Oak Street is enjoying a renaissance of late with high-end stores such as Tom Ford opening in the re-purposed Esquire Theater. And thanks to newcomer Luxaby (59 E. Oak St., Chicago), kids won't be left out of the fun.
New Jersey-based Luxaby Baby & Child, a luxury baby, children's and maternity boutique, is set to open September 21.
The 1,900 square foot boutique is a little white jewel box full of adorable, timeless children's clothing. Bonus: There's a ramp for stroller-friendly shopping.
Children's clothing is stocked from designers Rachel Riley, Darcy Brown, Petit Bateau, Kissy Kissy and Baby CZ. Think Peter Pan collars, smocked dresses, elbow patched-blazers, seersucker pants and Sunday coats. Sizes run newborn to size 6 for both boys and girls and price range $20 to $450. Dresses range about $68 to $298. About 25 percent of the store is devoted to maternity clothing from brands Olian and Isabella Oliver Maternity.
"The designs are timeless-they never go out of style," says Luxaby owner Molly Hillenbrand Vernon. She can attest to the quality herself as the heirloom-worthy clothing has lasted through her two daughters and two nieces and are still in good shape. "I packed away the coats for my daughter's daughters," she says.
Some styles are exclusive to Luxaby.
"I have a great relationship with these designers and they let me customize pieces for my store," says Vernon, who one day hopes to design her own clothing line.
Luxaby got it's start when Vernon became a mom to two daughters, now aged 5 and 7, and was looking to dress them in classic threads. "The clothes in most stores were trendy and glittery and just not my style," says Vernon.
She started picking up more classic pieces when she traveled to Connecticut and Martha's Vineyard and friends would ask her about them.
"I realized there was a need for more traditional clothing," says Vernon. "It's actually pretty hard to find."
It inspired her to open a shop in her Princeton, N.J. hometown in 2009, named for Luxaby Lily, the fairy in a self-esteem building bedtime story Vernon invented for her children.
When Vernon was looking to expand to a second location, she scouted New York City, Palm Beach and Atlanta before ultimately choosing Chicago.
"When I walked onto Oak Street, it was like the perfect spot presented itself to me," says Vernon.
Luxaby fills a void caused by recently shuttered Madison & Friends. Other nearby high-end children's shops on the block are designer children's shop Milani (65 E. Oak St., Chicago, 312-587-0570), French luxury boutique Bonpoint (37 E. Oak St., Chicago, 312-475-9140) and River North's Odile (710 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, 855-846-0800).
Rebecca Little, a native Chicagoan, loves discovering new ways to keep her two very active boys entertained lest they resort to spackling heirloom furniture or flushing toy trains down the toilet - not that those are real examples. Follow her at PinwheelChicago.com.
See more of Rebecca's stories here.