If you find yourself in Chicago and particularly Chicago's Magnificent Mile, pay attention to a newly renovated, two-story historical building situated on the East side of Michigan Avenue, between Delaware and Walton Street. It's the new David Yurman Michigan Avenue boutique -- a first on the Mag Mile for the designer -- which opened in early September. Conceived by the Yurmans, the boutique reflects the brand's aesthetic and the family's unique artistic expression -- Mr Yurman is a lifelong sculptor, and his wife Sybil is a renowned painter.
It's safe to say that the 3,250 square feet boutique is like a unique jewel itself. The entrance lobby features a heritage wall reflecting the Yurmans' journey from art to jewelry with examples of David's early sculptures and wearable art pieces alongside more current designs. You can also find Sybil's paintings hung throughout the space.
The store's focal point is the central display column reminds you of the metal strands used in the crafting our jewelry. It also displays Yurman's most iconic pieces -- a feast for the eyes. The boutique also includes a men's jewelry area and a private salon.
During the opening month of September, David Yurman joined EXPO CHICAGO as a first-time sponsor with a special exhibition -- The Voyage From Art to Jewelry which featured iconic and new collections, as well as the designer's earliest designs and sculptures.
We chatted with Mr. Yurman during the boutiques opening party Septemebr 26 and talked Chicago, art and why he chose to move from Oak Street to Michigan Avenue.
FF: Congratulations on opening your first boutique on Michigan Avenue! Tell us why you picked the location?
We've been on Oak Street for 10 years now, and while we love Oak Street, we've outgrown that space thanks to the support of our Chicago customers. Michigan Avenue has been very welcoming to us, and now we have a Midwest flagship on the Magnificent Mile. We're so lucky be on one of the greatest shopping streets in the world – on par with Avenue Montaigne, Madison Avenue and the Ginza.
Talk to us about the importance of the building you are now occupying?
We're situated in a beautiful two-story space. The building's historical façade was something that really drew us to this location, it's so special and reflects our family's unique artistic expression.
Walk us through the design process of the space.
The boutique itself was largely conceived by the Sybil and I – many of Sybil's paintings and my early sculptures are placed throughout. We wanted to highlight our journey from art to jewelry, and how it has led to where we are now. Many of the colors we used in this store are reminiscent of the gemstones we often use in our pieces – both of which are ultimately inspired by Sybil's artistic color palette.
It's been a decade since you first opened your standalone boutique in Chicago. How important is the Chicago customer to your brand?
Our Chicago customer has been incredibly supportive over the years, as proven by our relocation to a space almost twice the size. We have increasing demand for our product, and an expanding customer base here. We're very much an all-American brand, and we continue to see Chicago as a quintessential American city.
You are also an artist and a sculptor, and you sponsored Expo Chicago this month. Why did you decide to sponsor it, especially as a first-time sponsor?
We are a brand founded by two artists – Sybil, who is a painter, and I myself am a sculptor. Supporting artistic endeavors in our local markets has always been very important to us. In addition to sponsoring the Expo this month, we are also thrilled to donate 10% of sales from the event to the Museum of Contemporary Art, an icon of this city that champions contemporary art and culture.