Wolfbait & B-girls
3131 W. Logan
"Chicago, way more than New York or LA, is an eclectic city," says Wolfbait & B-girls co-owner Shirley Novak. "It's more about standing out than fitting in." She and her business partner, Jenny Stadler, take such pride in the city's specialness that they've hung a Chicago flag in their Logan Square space and printed it on all their store tags. Everything in the shop was made or found in Chicago--from the jewelry cases, made from letterpress boxes salvaged from the old Sun-Times building, to the dressing rooms, constructed out of old doors from Stadler's landlord's basement. Wolfbait carries only local designers and artists, stocking items in small runs; current highlights include Veronica Riley Martens's handmade felt beads, which look like a cross between candy and cotton balls, strung on thin sterling silver chains ($20 to $80), Double D's delicately hand-painted vintage handbags ($100-$250), flowy bacchanalian printed tops with tiny dangling bunches of grapes from Stadler's Brazen Judy line ($42), and, from Novak's Bruiser line, Dickies-esque Bermuda shorts and pants ($100), made high-waisted to cover your ass crack when you're riding your bike but "when you get to where you're going you can fold the top down for a low-rise pirate look." The space doubles as a studio for the two women; in June they'll host their first screen-printing class. "Personal adaptation is huge here," says Novak. "It's up to a purchaser to decide how to wear something. It makes ownership different, makes an item really become yours."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Rob Warner.