Omi

You chose to meet us at GT Fish & Oyster, is this your favorite restaurant?

I would say this is my favorite and then I have about 20 second favorite restaurants. I have a lot of favorite places in our neighborhood [Bucktown]. Ripasso just opened. Have you guys been there yet? I studied in Rome when I was in college and it just feels so authentic to me. I also love Paris Club. I love everything for different reasons. I kind of feel like an old lady drinking Rosé in this interview but I love Rosé.

Have you always been a Bucktown girl?

When I was single I lived downtown and I always loved it. It took a little arm twisting to get me to move over there but now I love it so much. It’s perfect. It’s so nice to get outside. My whole life during the week is downtown. I’m at work more than I’m at home so on the weekends it’s so nice to walk to our favorite brunch places and feel like we’re in a community. I love the bars and restaurants over there.

How did you meet your husband, Jason Berngard, who is Gilt City Chicago’s director of sales?

Oh my gosh, I don’t even know if you should print this. We actually met on Facebook. He requested to be my friend and I was feeling a little ambitious. I wasn’t really dating anyone at the time and I was looking to meet someone so instead of just simply accepting or denying I replied, “Do I know you?” We were then at two different birthday parties at the same bar the first time he texted me so it was totally one of those moments where we met and the rest is history. We talked all night and we’ve been together ever since.

You’re from St. Louis. Why Chicago? 

I went to journalism school at [George Washington University] in D.C. I really wanted to be an editor for a magazine. I had interned at Condé Nast every summer and at People. I thought that was definitely what I wanted to do. Chicago felt really comfortable and I’ve always loved the city so I moved here on a whim. I saw CS Magazine and I told myself CS is the only magazine that I would ever work for. Fortunately, there was an opening for an assistant to the publisher. I was basically like, “If I don’t get it I’m moving to New York,” and I got it. The second I met the publisher we just connected and he hired me on the spot. This was almost seven years ago.

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Favorite places to shop?

Actually my outfit now — I was thinking about it on the ride over — is all local. This dress is Stylestalker from Sofia. These earrings are Damen + Division by Sonia Barrett. My shoes are from SARCA. I think Sophia and SARCA are my two favorites. I used to shop online all of the time but their stores are so well edited it’s a one-stop shop for anything. If I do have to shop online I love Net-A-Porter and Shopbop.

Best fashion scene in Chicago?

I guess it depends on what kind of fashion you’re looking for. I always get inspired at Big Star. I will go and sit on the patio at three o’clock and just stay all day. You see the craziest colored hair and I love that stuff, I think that’s amazing. I also love high fashion too. I love the Pump Room to people watch. Everyone is so fabulous there.

Must-have items for this Spring?

I really want a high-waisted bikini. There are so many cute ones out right now. Miu Miu has amazing ones so I am saving up for that. I want a cropped leather jacket as well because every season I say I want one and I never purchase one. I think that will go well with any outfit.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

My immediate thought was my grandparents. My dad is much older so I never met his parents and I admire him so much that I would love to see exactly where he came from. Of course there is also Coco Chanel and Jackie O. I love Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood and all of those women. That would be amazing. But I would be so intimidated!

Photography by Natalie Probst

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Omi