Around Town: Block 37's Search for the Next Great Pop-up Finalists
Block 37 (108 N. State Street), Chicago’s modern shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the heart of the Loop, once again offered both established and emerging brands the ultimate opportunity to connect with local consumers in its third-annual Search for the Next Great Pop-up competition this fall. One brand, designer, artist or creator will have the opportunity to win a free prime retail location, as well as $2,500 in prize money to help build out their space, and a complimentary consultation with Pop-up Republic. The competition has consistently grown and evolved since its inception. This year marked the highest number of applications in the contest’s history and the addition of a guest judging panel, comprised of Jeremy Baras, CEO of Pop-up Republic; Susanna Homan, publisher and editor-in-chief of Chicago magazine and Splash; Corri McFadden, founder of eDrop-Off; and Lindzi Shanks, founder of The Trendy Sparrow (2015 winner of the Search for the Next Great Pop-up competition).
The four finalists were chosen based on their application materials, the brand’s plan for the space, a social media vote and feedback from the judging committee, including the guest judges outlined above. Keep reading to find out more on each finalist before the winner’s shop opens to the public on Friday, September 23 through Monday, October 31.
Alice & Wonder: Alice & Wonder is an online shop curating affordable #prettyfunthings for her and home. Alice & Wonder aims to find those can’t-live-without pieces for the every girl and value the confidence that comes with having the perfect dress for a killer day at work or just the right cocktail glasses for a last-minute happy hour. The idea for the online shop came about after owner Ali Reff moved to Chicago in 2008 and quickly discovered that while it’s one of the best cities for fashion, the lifestyle can come with a price tag. Constantly feeling in-between this place of being 22 and needing to pay rent, and being 22 and needing the newest handbag, she decided budget-friendly style shouldn’t be so hard to find. The pieces are meant to mix-and-match and accent whatever makes you, you – whether that be adding to your wardrobe or making your home a little cozier. Uniqueness meets affordability.
Oars + Alps: Oars + Alps is a direct-to-consumer men’s athleisure and natural grooming brand focused on selling high-end, premium skincare products to the on-the-go millennial man without the premium price. The name Oars + Alps is inspired by the sports the founders’ husbands love. Mia’s husband is a competitive rower, and both Mia and Laura’s husbands are avid snowboarders and skiers. Oars + Alps believes every day is the start of a new adventure, so they exist to prepare and energize you to launch the day. The team behind Oars + Alps came together in July 2015 and pre-launched in October 2015. They are formally launching with new products in October 2016. Follow along on social media at @oarsandalps.
Peter Field Custom: Specializing in menswear tailoring and alterations, Peter Field combines old school tailoring techniques with new age technology and customer service. With skilled tailors and seamstresses, Peter Field utilizes deep skill sets in alterations and tailoring to make everything fit better. They tailor everything from retail and custom suits from nearby menswear companies to old ill-fitting suits that you’ve had in your closet for years. Because of the vast knowledge and decades of experience that their master tailors possess, they are able to alter clothes with impeccable quality. Peter Field master tailors have the ability make true bespoke suits and because of their immense familiarity and awareness of garment construction, are able to accommodate nearly every alteration their clients have a need for. Peter Field constructs menswear accessories which are handmade in Chicago. Peter Field maintains a promise to produce everything they sell in America and whenever possible, they will make it in house. They are committed to creating jobs in America and supporting other small businesses who share their company values.
Standout Style: Standout Style boutique was launched in March 2014 by Tamika Maria Price, an award-winning wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and author. She opened to offer women both quality, head-turning style in a range of sizes (XS-3XL) and a stellar shopping experience. Tamika began styling professionally in 2008 and soon thereafter launched her wardrobe styling and personal shopping consultancy, A-line Style Services. She has helped hundreds of women with their confidence and personal style through one-on-one consultations, speaking engagements, and her book “STANDOUT STYLE: The Shopping + Style Guide for Real Women” released in 2010.
Keep an eye on www.blockthirtyseven.com this week to find out who won the 2016 Search for the Next Great Pop-up competition!
Allie Duncan, Senior Publicist