A sad day to Chicago fashionistas everywhere.
Ultimo, one of Chicago's premiere fashion boutique, an influential mecca of high-end fashion for more than four decades, is closing its doors to the public at the end of January.
The Oak Street boutique founded by the late Joan Weinstein was introduced to Chicago to European designers such as Giorgio Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier in 1969. The influential 5,500-square-foot-shop will close just two months after Weinstein's death.
“It just seems like the right time,” said current owner Sara Albrecht. In 2000, Sara Albrecht bought Ultimo from an investment group that included Weinstein, who went on the serve as a consultant for Ikram's specialty store and spent her later years in Miami.
Luxury retailers have been battling the harsh economic conditions that hit the pocketbooks of affluent consumers typically immune to such economic downturns.
Ms. Weinsten's husband, Jerry, opened Ultimo in 1969 as a luxury men's store and it quickly grew into an internationally known landmark for new and high fashion. Before he died in the early 1970s, Ms. Weinstein had added women's fashion to the store.
There are a few Ultimo stores operating but not affiliated with the Oak Street store in Chicago: operating Ultimo stores in Dallas and San Francisco, Jil Sander boutiques in San Francisco and Costa Mesa, California, and a outlet store in Central Valley, NY.