Our Chicago Store Is Open & It’s Our Biggest Yet
The Windy City just got a lot more Real. Our fifth and largest store is officially open at 940 N Michigan Avenue, bringing luxury consignment to the Midwest, IRL. There’s shopping of course — complete with curated handbags and a sneaker stadium — but like at our other stores, there’s so much more. Read on for the special in-store experiences The RealReal Chicago has to offer, from on-site luxury experts to local art to sustainably sourced snacks and drinks at the CaféCafé.
Shop coveted pieces curated just for Chicago — and do it sustainably
940 N Michigan Ave. will be specially stocked with Chicago shoppers in mind — think luxe outerwear for impending cold temps, but also special edits of the most-wanted women’s and men’s ready-to-wear designers based on TRR’s Chicago data. That would be Chanel and Gucci for women and Louis Vuitton and Gucci for men. Shop classic handbags by Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton and of-the moment styles by Bottega Veneta and Gucci. Plus, take in 360 degrees of rare kicks in the sneaker stadium. “The sneaker loop is a bleacher style structure where all our sneakers are presented,” explains Senior Creative Director Bianca Wendt. “It’s topped with a ticker tape that shows what’s going up or down in value, similar to the stock market.”
The presentation is highly curated and luxe, but it’s also sustainable. “Sustainability is a focus in our stores,” says Wendt. “We re-use what we can within the existing space, and are mindful of the materials we use. Almost all of our furniture and decor is vintage or pre-owned, sourced by our curators, which we often reupholster to give new life.” And if you fall in love with a vintage chair or table, it can be yours since all the furniture in the store is for sale. Some was sourced from South Loop Loft, a local business whose curators travel the world to bring amazing furniture, art and decor back to Chicago. TRR worked with them to source many pieces such as our gorgeous Italian lounge chairs in women’s and the Elaine Kaufman Feiner painting from 1966 in men’s.
Keep your investment pieces in peak condition with repairs and bespoke alterations (& earn more when you consign)
Maybe your daily driver investment bag has seen better days. Your watch isn’t quite ticking on time like it used to. A favorite piece of jewelry could use a refresh, or even a resize. Or you’ve found the perfect pair of trousers that just need to be nipped at the waist. We have an expert for that, right there in the store. In fact, you can even watch our watchmakers at work. Or meet our gemologists, like TRR Fine Jewelry & Watches Valuation Manager Kaitlyn Rigdon.
How did you become interested in jewelry?
As a child, whenever my mother needed to complete a chore, she would sit me in front of her earring box and know that I would stay there and be entertained for hours. I never lost that interest and fascination with jewelry as I got older.
What kind of care does most jewelry need that people might not suspect?
A simple cleaning and polishing helps keep jewelry shining but also allows a jeweler to inspect the item for any needed repairs. Standard issues caused from wear such as worn or missing prongs or cracks in the metal are hard to spot with the naked eye, but they are important to the longevity of a piece. When we price items at our Luxury Consignment Office, we check for any durability concerns and advise on repairs before we list on the site to ensure the next person to love the pieces has no issues.
What jewelry pieces would you love to see come in to TRR?
I would love to see the Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Turquoise Alhambra necklace. It’s not currently in production, making it an exciting and rare piece to come across — it is highly coveted on the resale market.
What’s one of your favorite places in Chicago?
I love taking a stroll along the riverwalk, which has the best view of the city’s architecture and design installments.
Take a tip from Rigdon and take advantage of the full menu of care and repair services at the store. It covers everything you need to keep your luxury investments in tip-top shape, so you can extend their life cycle by continuing to wear them, or by consigning and maximizing what you’ll earn. Want to know just how much that is? You can book a free, expert valuation to get price quotes on jewelry, watches, handbags and sneakers. Or simply drop off your consignment.
Take in works by iconic Chicago artists
Our stores are unique, each embracing the identity of the city it calls home, whether it’s a SoHo building that was the center of an art movement, or a spot on an iconic shopping street with murals celebrating the SF’s eccentric personalities. The guiding principle for the Chicago store was the same, and celebrating the city’s architecture, culture and music informed the design.
Gracing the walls of the Chicago store are works by hometown artists like Lee Godie and photographer Danny Lyon. Godie was a Chicago icon known for her idiosyncratic life. Though she reportedly had money, she lived as a vagabond, sleeping on the streets, wearing outlandish outfits and makeup and making her art. Her work often took the form of female portraits, several of which hang in the store and are available for collectors to acquire. Lyon, who studied at the University of Chicago, both participated in and documented the zeitgeist of the 1960s and 70s. His black-and-white images of the civil rights movement, biker culture, and the realities of incarceration reflected and revealed society through the lens of New Journalism and feel just as immediate today.
Stay caffeinated and indulge your sweet tooth at the in-house CaféCafé
Our biggest store ever needed the biggest CaféCafé ever to match. Located on the mezzanine, it has ample seating overlooking the store, making it the perfect place for a shopping break. “We’ve partnered with quite a few local Chicago vendors, which was our main focus in curating the menu,” says CaféCafé Manager Erin House. That menu includes a long and intriguing list of locally sourced options. “Troubadour Bakery, part of Colectivo Coffee, will be providing our bakery items and cold brew,” says House. “Karl’s Craft Soup will provide rotating weekly vegan and vegetarian options, Rare Bird Preserves will be dishing up locally sourced and handmade preserves and curds, and we’ll have Milk & Honey Granola’s homemade, small batch, non-GMO granola flavors!” Salads, sandwiches and snacks by Goddess & The Baker will also be on offer, including one of Chicago’s most Instagrammed desserts: their rainbow cake.
“Another standout we have is our froyo and toppings wall,” says House. “Our froyo is made with live and active cultures and certified gluten-free. We will be starting with Salted Caramel & French Vanilla with a range of toppings including Milk & Honey Granola, macarons by Goddess & The Baker, our house-made mini waffles and Valrhona chocolate.” And on top of that there will be homemade, organic waffles, again with your choice of toppings. If you’re looking for something quick to-go instead of a leisurely lounge session, you can order ahead at the TRR CaféCafé site.
See what’s in-store in Chicago. Shop picks available at 940 N Michigan Avenue here.