Raya describes this dress ($380) as �black and weird looking.� �I�m not good at describing my own stuff,� she says.
Raya is known for her attention to
detail on her clothes, such as the velvet cuffs on this sheer blouse ($230).
The minimal decor in the shop includes collars Raya made out of her shopping bags.
The back of the shop is where Wieczorek (pictured left) and a part-time employee do all the in-house tailoring work.
Fashion designers are always asking themselves, “What’s next?” If you’ve been around for a few years, the answer might be to think about opening a store. Agga B. Raya, who’s been a designer in Chicago for about five years (she’s originally from Poland), has done the next best thing. She’s created a retail space within an established business.
The collaboration between Raya and Wicker Park tailor shop Fit N’ Stitches happened naturally. Her studio (located within the Creative Lounge) is just down the street, and Raya would come to the tailoring shop when she needed help on her pieces. She established a friendship with shop owner Nadia Wieczorek, and last month began selling items from the Agga B collection at the space. “As soon as I started sewing her stuff, I fell in love with it,” Wieczorek says.
The front of the small shop was previously occupied by vintage tailoring decor including old dress forms. Now, the area features Raya’s current black and white pieces on the forms and hanging on a couple of racks. You’ll also find samples from her previous collections, starting at $50.
Raya, who continues to maintain her online shop, likes the idea of having a retail presence without having to take many of the risks that come with opening a brick-and-mortar. Plus, this combination is a natural fit. “I’m inspired by old-fashioned tailor shops,” Raya says. “Like the kind of service guys get when they buy a suit.” Here, you can shop Raya’s womenswear collection, get it altered right away and also place a custom order. And even though the merchandise is strictly Agga B, shoppers can still bring in any item that needs tailoring.
Fit N’ Stiches is located at 1717 W North Ave (312-772-2230). Tue–Fri noon–6pm; Sat 9am–3pm.