Omi

How did your Gold Coast boutique, Sofia, come to be?

I was living in L.A. with a few of my friends from college and we started this thing called ‘The Piece’. We would go to all of these little towns and collect and buy vintage clothing to resell it. We would have garage sales once a month. My sister had a baby and I wanted to be home so I was like, “Let’s see if this works in Chicago.” I didn’t know if vintage would work. I opened a space that only had vintage which was appointment only, there was no sign or anything. I converted an office into a showroom and it did really well. When we got the opportunity to move to our previous space on Oak Street I decided to bring in new clothes. Then we moved here [to 100 E. Walton].

Where did you get your vintage from?

It was always like a treasure hunt at estate sales and flea markets but we don’t really carry that much vintage anymore.

Who would you say the Sofia style is the perfect fit for?

I think it is a little bit of Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe. And we carry both of their lines!

What is special about your store compared to other local boutiques?

I wanted to create a store that wasn’t just a store. You’re not handing over your credit card and that’s it. There is a little bit more, whether it’s the music or the staff. Everyone here is friends with the people that come in here. From our blog to the music it’s a whole experience.

You work with your brother and sister. What is that dynamic like?

We are definitely all chill. I think it works because at the end of the day we can’t get that mad at each other. That always helps, definitely. Plus, fashion is fun!

Biggest fashion faux pas you see in Chicago?

I think it’s not willing to take enough risks and staying in that cookie cutter of what you think you’re supposed to wear. I really believe that fashion is such a part of everyone’s personality and you should show that in the way you dress. It’s a way to express yourself.

Ashley ZisookAshley ZisookAshley Zisook

Any personal style regrets?

In high school I used to wear a lot of tube tops, like the ones from bebe that were reversible.

Where do you live in the city?

I live in the Gold Coast. I love how it has a neighborhood feeling but it’s in the middle of the city.

Are you single? 

I am single. Sometimes I definitely have a hard time balancing dating and Sofia because this is like my baby. I feel like I should always be here.

Do you think Chicago is a good place to date?

Yeah, it’s fun! I love the city and I think it’s good for single people because if you see someone or you meet someone you know you will probably run into them again, where as in New York or L.A. it’s harder to run into the same people.

What is one item that is always worth splurging on?

A leather jacket, that could be in your closet forever. It doesn’t go out of style. It’s definitely a piece you should invest in.

Best show at New York Fashion Week?

Chanel. Duh! Always.

What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t in the fashion world?

I used to DJ so definitely something in music. I like oldies mixed with the new.

Ashley ZisookKIRSTEN MICCOLI PHOTOGRAPHY

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  • http://fiercebuddhist.org fiercebuddhist

    You should talk to Rev. Patti Nakai of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. Would be a great interview.

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Omi