How Visiting The New Adidas Store in Chicago Was a Form of Self Care For Me

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music." ~ Mac Anderson

Jacket: Melissa McCarthy Seven7 via Gwynnie Bee / Tee: Torrid / Pants: 2 B Continued Jeans

I recently visited Chicago for the first time and there are no words to explain how amazing the trip was. Travel is something I think everyone should incorporate into their life because it's those experiences that will have you living your best life and taking chances. 

One of the things I had to do while in Chicago was visit the new Adidas Originals store that opened in early October in the Wicker Park neighborhood at 1532 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

I knew before visiting that it was an Originals Flagship store and one of the only locations that stocks Adidas collaborations with designers like Mastermind Japan, Alexander Wang, Spezial and White Mountaineering. It's also the largest Adidas store in the world. So I had to visit. HAD TO. I think I talked more about the Adidas store than doing anything else in Chicago. I swear I drove my friend Jessica crazy about it. LOL.

I have been a sneaker head AKA kicks addict since I was a kid. I grew up in the 80's in NYC where B-girls / B-boys were the norm and movies like Beat Street and Krush Groove were a normal part of my life. I always wore Adidas Originals along with Puma, Vans and the ole' faithful Uptown Nike kicks (aka Nike Air Force One kicks).

To this day, my style lends heavily to the streetwear fashion of that time and is such a part of who I am. I always say my style is B-girl meets Audrey Hepburn because I love the hardness of streetwear paired with the softness of feminine details like a string of pearls, cute dresses, and anything sparkly. Sneakers are a way of life for me. And it's liberating to be 47 years old and not conform to fashion rules. I have pink hair, always wear my kicks and just love to be extra when it comes to fashion. As a dear friend of mine always says, style is ageless.

Cape and Skirt: Eloquii / Tee: Lane Bryant / Clutch: JC Penney / Sneakers: Adidas Originals

Standing in front of the store, I will admit at first I was underwhelmed. We thought we had the wrong store because it was a normal storefront, nothing fancy. I expected tons of street murals in the front window and once inside, more of an assortment of sneakers. 

But once I walked around, that changed. The store manager Alex immediately came up to me, asked me if I needed help with anything and after talking for a few minutes, he started telling me about the history of the store.

According to the official press release, the store "is designed to generate a localized, community-centric experience that pays homage to the pulse of the city's streets." And that they do.

The store actually used to be two businesses: Reckless Records and Rodan. The second floor were residences and that was knocked out as well so the store has these gorgeous high ceilings and an industrial vibe.

There are still remnants of the past... there's some of the original tile still on the floor in front of a side door and the wall imprint of the staircase that went up to the second floor residences.

The wall art featured in the store are from local Chicago artists POSE and TUBSZ (both I am big fans of) as well as a rotating gallery wall curated by nonprofit organization IPaintMyMind. The art will be rotated quarterly and I can't wait to see more when I visit Chicago again. There's also an audio-speaker installation by local artist and photographer Nathan Keay

In the front of the store, this art installation blew my mind and it did not go unnoticed by Alex, who told me the backstory of it.

As you can read above in the image, artist POSE (Jordan Nickel) used CTA train rails to create the six-pointed Chicago star, "that has carried the weight of Chicago's people for many years".  The store is so enriched in Chicago history that I almost forgot to shop!

There's also fitting rooms inspired by classic Adidas Originals sneakers, and a special fitting room for VIPs that has a bench modeled after those found at CTA train stations and made to resemble the materials and route of the L Train with the walls wrapped with ribbed brushed steel, made to resemble train cars.

Jessica did point out that there are no plants on the subway but I guess it was put there for the ambience. 

There's also a Community Wall where customers can interact, share and learn about local events, shows and product releases. I signed the wall, of course! I had to! 

Off from a high of a successful "Becoming Fearlessly Just You" session two days prior (stay tuned for more in my next blog post), I was really determined to treat myself to a pair of sneakers. I almost never spend much money on myself and am constantly worrying about budget. But after telling a room full of people that being selfish is okay via treating yourself and caring for yourself, I knew I had to take my own advice.

These beauties are now MINE!

I still cannot believe that sweatshirt fit me. Special shoutout to the girl who helped me find this (I totally forgot her name, damn) because I fit into the XL! It's a unisex oversized top. The 2XL fit baggy! That has never happened to me before! Self-care, indeed.

The cash register area

All in all, visiting the Adidas Original store was overall a self-care experience because it made me so happy and I felt like I was in my element. I was so happy, walking around, looking at art, shopping and enjoying the hip hop playing overhead. All of the associates there were nice and engaging. I definitely want to go back and hopefully, I can do an event there because it would be a great experience for local bloggers and artists to come together and network.

Here's some more images from the store:

Side note: I need this in plus sizes! C'mon Adidas!

If you're in Chicago, the Adidas Originals Flagship Store is definitely worth a visit. And the Wicker Park area is a must-visit spot too. I saw so many vintage shops and even a Taco Bell that sells alcohol (LOL). Where else can you see an ATM machine against some bold street art?

The Adidas Original Flagship Store is located at 1532 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60622. Open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily.

Self care is about the little things. For me, it was this visit. What is it for you?

1 comment

  1. So glad to hear you had an amazing trip to Chicago. Can't wait to hear more about your "Becoming Fearlessly Just You" talk.

    For me, self care is about escaping from the world for a little bit every day...whether that means a lie down in a quiet room after a day of work, or enjoying a sunset, or walking the dog on the beach. Also bigger escapes like day trips, or "getting the hell outta Dodge" as I refer to them. The change of scenery is so refreshing for me, and quiets my mind after being at other people's beck and call at work or dealing with a health or financial situation. In the summer it's going to the beach alone, sitting close to the water and just staring at the waves in and out in and out. It's hypnotic and meditative.

    Welcome home!