SOUTH LOOP — Men's clothing and lifestyle retailer Haberdash first opened in Old Town in 2005, but co-owner Jerry Kamhi says the brand didn't catch its stride until it made the move downtown four years later.
So when Haberdash was approached by McCaffrey Interests about opening a 4,000-square-foot flagship store at the Roosevelt Collection development in the South Loop, Kamhi says he and his partner Adam Beltzman jumped at the chance.
Kamhi said the South Loop is the perfect neighborhood for Haberdash's new anchor shop, because "the area just keeps expanding, with the influx of young people moving in.
"Being in the heart of downtown, on State Street, the exposure to the brand and the right kind of foot traffic gave us a much better opportunity to be successful here" at 150 W. Roosevelt Rd., Kamhi said.
The men's clothing and accessory shop hearkens back to the "golden era of department store shopping" when Marshall Fields was king and shopping was an experience instead of a chore, Kamhi said.
"A large part of our customer base is returning to Chicago after college, but also people who are moving back into the city from the suburban areas, maybe as empty nesters now. And all of that's in the South Loop."
The shop's grand opening is Oct. 16, when Haberdash will unveil the result of a special collaboration with the Chicago History Museum to celebrate the South Loop's history.
Kamhi reached out to the museum, which supplied his team with archival video and photos that feature the neighborhood throughout history, juxtaposed with shots of Chicago today.
Haberdash's creative team "curated" the highlight reel into a short feature they'll screen at the Oct. 16 launch.
The idea was "to connect with the heritage of the South Loop, which plays so much into who and what Haberdash is," Kamhi said. "It relates to our whole vintage authenticity ... even the name, Haberdash, comes from the 'haberdashery' men's stores in old Chicago."
While Kamhi said the company is considering opening locations outside of Chicago, he noted that the shop's identity is inextricable from its city of origin.
"A lot of what we do, and who we are, and our vision certainly is born here in Chicago," he said. "I mean, it's who we are right? Would we be successful in another city had we originated there? Maybe. But this is who we are and what we're about."
And he gave a local twist on Frank Sinatra's famous lyrics about New York, asserting that "if you can make it in Chicago, you can make it anywhere. Chicago's done really well for us."