NOTE: As of January 2012, all updates to this listing are here.
1880 N. Damen, (773)321-6685, malabarboutique.com
Goods: Women’s clothing and accessories. Designers: Cyndi Chan, Jefferson Kulig, Maria Garcia, Claudia Kleiner, Rojo and organic line Green Dragon. Owner: Claudia Kleiner, a Venezuela native, opened her boutique to introduce Chicago to South American style. Vibe: The bi-level shop is flooded with sunlight and clean, neutral colors. Decorative accents like a photo of Claudia’s grandmother make it clear that she put a lot of heart into Malabar—the shop sparkles with warmth and personality. Price Range: Moderate. The Look: Subdued and striking at the same time. The Malabar gal is on top of fashion, but doesn’t succumb to trends. Perfect gear for a young, creative professional who dabbles on the cocktail circuit—picture an off-duty architect or gallery owner. Shopper’s Perks: Claudia’s quartz-and-silver jewelry designs are sold exclusively at Malabar. Claudia learned to make jewelry in Brazil, where quartzes are believed to bring healing power. Look out for anything in black coral—it may just bring you prosperity.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009