HUMBOLDT PARK — After two years in Ukrainian Village, vintage clothing and swimwear shop The Fox Club has opened on Humboldt Park’s California Avenue, becoming the latest business to set up shop on the growing commercial stretch.
The Fox Club has taken over a storefront at 1101 N. California Ave., previously home to an artist studio and a corner store.
The shop opened last weekend as a holiday pop-up running through Jan. 4. After that, the team behind the store plan to spruce up the space and settle in long term. The goal is to permanently reopen The Fox Club in February, owner Lizzie Cook said.
Cook, who runs the shop with curator and co-founder Chanel Marshall, said they outgrew their home at 1047 N. Western Ave., which was just 600 square feet. The Humboldt Park storefront is three times the size, which will enable Cook to grow her swimwear brand, Fenton Fox.
While it’s in pop-up mode, The Fox Club will sell vintage clothing and accessories and Cook’s swimwear line, along with with goods from other local makers such as Cloina, Night Eyes Leather and Plant Daddy. The pop-up is open noon-7 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
The Fox Club’s Ukrainian Village shop will remain open while the pop-up is operating. Cook said they launched the Humboldt Park space so they could pay for both leases and support local makers in the process.
“When I saw the [Humboldt Park] space become available, I was like, ‘We have to get it,’ but the lease started in December and, being a store owner, I knew better than to try and move a store during the busy holiday season,” she said.
Cook and Marshall will use most of January to transform the corner storefront into a vibrant vintage shop with ’60s and ’70s “swanky surf” vibes, Cook said. Just like in Ukrainian Village, the Humboldt Park shop will carry a wide array of bold vintage clothing and accessories, from colorful caftans and ’60s jackets to gold chains and go-go boots.
Since its inception in 2019, The Fox Club has leaned toward vintage swimwear and travel wear — pieces “you’d wear on an outing on vacation,” Cook said. That aesthetic will carry over to the new shop, she said.
“We’re definitely into big and bold. … We’re not going to stray from that,” Cook said.
Cook works as a costume designer for local film and TV productions by day. She launched Fenton Fox in 2014, using recycled plastic bottles to create the custom fabric for the swimwear.
The new shop will have a sewing station and workshop for Fox, as well as an area for photo shoots. With the dedicated space, Cook plans to launch a resort wear line of swim coverups/dresses, and she hopes to grow Fenton Fox to the point where she can hire another employee to oversee the shop, she said.
Cook also aims to expand their charitable contributions. In Ukrainian Village, they’d donate 10 percent of sales to charities here and there, but they intend to donate to a different charity every month if the Humboldt Park shop is successful, Cook said.
The Fox Club is the latest small business to open on California Avenue in Humboldt Park, which has attracted a growing number of shops, bars and restaurants in recent years.
The Hi-Lo, a cocktail bar from the owner of EZ Inn, opened across the street a few months ago; Italian restaurant Segnatore recently replaced Café Marie-Jeanne; and Mexican eatery Aztec Dave’s Cantina is gearing up to open nearby soon. The strip is also home to mainstays like Adams & Son Garden, Vintage Quest and Humboldt House.
“I’m really excited to be part of such a cool neighborhood, and I feel like [the businesses in the area] can help promote each other and be a nice little destination spot in Chicago,” Cook said.
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