TOMS: Chicago Launch [Photo Recap]

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.

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The new TOMS store was shoulder to shoulder on a cold December night as the exclusive invitees enjoyed free food, cocktails, and music.

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.

Special thanks to TOMS and everyone we coordinated with from Emily to the friendly in-store staff. #TOMSChi

1611 Damen St. — right at the Six Corners in the heart of Wicker Park.
1611 Damen St. — right at the Six Corners in the heart of Wicker Park.

Lolla 2014 Behind the Scenes [Photo Recap]

What happens when you have more than a GA wristband to Lolla? Your life officially changes!

Here’s what we experienced:
1.) Met with Perry Farrell, creator of Lollapalooza, @ the media happy hour
2.) Accessorized by Toms for the festival (shoes + sunnies)
3.) Gowhere Hat worn on stage with Eminem & Rihanna
4.) Pampered in the media tent: massages, nails, hair, makeup (special thanks to Michael Brinson with Athletico & Lauren Schroeder)
5.) Fed lots and lots of amazing food + hydrated all day long
6.) Held umbrellas for Flosstradamus
7.) Martin Garrix showed us his high jump
8.) VIP shuttle service to and from each headlining stage
9.) Skydeck viewing of main stages

View more of our Lolla 2014 behind the scenes experience in the photo gallery above!