The newest retail addition to the heart of Wicker Park in Chicago is courtesy of one of my favorite lifestyle brands, TOMS.
The brand, made famous by its “One for One” model of giving a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, embodied their longtime brand essence in the physical form with its new store launch last week. Everything down to the detail delivered their message of helping others and everyone can through the support of their hip products from the shoes that make up the core of its products to the lifestyle products like sunglasses and tees. All of the items were on display and for sale, so for anyone still making their Holiday shopping rounds, you’ll likely find a gift or two for a friend (or yourself).
The launch event itself was an invite-only, exclusive affair that delivered on free food (catered by new neighbor and trendy/delicious Mexican hotspot Big Star), drink (coffee cocktails from TOMS’ own Roasting Co.), and music by Chicagoland, Columbia indie rock band Wild Belle.
It was a wildly successful night as during the near hour and a half I was in attendance, the line was first out the door, and then shoulder-to-shoulder for the duration.
For me, amongst many others I presume, it was the first time experiencing TOMS in an in-your-face fashion like its own retail store. We’ve all undoubtedly seen friends rocking TOMS, the Argentinean colors of the logo, or perhaps even the shades and tees, but not all together at once. The products were certainly enticing and plentiful and the L.A. headquartered company certainly took note of the Chicago winter with the current boot choices for sale.
But what was most impressive to me about the TOMS: Chicago Store was the clear highlights on what TOMS is about. As you can browse in the gallery above, the store featured plenty of signage, imagery, and stories about how everything from their shoes to shades to coffee will go towards helping the less fortunate. The customer will clearly see and feel that. As of last summer, TOMS has donated over 10 million shoes and restored eyesight for 150,000 people — considerable numbers (and counting) that are more than commendable.
The new Wicker Park location is a perfect, busy spot for Chicago hipsters so no doubt TOMS will be around here for a long time to come. Even if you’re not shopping, stop in for some unique, original company. I love trying new recipes and opted for non-alcoholic coffee from TOMS Roasting Co. and it certainly hit the spot. I hope future retail stores, in general, are fused with non-traditional supplements like a coffee shop.