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The CEO of Intermix on What Chicago Shoppers Really Want

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Intermix celebrated 20 years last night with music from Icona Pop, light bites, and white grape cocktails. Also in attendance: co-hosts Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What, reps from J Brand , and Intermix's own CEO, Khajak Keledjian. We caught up with Keledjian at the Intermix on Rush Street to find out what he thinks of our city's signature fashion.

Intermix has so many stores around the country. How do you decide what merchandise goes in each?

We have a process: We do a profile, we look at the market, which city it is, what's the lifestyle of the city. Then we make profiles based on customers that we think is the best demographic for that neighborhood, for that market, and from there we do our buys. We have the customer and that profile in mind, so we localize it.

That goes across the board for everything from architecture to the style. Each one has a different flavor.

What did you find about Chicago's demographics and flavor?

For me, Chicago is a major city, after New York. It's urban but it's a little more polished. What I like is that you have a mixture, kind of like what New York has, with the uptown and the downtown. This would be kind of the recipe.

[The Gold Coast store] was our first location. We followed the other two [locations in Bucktown and Lincoln Park] after this. We've done great; we are probably the best contemporary luxury specialty store. We've been here since 2008.

Do you notice a big difference between the customers at each of the Chicago locations?

Yeah, each one has its nuances. Here you have the locals, you have the tourists. You get the out-of-towners, the Canadians. The other two are more localized. They're more neighborhood-based stores. Even then, they have differences between them.

Is there one Chicago location that seems to attract customers seeking luxury more than the others?

More luxurious? Definitely this one, because this is close to the Gold Coast and more of the locals that are city shoppers.

Are there any brands that do particularly well here?

You know, actually it's less about than brands and more about our styling, because when you're buying any of the looks in the store or on a mannequin, it's not about a particular designer. It's more about how we put it together. You have a Helmut Lang going with Andrea Lieberman, Stella McCartney with Rag & Bone. It's really about the mixture.
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