After 7pm the lights of Oak Street dim, and the shop-friendly block simply emanates a soft, quiet glow as the remaining shoppers and employees head home for the night. But on Thursday April 3, one store shone brightly past 7pm, like a beacon of after-hours shopping. Inside, stylishly dressed guests sipped wine and the signature drink of the night, the bebe-tini, as a DJ spun upbeat tunes. Wait staff circled with savory hors d’oeuvres and a multitude of photographers stopped guests in their tracks, aiming to get the perfect shot, while the invitees perused the racks of brightly colored, trendy clothing.
It was the grand opening of bebe’s brand spankin’ new flagship store, sponsored by Vogue magazine. For those who have been getting their bebe fix from the smallish store in the 900 North Michigan building, the new arrival is like a gift from the shopping heavens. This tri-level store officially takes the cake as Chicago’s largest retail space, with 7,500 square feet of bebe madness. It’s the ultimate showcase for bebe’s bold, contemporary and trendy designs, with modern minimalist décor that allows the bright colors and patterns of the clothing to shine. Neatly organized, the layout is perfect for both browsers and those Oak Street shoppers who know exactly what they want. The first floor plays host to accessories of all shapes and sizes, with plenty of bags, shoes and jewelry to complement any ensemble. The second floor houses dresses and sportswear, while on the third floor you’ll find casual duds, denim and plenty of those ubiquitous bebe tees, as well as club-tastic pieces for a night on the town.
With a portion of the evening’s sales benefiting the Sage Studios for Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute, the new bebe store is already showing off its love for our city. And judging by the long lines at the fitting rooms and checkout, Chicago is loving bebe right back. (Molly Each)
bebe is located at 109 East Oak, (312)475-1589, bebe.com.