Our first pick is Odile, and we were lucky enough to share a chat with store owner Camille Cozzini. “My parents are both from Europe and my mother used to travel there every year to buy my siblings and I clothing. During my childhood, I gained a true appreciation for well-made, quality clothes that would last a lifetime. We carry clothing with a focus on craftsmanship and quality fabrics. I work with established, family run businesses who make clothing with the intent to provide apparel that will last for years and can be passed on for generations.” A current best seller at Odile is Le Nouveau Ne Gym Shoes. (The soles are organic and smell like grapes!) Plus, parents can enjoy the convenience of lace-free shoes. Genius.
Odile, 710 North Wabash Avenue (at Superior Street); 312-255-0800.
Frankie's On The Park
Tween-boutique Frankie’s was founded in 2008 by Lisa Rolfe-Burik and Mary DeRose Carter. The duo was inspired by Lisa's super-stylish, then 13-year-old daughter, Frankie. Inside, you'll find Splendid, Ella Moss, LA Made, Butter, J Brand, iT! Jeans, Joe's Kids,
So Nikki, Chaser LA, Hard Tail, and Un Deux Trois. Frankie's buyer, Rae Stapleton, gave us the inside scoop on this too-cute shop. “We do a great casual business (back to school, camp, etc.), but also have beautiful semi-custom options for special occasion dresses and separates. We also have our own line designed and produced in Chicago called 4th Charm.” Frankie’s targets the tween crowd (ages 8-13), but they also have women’s clothing. “We have biannual bag sales online and in the store. Our next in-store bag sale will be in mid-July,” Stapleton says. Can you guess where your almost-teens will be dragging you this summer?
Frankie's On The Park, 2322 North Clark Street (at Belden Avenue); 773-248-0400.
Madison and Friends
Husband-and-wife team David and Wendi Shelis opened Madison and Friends after the birth of their daughter, Madison, in 1996. In 2002, the couple branched out, opening sister store Denim Lounge. Both stores carry children’s clothing, but (bonus!) Denim Lounge also offers more than 20 brands of denim for adults, too. For kids, you'll find 525 Girl, Joe’s Jeans, Butter Super Soft, Stella McCartney Kids, Ben Sherman Kids, Just a Cheap Shirt, and Splendid. We hear Ella Moss is a best seller for girls, and we're not surprised. Madison and Friends, 43 East Oak Street (just East of Rush Street); 312-642-6403.
Store owner Lana Batko and her husband opened Milani Boutique in 1993. “We got our inspiration for the store after visiting European countries and seeing how parents there outfitted their kids. At that time, haute couture boutiques for kids didn't exist in Chicago, so we decided to bring the finest and latest fashions to the city.” And Milani is the place to go for mini haute couture. The boutique carries Armani Jr., D&G Dolce & Gabbana Jr., FENDI Kids, John Galliano Kids, Roberto Cavalli Kids, and their own Milani line of shoes. They carry infant through preteen sizes in clothes, and infant to adult sizes in shoes. So, once your teeny ones get addicted to the good stuff, you can keep coming back. 65 E Oak Street # 1A (just East of Rush Street); 312-587-0570.
Store owner Deree Kobets opened Grow after having a tough time finding nontoxic, quality baby products for her own brood. “There were a few available online, but it is difficult to purchase baby items without touching and feeling the quality. It was even hard to find out what plastic your baby bottle was made of. I not only wanted it to make it easier for parents to find these items, but to provide a place for advice on designing a nontoxic nursery and not throwing tons of money at a lot of inexpensive, low quality items but how to live minimally and naturally with a baby.” The store stocks clothing, furniture, and a wide assortment of nontoxic and organic baby products from brands like Duc Duc, Kate Quinn Organics, Oeuf, Dwellstudio, Bloombaby, and Netto and Nook. The store’s annual floor model/warehouse sale takes place on May 21 through 22 (Saturday and Sunday). They’re also hosting a pregnancy fair on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. Grow, 1943 West Division Street (at Damen Avenue); 773-489-0009.