by MR Magazine Staff

Whenever we’re traveling outside of New York, we try to check out the city’s retail scene. Last week, we were lucky enough to have former Akira owner (and Chicago tastemaker) Jon Cotay tour us around the local menswear scene.

BELMONT ARMY: David Yoo left his career in corporate law to take over his family’s store, Belmont Army located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The building’s four floors span the spectrum from men’s, women’s, footwear, skate and vintage, however the highlight truly is its contemporary menswear offering Yoo curates. From apparel to accessories, Belmont Army has it covered with offerings from mainstays like Nike SB, Zanerobe and Herschel to up-and-comers like KARDO. 855 W. Belmont Ave
CONGRUENT SPACE: New on the scene (and giving RSVP Gallery a run for its money) is Congruent Space. Two former Akira employees created an experiential retail concept linking fashion, art and music. They felt a disconnect with designers’ seasonal inspiration and themes to the consumer shopping experience. And so, they built an in-store screening room, projecting video and images on the walls, providing an immersive experience for consumers. For example, they will project Yeezy Season 5 on the walls during NYFW for consumers to experience the show even if not physically there. 1216 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
GALLERY AESTHETE: Gallery Aesthete is just that—a gallery—beautifully designed and showcasing collections as if they were exhibiting art. Every detail thought about from the black lacquer fixtures to the magnetic hanging headwear display. As for the offering, think directional brands like Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens and Lost & Found. 1751 W Division St, Chicago, Il 60622 
CRAM: In the heart of Lakeview, CRAM caters to men who want wearable fashion. The backdrop of CRAM feels like a rustic apartment, offering the latest from apparel brands like Penguin, G-Star and Hudson, as well as an extensive underwear selection from brands like 2xist and LASC. 3331 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657