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As 2012 disappears in the rear view mirror, and we're wrapping up our survey of friends in the fashion industry about the year's biggest news stories and most exciting developments, we turn to a tough subject. Breakups. Before the New Year, we looked at the best and worst trends, and best newcomers; now, let's ask our group which shopping neighborhood or street improved the most. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.
[Photo Matthew Sallee via Chicago Mag]
Lynn Okura Bey, editor of Sales Check at Chicago Magazine: Damen Avenue in Bucktown.
Amalie Drury, editor of Pure Wow: The Ravenswood retail scene has really coalesced with the opening of two great new housewares shops--Neighborly and Alapash--which round out the already fun mix of Hazel, the Lillstreet gallery shop, Brew Camp, Orange Beautiful and others.
April Francis, fashion stylist: Damen and Oak/Mag Mile continue to be improved by big names, which is great, but we need more creativity in our neighborhoods, more stores as luxuriously imaginative and independent as Robin Richman and Apartment Number 9.
Jonathan Smith and Tyler Crawford from Stylechicago.com:Oak St. / Gold Coast - A lot of new great stores opened or are opening soon.
Amy Tara Koch, style expert, TV personality and author: Oak Street is most improved.
Eric Himel, fashion stylist: Rush Street.
Monika Dixon, owner, Monika Dixon PR: Oak Street is the one street that stands out the most! With the new Starbucks (on Rush) Christian Louboutin, Geneva Seal, Del Frisco's restaurant, Hermes and Lanvin Paris coming soon plus all the other businesses present they make for a spectacular shopping destination and what a great spot for people watching.
Bridget Halanski, director of runway at Factor Women: I have been shopping a lot on Armitage in Lincoln Park. The Armitage/Halsted area has some local staples, like Lori's, with a mix of more established brands and stores, like BCBG and Intermix.
Emma Arnold, creator of Tres Awesome: Since I moved very near by I'm going to say West Town. Specifically, Very Best Vintage and Dovetail.
D. Graham Kostic, creative director of Glossed & Found: Luxury Garage Sale has really raised the street fred for Old Town.
Ryan Beshel, director of PR at The 900 Shops: Oak Street has really gotten a facelift this year.
Brigid Sweeney, retail reporter at Crain's Chicago Business: Oh man, that's sort of tough. I'd love to highlight Milwaukee and Division or Clark Street in Andersonville. But if we're defining "improved" purely in terms of new store arrivals, I'm going to say Oak Street.
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