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Wednesday 23 September 2020
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Shop Around the Corner: Vile & Valiant and RR # 1

Browsing Chicago’s unique, trendy neighborhood stores and boutiques

Vile & Valiant
1359 W. Grand Ave.

www.VileAndValiant.com

Vile & Valiant is a truly unique shopping experience. The boutique offers wares from mostly independent designers — some local and some from London, where Vile & Valiant owners Mark Millar and Mariel Westermeyer hail from as well.

Millar is passionate about this project and excited about their location in the up-and-coming River West neighborhood. He compared the area to London’s East End, which was once a warehouse district and continues to grow into a destination for fashionable and creative types.

Acutely aware of the distinction between a shopping trip and a boutique experience, Vile & Valiant holds regular events like design competitions, vintage markets and trunk shows to get people excited and involved.

“It’s not like a department store where you just put things out and they buy it,” says Millar. “You have to offer people a bit more than that. So we’re trying to make it a bit more interactive.”

Many of the pieces have been expressly crafted for Vile & Valiant — you simply won’t find them anywhere else. The high-quality garments perfectly combine vintage feel and fashion-forward flare, meaning there is something here for everyone.

— Corey O’Day

 

 

RR#1 Chicago
814 N. Ashland in Ukrainian Village
www.RR1chicago.com

Whether you’re looking for a gift for your waspy grandmother or hipster boyfriend, RR#1 has what you need.

The ultimate Chicago gift shop, this store supports local artists and tries to keep it green with an impressive collection of unique cards, books and stationary. Where else can you find a card congratulating a friend for passing their urine test and a book on how to stay alive in the woods?

For some fun gifts for that big kid in your life, look no further. Choose from a collection of board games, Japanese collectible toys, stuffed animals, plastic handcuffs, tiny maracas, mustache magnets, stickers, tutus and so much more.

Give your girlfriend those funky ninja socks she’s always wanted, a onesie with the Chicago flag on it for your brother’s newborn, or a coin purse in the shape of a frog. For that workaholic friend — how about some paper clips in the shape of sharks?

An old-fashioned shop with modern gifts, the majority of the items they carry are new in order to ensure all price points are covered.

However, you may stumble upon the occasional vintage gem. The store also showcases handmade jewelry and hair accessories, candles, lamps, incense oils, purses, scarfs, pillows, dishes and other home décor.

— Nicole Weddington