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Burberry recently unveiled a gleaming 5 story new Chicago flagship store on Michigan Avenue, the second largest in North America, and to celebrate they threw a party fitting for one of the top luxury brands in the world. This event was a MAY-JAH grand production with many many servings of Veuve Clicquot! The day started off with Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts addressing  Chicago business leaders at a Special Thought Leaders Luncheon at the Palmer House Hilton, Burberry Creative Director Christopher Bailey speaking at a lecture at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and culminated with an epic party at the new store. It was also a celebration of Chicago to  showcase the city’s creative community through The Art of Trench campaign that was shot by Tim Klein and Amy Creyer for Burberry, which was displayed throughout the store and some lucky participants even had billboards across the city.

It was incredibly exciting to launch our beautiful new flagship store in the heart of downtown Chicago tonight. We brought our new space to life through a distinctly British mix of music and weather, digital projections of Chicago’s iconic landmarks and by showcasing some of the most inspiring Chicagoans on our Art of the Trench platform. This city really has the most wonderful creative energy running through it
and tonight was our chance to celebrate that. -Christopher Bailey

The party inside kicked off with models lined at the entrance with champagne flutes for guests as music by Carl Barat who later performed with his band  and DJ Matt Roan closed out the night. All 5 floors of the Burberry store was alive with gorgeous models making sure each guests’ glass was appropriately filled with copious amounts of Veuve. A few Billy’s-Billy Zane, Billy Dec, Billy Rood- were spotted. On another floor, Jena Gambaccini, Nikia Jefferson, Coree Hamilton, Amy Creyer, Jessica Moazami, Erin Brennan were mingling. Rochelle Trotter, Azeeza and Rhan Khan posed for pictures. Candace Jordan who was spotted chatting up fellow Art of the Trench participant Jessyca Dudley, was there with her husband Chuck and Paul Iacono. Maria Pinto rocking a fab leopard coat with Laura Kofoid. Kevin Aeh, Art of the Trench Chicago participant who was totally giving Blue Steel face in his photo, Artist Theaster Gates(who will be at Art Basel this week), Naomi Beckwith and Eric McKissak was also there taking in the fun. Lynne Bredfeldt, Ardie Farhadieh were jamming to the music.

Other notable guests included: Victor Skrebneski, Nena Ivon, Connie Payton, Brittany Payton, Marc Brooks-Park52, Les Coney-Mesirow Financial, Shannon O’Brien and Matt Roan, Julie Latsko-Table52, Dr. Alex and Dusty Stemer, Monika and Geoffrey Dixon, Rich Tong-Fohr Card, Maria Ponce Berre and Trey Berre, Emma Arnold, Megan Taylor, Jessica Zweig-Cheeky, Helen Melchoir, Chris LaMorte-UrbanDaddy Chicago, Jerry Azumah, Mel Muoio-Element Collective,David Syrek, Jeff Schear, Ernest Wilkins, Aramide Esubi, Lauren Gold, Sasha Bauxbaum(formerly Adler) and so much more.

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The video presentation during the event was a digital experience where at some point the models began snapping their fingers to mimic sound of the rain and the screen showed what looked like marbles falling in form of rain to then reveal the store, seriously cool stuff.
Chef Art Smith, Art of the Trench campaign participant, was also at the event hanging out with with Alex Maier of Haberdash and Valentine Uhovsky- Tumblrs Fashion Evangelist and a few other friends who were treated to a special late night meal at Table52 after the party.
In celebration of the opening, the Burberry Foundation partnered with the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create $2.2 million in funding to support the Chicago Hive Learning Network. This new funding, $1.7 million and $500,000 from the MacArthur and Burberry Foundations respectively, will be deployed to inspire young people in Chicago, creating new innovative educational experiences designed to nurture their skills and creative confidence.

The party was to end at 10pm but was extended to 11:30. This was such a fun and great event. I just want to shoutout and thank every single person that was involved behind the scene in executing this. Chicago will be on a Burberry high for a long time.

*cover image courtesy Burberry
*Images: Onasis Odelmo

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