HUMBOLDT PARK — A new shop selling vintage menswear is opening in the up-and-coming WoW (West of Western) district on North Avenue.
Richard's Fabulous Finds will carry high-end vintage men's clothing found by owner Richard Biasi.
The 44-year-old Rogers Park resident has spent two decades working in new men's clothing at the stores such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus, but feels the quality of a lot of name-brand clothing has declined since the 1980s.
"I think the quality of the [vintage] merchandise is better, and for me I kind of like to have some history with it — and if it's lasted 50 years it's going to last another 50," he said. "Fashion today really is disposable."
He said he only started getting into shopping estate sales and the like in 2012, but has already amassed a a huge collection of suits, ties, hats and other clothing items from as long ago as the late 19th century up until the 1970s.
Biasi takes his items on the road to various markets and shows across Chicago and the Midwest, but he quickly found he needed a shop to show more of his stuff.
"There's only so much I can bring, and there's a lot of guys who want to try things on, so this was the logical next step," he said.
"So it's really become quite the mecca," he said of the area. "Within the next couple months it's going to be a whole new section of Chicago."
Biasi is working furiously to get the 1,000-square-foot space ready and plans to be up and running by early May, just in time to take advantage of one of the best advertisements for vintage suits — AMC's "Mad Men."
"I have a whole 'Mad Men' collection that hasn't even launched yet," he said. "They're still at the dry cleaners."