WICKER PARK — With a slogan "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing," a Swedish-based maker of parkas and outdoor gear opened its first dedicated Chicago shop during the week of one of the city's worst ever blizzards.
Fjallraven's general manager Clay Harvey joked that he is happy that the store, which replaced a demolished 1890s-era greystone and was under construction itself for several months, is finally open.
"We are one less construction site in the neighborhood. A lot of our initial customers have come from foot traffic and they were fully aware we would be opening soon. This is the tail end of the [coat buying] season and we are looking ahead for spring and summer," Harvey said.
The 2,300 square-foot spot, which opened last Friday, features dozens of winter coats and parkas for men and women as well as sturdy shoes made by German boot maker Hanwag.
There are also several hats, bags, backpacks, laptop bags and wallets too.
"Trekking and urban exploring are lifestyles that Fjallraven embodies and we are committed to quality, sustainability and a humane manufacturing process," Harvey said.
Targeting "urban adventurers" who enjoy mountaineering and camping, the Damen Avenue shop, which has brought eight new jobs to the area, is Fjallraven's 8th in the United States and 10th in North America.
"The Midwest market is prime for our brand since it's so cold here," Harvey said.
A graduate of Ohio University, tucked in the hills of southeastern Ohio, Harvey majored in outdoor recreation and has spent his career at outdoor retailers, such as Burton Snowboards in San Francisco, where he was most recently working before relocating back to the Midwest.
Fjallraven, 1708 N. Damen Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon-Sat; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Ph: 773-661-0227.
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