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Silver Umbrella to Sell Discount Designer Clothes in Hyde Park

By Sam Cholke | March 6, 2014 8:21am
 Silver Umbrella is selling vintage clothing in Hyde Park.
Silver Umbrella Opens
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HYDE PARK — The neighborhood added a new option for buying clothes on Wednesday with the opening of the Silver Umbrella.

“Most South Siders go north to shop because you can’t get this stuff around here,” owner Zakiyyah Muhammed said.

The store at 5305 S. Hyde Park Blvd. offers a carefully curated selection of vintage men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, luggage and furniture culled from estate sales in tony north suburbs.

“We look like a boutique, but we have Ralph Lauren ties for $9,” Muhammed said. “We have deals.”

Muhammed said after 15 years in the fashion industry, she decided to open a shop that more closely matched her current lifestyle as a mother.

“As the mother of two, this is what my life is all about: bargains, living on a budget,” Muhammed said.

She said her experience representing designers like Cynthia Rowley and brands such as Gola and Ben Simon showed her that much of the cost of clothing is paying for status, and it’s more important to find something you like. And 7-year-old boys have a tendency to test the limits of the nice things around them, she said.

“Boys, they break everything, that’s how they learn,” Muhammed said.

She said prices for “vintage” clothes have gone up because of a renewed cultural acceptance of them, as celebrated in songs like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Thrift Shop.”

“I feel like people are marking up vintage because the name now carries weight,” Muhammed said.

She said Silver Umbrella is somewhat of a reaction to the renewed popularity of vintage and she’s trying to keep prices low to maintain that joy she found while thrifting in high school of finding something unique at a bargain.

Muhammed said the store will be adding kids clothes on Friday. She said she hoped to soon start a marketplace for things too big to fit in the store.

“We welcome consignment, but we don’t solicit it — we don’t want to be a dumping ground,” Muhammed said.

She said Hyde Park had very few options for those who wanted to buy or sell used furniture, clothing and other goods and hoped Silver Umbrella would fill that niche.