Reply)
This looks pretty good! next time when ever I am to Chicago sure i will stop here.
#9 Travel (Homepage) on 2009-02-13 03:49 (Reply)
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