There’s a wooden crate in the corner, which I have deemed my bar ledge for the evening. It was made hours ago by the project coordinator, who transformed the previous pallet.
“A great use of upcycling,” the store manager smiled as he waited for me to try my first drink.
Under the wooden bar, there was an entire keg of Kallisty, a pale ale from the Chicago brewery, Illuminated. Two men, one in grey and the other in plaid, managed the bar as they poured the frothy beverage for twenty Instagramers and journalists at Frank & Oak’s media pop-up event on Wednesday, August 5, 2015.
The second of Canadian men’s fashion company, Frank & Oak’s retail store is about to open. It sits on the corner of Wabansia and Damen, a few blocks from the bustle of restaurants and nightlife underway on a weeknight in Wicker Park.
I walk in and it’s simplistic.
“You don’t see 20 TV’s, but you see technology,” Eric Alper, the new SVP of Marketing said.
Frank & Oak Members Choose American Cities for Store Opening
Three years old, Frank & Oak started exclusively online for members only. Last year, the company began opening retail stores in Canada. This year, Frank & Oak made the move to expand to America in a unique way.
A company built on community, Frank & Oak turned to its 2 million members for inspiration. Through gift card purchases, the 2 million members chose which cities would get their very own Frank & Oak retail store.
The first was Boston, which opened in June 2015. The second store is opening in Chicago this August with an event on Saturday, August 8, 2015. More stores will roll out throughout the year in various cities, which are to be announced.
Chicago Men’s Fashion Store Grand Opening
Frank & Oak’s grand opening begins in the morning on Saturday, August 8, 2015. While shopping to beats from DJ MattBoyWhite and eats from BBQ by Lillie’s Q, the first 40 people to arrive can pick up a shirt or accessory for free with a $50 gift card to Frank & Oak.
The grand opening event will start at 10:00 am with a BBQ from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and the DJ from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, when the store closes.
3 Ways to Upgrade Your Style
I sat down with Alper, Frank & Oak’s SVP of Marketing to talk about how men can elevate their style.
Alper offered three ways for men to transform their look.
- Nail the Basics. Get a pair of black shoes and brown shoes. Have several washes of denim to mix or match.
- Start layering. Layer down for summer and layer up for fall and winter. An example of layering down would be a t-shirt paired with a short-sleeved button-up top.
- Be bold with one piece. Alper showed me his purple polka-dotted dress socks. Being bold can also be achieved by incorporating a detailed jacket or adding a pocket square to a suit.
The Men Who Wear Frank & Oak
Frank & Oak targets men in their mid twenties to mid thirties, who are just starting out in a creative field. These men are in transition. They may be upgrading their look from t-shirts and jeans and need a personal stylist and a simplistic brand to elevate their debut or climb in the creative field.
Frank & Oak’s Style
Frank & Oak offers basic shirts and button-up shirts.
“The fit is more slender on the shoulder than the athletic cut,” Tommy Nouansacksy, one of Frank & Oak’s style advisers noted.
The Chicago store features three jackets, one being the suit jacket. Their clothes are lightweight and convenient. They are available in subtle tones like black, grey, and burgundy. While the average attendee was medium build, Frank & Oak is available in regular sizes and tall. To complete the look, they offer classic shoes and sleek travel bags, as well as accessories from your pocket square to your cuff link.
The Chicago store will have personal stylists available to help you find the right fit and look. Every month, look for a new collection from Frank & Oak’s team of 13 in-house designers.
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.