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Uniqlo has pushed Chicago onto the back burner, telling WWD they'd rather open coastally instead of somewhere in the Midwest, so let's all calm our nerves and focus on some of the great shops we absolutely know are coming soon. Though lots is in the works—Rag & Bone, Nars, Mulberry and Zadig & Voltaire among others—none of of these stores have inked leases. There are about six stores, though, that make the bank account tingle and will in fact open in 2013.
Oh, hi Barbour Spring 2013
1) Barbour—The heritage-inspired English brand is known for warm outerwear and waxwear and mixing in quilted leathers. It can be read as having a rocker sensibility, and it's coming to Walton. Last fall, the brand opened a temporary shop on Halsted in Lincoln Park which now looks to be a permanent shop, acting as a secondary store under the impending Gold Coast flagship.
Oh, hi Saint Laurent
2) Saint Laurent—The boutique's stance on Oak Street came to a long drawn-out wishy washy end, and was eventually booted by Escada only to disappear into the darkness of 2012. With Hedi Slimane's controversial new outlook on the brand, we learned that Saint Laurent will occupy the last available street-level space in the Waldorf Astoria next to Marc Jacobs this year.
Oh, hi Brioni Spring/Summer 2013
2.5) Brioni—Around the corner, Saint Laurent parent company PPR will be opening men's Italian luxury brand Brioni. Yes, it's exciting, but only for guys who want fancy suiting, so we're not counting this one in the roundup. Think of Brioni as an unexpected bonus.
Oh, hi Chicago's third Nordstrom Rack via Crain's
Oh, hi there, fancy outlet mall
4) The Fashion Outlets of Chicago—On the same token as Nordstrom Rack, only a few notches more in the luxury category, this might be the most impressive project to happen in Chicago in a decade. The tricked-out mall, five minutes away from O'Hare, will house 150 brands, high-to-low including Prada, Halston, Michael Kors, Gucci, Ports 1961, Tory Burch and Hot Topic.
Oh, hi Frye construction site!
5) Frye—A recent development on Rush Street and one of the final moves in the game of retail musical chairs is the ousting of Jilly's Piano Bar and the leveling of the lot to build a new space for Frye and its massive collection of boots.
Oh, hi Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2013
6) Tom Ford—The details of the flagship are still sketchy but the classic American designer has made plans to come to Oak Street. Earlier today, we got confirmation that the store will be opening this Fall.