AVONDALE — A streetwear shop selling everything from ’90s Bulls T-shirts to starter jackets is the latest addition to Avondale’s Milwaukee Avenue.
Prèmos Chicago opened at 2883 N. Milwaukee Ave. earlier this month with racks of vintage clothing and upcycled apparel. The shop is open noon-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and noon-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The Avondale shop is owner Carlos Niz’s first brick-and-mortar store.
A lover of ’90s fashion, Niz ran a showroom out of Startwork Studios for two and a half years, offering private shopping appointments. He was among several tenants forced to move out of the Logan Square studio in late 2022 after landlord M. Fishman shut down the low-cost artist hub at 3323 W. Diversey Ave.
Niz jumped at the opportunity to move into the Avondale storefront, which is double the size of the Startwork showroom and is open to the public during business hours, he said.
“At first, when I got the news [about Startwork Studios], I was frustrated. But I already talked about building my store into a bigger location, into an actual storefront. I kinda saw it as an opportunity to upgrade,” Niz said.
Prèmos carries a curated selection of vintage clothing — a mix of sports and pop culture apparel from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s — and sneakers. The pieces are all sourced from garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets and vintage dealers, Niz said.
“These are one-of-one pieces. You’re not going to find them every day,” he said.
The store also sells hand-painted jackets and jeans and Prèmos-branded apparel designed by Niz, who is also a graphic designer.
Niz started collecting vintage clothing and sneakers as a hobby about eight years ago, and the business grew from there, he said.
Now, Niz has established a loyal following including a Chicago Bulls player, he said. With the Avondale shop, Niz hopes to grow his brand further and partner with local artists on events like art shows and poetry readings, he said.
Niz, who is Puerto Rican and Cuban, said he has received a lot of support from neighbors and passersby, which is especially meaningful because he grew up nearby in Logan Square and Belmont Cragin.
“As a Latino opening up in what was a big Latino neighborhood, we just love being here,” he said. “We would love to stay here and continue doing what we love. We love to treat everyone like family when they walk through those doors. That’s how I was raised, treating everyone like family.”
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