Not Your Average Snowboot

With the first real snowfall of winter hitting Chicago hard the last few days, it left me with a style dilemma: to Ugg or not to Ugg? I haven’t worn Uggs in public in two years, but these last few days have tested my devotion to looking stylish top to bottom. The powdery white fluff left me pulling old favorites out of my closet; my beloved Nike duck boots, Tory Burch fur lined wedges, and beat up Air Force 1 sneakers. While I am often guilty of leaving my boots at coat check and swapping in heels, my tried and true options allow me to not worry about schlepping around more than I have to. Here are the best, stylish, boots out there right now that will allow you to get around without falling flat on your ass.


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1. Nokian, Warm Boot. 2. Sorel, Joan of Arctic Wedge Boot. 3. Nike, Air Force 1 Duckboot (Men’s Style.) 4. Aquatalie, Chance Boot. 5. Hunter, Original Shearling Boots. 6. IRO, Hannah Shearling flat Boot. 7. Alexander Wang, Anouch Chelsea Boot. 8. Nokian, Wedge Ankle Boot.

The Question About Sneaker Collaborations


What do you do when you want to know more about a subject? You get some help from the pros. Enter Tyler Blake, not that he really needs an introduction He’s a well-known sneaker enthusiast with an insane YouTube channel, he helped build and run, worked with Saucony Originals on strategic marketing, and at age 20, took over the Putnam Club to create the New England SneakerSocial at Gillette Stadium. Pretty cool, right?

Guest Post: Tyler Blake


Extra Butter x Saucony Shadow Master “Space Snack”

Extra Butter x Saucony Shadow Master “Space Snack”

 Collaborating is often seen as one of the most effective ways to grow and build an audience for your brand. Traditionally the thought process behind collaborating is that your brand’s following will “cross-pollinate” with the following of the brand you are working with, and in turn you gain new fans or customers. Collaborations happen across various industries, and though they are generally seen as positive occurrences, it is key to measure the cohesiveness of value propositions to make sure that the collaboration makes sense.

In the sneaker industry, the number of collaborations among brands is arguably at an all time high, and while they certainly are exciting for consumers, it’s important to recognize who is benefiting most from the collaborative relationships, and if the collaboration is hurting the core brand identity or mission.

Most recently, we’ve seen Nike team up with some heavy hitting designers in the high-fashion realm. Working with Pigalle and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Nike created several premium Air Force 1 iterations. Priced at a premium and released in limited quantity, at first glance it would appear as though Pigalle and Tisci are benefiting most from the collaboration. After all, few get the privilege of working with Nike on a project, and even fewer get to create an entire collection that is distributed globally.  

sneaker collabs

Images via Complex

However, Nike isn’t simply doing these brands a favor. For a company the size of Nike, encompassing every aspect of the footwear industry is not just a goal, but an attainable one. However, with a legacy of athletic footwear, Nike suffers from what is referred to as a product attribute trap. For Nike, innovation, comfort, and superior athletic performance shoes are largely what is recalled and recognized when people are cued for footwear companies. If those same people are cued for brands that create luxury footwear, Nike won’t be the first name recognized or recalled for that category.

So how can Nike escape their product attribute trap? Enter the collaboration. By placing the Nike brand next to such established retailers as Givenchy and Pigalle, they are in a sense granted access and recognition in a category they otherwise would be unable to join. More importantly, it allows Nike to then position other products in strategic outlets (The Jordan Shine in Barney’s for example) at a premium price with less resistance and more acceptance than if they attempted to enter the higher-tiered footwear market without a collaboration. More importantly, it gives them more control over their athletes in terms of representation. Rather than reaching for a pair of Balenciagas post game, Nike now can offer their athletes a premium luxury sneaker.

So who benefits more from the collaboration? For this case, I would argue Nike benefits greatly. Not only are they gaining access and acceptance into an area of the footwear industry they’ve left largely untapped, but the collaborations also net them a profit from strictly the sales alone. Do you agree? Which companies have the most to gain from collaborations in the footwear industry?

The Classic Wrap Dress & Kicks Part II


Yesterday we talked about my love of sportswear and the Nike Air Max Thea.  Personally, sneakers have become an essential part of my wardrobe right up there with a pea-coat, well cut jeans, etc. A recent staple that I now consider an essential? A classic wrap dress. It will never go out of style, is appropriate for any event, and is universally flattering. Diane Von Furstenberg is known for pioneering the wrap dress and she is still on top of her game to this day. The cut of the dress hugs every curve just the right way without showing too much. Throw on a nude wedge and you are ready for an event, dinner date, brunch…I could go on and on. Due to the fact that the wrap dress ties at the waist, it creates a slim middle and draws the eye in, which is what we all aim for. I picked mine up at DVF, but you can now find them almost anywhere.







Photos: Kohl Murdock

Kicks: Air Max Thea C/O Finish Line

The Bean, A Gold Trench, and Kicks. Part I



A few posts back, I discussed trying to find my “thing.” Back in April, I was asked by Marie Claire what I thought my signature look would be. This was incredibly challenging to answer considering that my look changes day to day depending on how I feel that morning. One day you can catch me whizzing through the city in a sundress, the next running to class in patterned chinos and wedges. Most women have their signature look on lockdown…a bright red lip, a signature designer, etc etc etc.

After wracking my brain for quite a while, I realized that I always have some form of sporty element to my look. I love mixing things up and pairing items in ways others would not think to. A baseball hat with a maxi-dress? Yes! Sneaker wedges and a floral skirt? More please! In particular, a dress and sneakers just feels right. Between running from class, to meetings, to events…sometimes heels just feel like a little bit too much. A sneaker helps to dress a look down, while still keeping it fun and updated.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about those dirty running shoes you have had sitting in your closet since 8th grade. If you want to try this look out, pick up a pair of sportswear shoes. What is sportswear? Essentially, athletic clothes or shoes that are not actually meant to be seriously run in, or be at the gym period. Sportswear is a main element to my style, and Nike has seamlessly perfected it.

My pick right now? The Nike Air Max Thea from Finish Line. Super light weight, durable enough to face the city streets, and incredibly comfortable due to the midsole having injected Phylon for a great cushiony feel, a visible Air-Sole unit to absorb shock, and a Solarsoft sockliner, to provide a forgiving, easeful feel in every foot strike. The small dot pattern on these kicks keeps them on trend, but not too busy so I can pair them with everything and anything. Look out for part two on the site tomorrow.





Coat: Lagi Nadeau.

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg

Bag: Sophia Webster

Sneakers: Nike, at Finish Line






Photos: Kohl Murdock

Nike Air Max Thea: C/O Finish Line & Nike



Currently Craving: Spring Sportswear


Last week I was asked to describe my “signature look” for an editorial. Although I have a strong sense of self, style included, I stumbled to an answer. What is my thing? After turning this over for a little while, I came to the conclusion that while my style is ever changing depending on how I feel when I get up that day, I always have a sporty element to my look. A floral skirt with a varsity jacket, a spring dress with a baseball hat…you get the picture. Spring is all about bright colors, sporty knits, and the midi skirt, so here is what I’ll be mixing into my closet.


sportswear may 1st

1. Nike Patterned Spandex Shorts. 2. Nike Colorful Windbreaker. 3. Adidas White T. 4. Adidas Polka Dot Jacket. 5. Nike Windbreaker Poncho. 6. Adidas Black Hat.


Winter is in full force, and lately, has not been showing any mercy. Along with the frigid conditions comes many, many layers of shirts, sweaters, and jackets. Last week, my friend and I ventured out to brunch at Fred’s at Barney’s New York.

There is nothing I hate more than dusting off my puffy, unflattering, knee length North Face, so I have avoided it like the plague. As an alternative to this, I mixed textures and bundled up. We wound up at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where I discovered their book shop. I wound up finding a hidden treasure deep within the stores book shelves: a copy of the coffee table book Harper’s Bazaar Greatest Hits. It now sits propped up on my desk and when I need a little inspiration, I flip through the pages.


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Photos: Frankie de Guzman

StreetStyleChi does Nike Yoga, Alex Gets a Wall. Wut?

April 23rd 2013

Last week, I was lucky enough to decorate the Nike stylist wall at NTC Lincoln Park on Armitage. I had a great time pulling pieces with Nike stylist, Sarah. Nike has a lot of great transitional pieces coming out soon that I am very excited about. So, with this being said, go pop by my stylist wall and let me know what you think of my picks for this season!


Also, NTC Lincoln Park was nice enough to host StreetStyleChi and our readers for a private yoga class. We had a ton of fun, Willy sang along with the music, and my abs are now burning. It was a well rounded 45 minutes of challenging postures, stretching, and meditation. Over all, it was a fabulous time and hopefully they will let us come back sometime in the future. You can check out my previous post on NTC Lincoln park HERE where the schedule of classes is included.

*Photos by Nicole Cash

Spring Shoe Round Up

Willy Subach| DePaul University

Spring has arrived and as the weather changes, so does the fashion. One of the most important and obvious differences in the fashion between winter and spring is shoe choice. Gone are the boots and fur-lined shoes of winter. The coming of spring brings a variety of fun trends and patterns for both women and men, and this spring is no different. I’ve searched for my top shoes for this spring for both men and women and luckily for you, I’ve decided to share my choices with you.

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The Sneaker Wedge

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($180 at

The sneaker wedge is a trend that has been gaining popularity over the past few months, and this shoe is one of my favorite twists on the trend, and one that I definitely think is ideal for spring. This version of the sneaker wedge features a peep-toe design and a much more open front compared to traditional sneaker wedges. I think the openness combined with the bright colors make it a must-have for spring.

The Wedge Sandal

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($90 at

I love this wedge sandal so much. I think it’s perfect for spring and can definitely transition into summer too. The pattern on the actual wedge adds so much excitement to the shoe, and salmon is definitely a popular color for this spring. The turquoise and yellow straps along with the brown leather make it very versatile and wearable. These shoes with a cute sundress would be a knockout.

The Sneaker

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($70 at

While I think heels and wedges are awesome, they’re not always the most practical shoe. I think it is important for everyone to have at least one cool pair of sneakers to run around in. I like these specific sneakers because of the neutral color palette and a simple, classic, and sleek design.

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The Skateboarding Shoe

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($78 at

I have never skateboarded in my entire life. But I will tell you that I almost always have a pair of skateboarding shoes in my shoe rotation. Why? Because they are super quick to throw on and run around in. They’re also usually very comfortable. I chose these because they have a really casual and classic feel, but the color is very modern and trendy.

The High Top

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($100 at

I own these. I absolutely love them. I think they’re really edgy and can really enhance any outfit. The black and white color scheme is very trendy this year, and studs are a huge trend right now. I’ve been wearing them for the past month and a half, but I’m definitely ready to start wearing these with shorts now.

The Sneaker

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($20 at H&M)

To start off, please ignore my atrocious dorm carpeting. I love these shoes though. They look very fresh for spring and summer. I love the use of the salmon as the pop of color. I bought these today and will definitely be wearing them as much as possible. The white looks very clean and sleek, while the colored sole gives the shoe personality. I’m crazy about them.

Nike…is a Girl’s Best Friend?

NTC Lincoln Park | April 8th 2013

Photos by Joseph Kerins

As a DePaul student, I frequent the street Armitage quite often. Between going there to stop at my favorite boutiques and visiting Glazed and Infused more times then I would like to admit, I discovered my new favorite place to not only shop, but to get whipped into shape. NTC Lincoln Park, which is a Nike shop, but also a Nike Training Club, opened a few short months ago on my favorite street, and I haven’t stopped going since.

Now, you might find yourself asking what a Nike Training Club is, just like I was when I first heard the name. NTC Lincoln Park is a community to train with, which personally I love because I prefer training in a group. They offer complimentary workout classes and also have a run club. I cannot stress how nice the women at NTC Lincoln Park are, so if you’re around, you should pop in and say hi. While I probably cannot answer all of your questions about NTC Lincoln Park, they can. For about a month now, I’ve been wanting to take up running, but am slightly terrified at the thought of starting. Unfortunately for myself, I now do not have an excuse because NTC offers a DePaul Fun Run which is every Thursday at 6:30PM. I’m going to start this coming Thursday, the 11th, so if you want to come laugh at me gasping in air for one-three miles, this is your time!

While I do profile many stores and places around Chicago, this is one that I truly love and am 100% behind. I can honestly say that NTC Lincoln Park has one of the nicest groups of women I’ve met in a long time. They aren’t there to try to sell you something, they genuinely want to get to know you. It’s like having a super fit group of friends that all dress in awesome Nike outfits. Speaking of awesome Nike outfits…the Nike swag that is in store features work out clothes, and also old school Nike style…think high tops and graphic sweatshirts that can be incorporated into your already existing wardrobe.

My favorite class at NTC has to be the yoga class at 5PM on Sundays. This is why I asked Erica (who you should definitely say hi to if you stop in) if StreetStyleChi could have a private yoga class with our readers. Luckily for us, she agreed. If you want a good workout, then you should join myself and the StreetStyleChi team on April 23rd, at 6:30PM for a fun yoga session that will last about an hour. We can linger after and chat as I lust after all of the high top wedges. Tweet me ( ) or email me ( ) or slip a note under my door (probably not your best idea) and let me know if I will see you there! The class has 25 spots so be speedy!

(click for slideshow) 

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