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Union Handmade

March 27, 2014
Union Handmade

Independent retailers come and go, sometimes without explanation and often to the disappointment of singularity-seeking shoppers. Leigh DeLeonardo was apparently one such case: in 1994 she opened Made To Fit, a popular local design collective, which she shuttered four years later (as it turned out, to raise her daughter). However, fifteen years later DeLeonardo has bounced back onto the Chicago shopping scene with Union Handmade, a warm and inviting North Center design collective on a mission to support local artisans and showcase her own quirky and fresh range of clothing.

The selection on showcase rotates each week and at present includes up to 10 designers, mainly local, the bulk of which is clothing like DeLeonardo’s own Belgian linen smocks, block-print scarves in burnt orange and fuschia pink, Nancy Melvin’s cotton nightgowns, theatrical milliner Laura Whitlock’s rakish hats, and Kelley Jordan’s popular line in slouchy tees. But there are also a number of accessories on offer like Kara Hetz’s hammered silver jewellery studded with semi-precious stones, and cute polka-dot canvas totes from Milkhaus, as well as fun bits n’ bobs like antique brass cups from India, artisan chocolate boxes, and colourful pencils. And don’t forget to sneak a peek out back where DeLeonardo has also set up a studio where designers can be seen at work – crafty!

3860 N Lincoln Ave / +1 773 348 1400 / closed Mon-Tue /