Recently, our intern and Chicago based blogger, Devin Walker, interviewed a brotha by the name of Krabby who happens to be the manager/proprietor of hot streetwear/sneaker boutique, St. Alfred in Wicker Park. Chicago is coming up in the game in its streetwear and sneaker options and St. Alfred is leading the way.
We learned alot about what's happening in the CHI by talking with Krabby:
Q1: I understand STA is apart of Kicks/HI what is it about Chicago style or just Chicago in general that made Chicago the first place to open a store on the mainland rather than NY or LA?
A1: The city didn't have something like this whereas LA and NY had places like it already. When we opened up in 2005, we weren't the first but there wasn't anything like this here.
Q2: If this boutique had to have a motto what would it be?
A2: Saint's rise above…..
Q3: How has the Chicago Style of dress changed over this decade?
A3: It's become more embracing of skate culture like SB's DC, but what has changed is that there is more acceptance of different styles. Before, if a shoe wasn't a AF1 or Jordan it was called a fake AF1 or Jordan.
Q4: How do you see the state of Chicago fashion moving in the coming years?
A4: It will continue to spread from the old norm thanks to people like Kanye and Lupe. Kanye has the reach in the urban community and the larger mainstream commercial aspect of America to be a influence in both.
Q5: With the economy's current state, what do you think would be the X factor for a store such as this one to get new clientele?
A5: A good product is what's key. Some people are still buying the high end merchandising, but you must have competitive prices and uniqueness.
Q: How has the connection of local artist and local hip hop boutiques helped both industries in their fields here in Chicago?
A6: Promotions for the city, and use anything that cross connects them is a good thing for the city.
Q7: How do you think social media sites such as Facebook and Myspace helped spread the buzz about STA?
A7: Facebook and Myspace are just other forms of communication but word of mouth is the best way to communicate ideas, and Facebook mimics that.
Q8: Chicago neighborhoods are known for having there own unique styles, some industrial, others residential, how do you guys think Wicker Park has influenced this establishment and how do you see the impact that STA has had on Wicker Park?
A8: It hasn't been affected by Wicker Park but we have seen Wicker Park change, it has been another case of gentrification but in a new way. Instead of it being racial it is age based, more young people in their 20's and 30's and married young people as well.
Q:9 So what are the hot styles for this summer
Shoes? Pants? Shirts? Accessories?
A9: Now its a euro style for the shoes, also Vans, Converses and also it is hip to wear new start up companies products, in all parts of your wardrobe.