Spring Tings Are Happening...

Here in Chicago, this Spring-like weather can't seem to decide whether it wants to stay or not. Regardless of the temps, we all know that if you stay ready you don't have to get ready.

Fortunately we have your bases covered with a new Bubblegum Pink selection to satisfy your colorful needs and warm weather thoughts.

Our friend Chelsey debuted the latest colorway in our favorite Magnolia Jacket at the Saint Heron Live Art Show that featured Braid Styles by Shani Crowe. We don't usually do too much color, but this bubble gum piece is a keeper. Also available in black, you can purchase here.

Married to the Job: How 3 Fashion Couples Make It Work

We recently had a great write up with our friend Nikia Jefferson and our new friends Marie Claire Magazine. Check us out below and tell us what you think!

autumnbrian.jpg

The first thing you notice about Brian and Autumn Merritt is their vibe. They're hip (they have multiple tattoos) with a traditional edge (they have two kids and recently appeared in a Honda Civic commercial). The brand that they run together, Sir & Madame, echoes that combination: It sells timeless pieces like button-downs and sweatshirts decorated with embroidered badges and bold graphics.

The Merritts founded their company in 2007. They were about to get married and, as happens when moving in with a significant other, Autumn was shocked by the contents of Brian's closet. He had way too many sneakers ("Sneaker culture was at its peak!" he explains). Plus, the two were looking for a career pivot. Autumn, now 34, had just been fired from her job as a buyer at a local Chicago boutique, and Brian, now 36, was bored with his job managing Chicago Apartment Finders. From their discontent (and overabundance of kicks), a business was born.

Aptly named Solemates, their company, Chicago's first sneaker consignment shop, attracted all the cool kids. In 2009, the Merritts expanded the shop's inventory to include their own designs and rebranded the store Sir & Madame. Recently, the couple moved their outpost from Wicker Park to Hyde Park.

They've known each other for more than 20 years—they first met in middle school—yet entrepreneurial life has been the real spark to reveal new depths in their relationship.

Autumn works Sir & Madame's floor, selling pieces Brian designs: "When I see people react to what we have in the shop, I'm like, 'Yeah, babe, you did a great job!'" she says. And Brian affectionately refers to his wife—who often sits in on his meetings with manufacturers—as his "pit bull" for keeping the trains running on time. "Seeing every day what this person has worked toward to ultimately better your situation or your business," says Autumn, "just increases your respect and love."

But it's not all fun and fashion. When they first launched, Autumn took on additional work to help pay the bills, while Brian manned the bulk of their store's internal- and external-facing operations. He was drowning. She scaled back her gigs to get more face time in the store, allowing Brian to focus on the company's back end.

There was also that time Brian charged a large shipment to their account without giving Autumn, who oversaw the budget, a heads-up—nearly putting the company in the red. The accounting discrepancy bled into their home life. "Our disagreements led more to silence than anything," Autumn says.

It's taken 10 years of experience to really learn how to leave work at the office, and now they approach most situations with less emotion and more practicality. "We baby-stepped our way to a healthy place," says Autumn. "It's something that's going to continuously evolve." Much like Sir & Madame.

Read more about how other fashion couples make it work here.

CHI CITY FASHION LOVES SIR & MADAME...

RECENTLY WE SAT DOWN (AT OUR COMPUTERS) FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH JENA OF CHI CITY FASHION. TAKE A GANDER BELOW AS WE TALK ABOUT OUR LOVE FOR CHICAGO AND MORE...

 

Why Chicago?

This is where we are from, Chicago is our home. This is the city that Brian and I were both raised in and the city that we want to build up creatively. After graduating from college in DC I knew 2 things — I wanted to contribute to the creative community and continue my relationship with Brian, all in Chicago.

Over the past 10 years we have witnessed so much growth within the art, fashion and music communities…it truly is amazing. Chicago is a city that for so long was overlooked with limited resources in the fashion & retail industries, so to be instrumental in that shift is important to us. We also have an amazing network here that allows us to fully support one another and put in motion meaningful collaborations.

READ THE REST AT CHICITYFASHION.COM

STYLIN' ON 'EM.

A few weeks ago we collaborated with a few other artists to create some Spring looks that would invoke the (hopefully) forthcoming Spring weather. Working with them was an absolute blast; now we just need the weather to get on board! Check us out below and click on the pictures for more details!

Model: @mskianaalexis

Makeup: @andreasamuelsmakeup

Hair: @deedesalu

Nails: @spifster

Photography: @10photos

  On Model: Sir & Madame Split Back Shirt in denim, vintage jacket, Sir & Madame Pins, Tanner Goods belt, Cheap Monday Leggins

 

On Model: Sir & Madame Split Back Shirt in denim, vintage jacket, Sir & Madame Pins, Tanner Goods belt, Cheap Monday Leggins

  On model: Sir & Madame Woven Shirt in white, vintage coat and bracelet. 

 

On model: Sir & Madame Woven Shirt in white, vintage coat and bracelet. 

  On model: Sir & Madame Woven Shirt in white, vintage coat and bracelet. 

 

On model: Sir & Madame Woven Shirt in white, vintage coat and bracelet. 

The Collab+oration Theory: Joe & Terrell on Originality

 

Process > product

They say collaboration rules the nation.

The process of collaboration will always be greater than the byproduct of collaboration.

Understanding the complexities of this process, we teamed with Square 56 to highlight provocative partners and their respective journeys as they creative collaboratively via a series of 1 minute videos. 

First up, Joe Fresh Goods and Terrell of Fat Tiger Works speak on Originality. 

Extended Version 

@joefreshgoods @kingrello @fattigerworks www.fattigerworkshop.com

#thecollaborationtheory
#sirandmadame
#square56pro