This past Wednesday 4-Star Explorer made it's way out to the innovative t-shirt makers and ingenious sneaker designers,King Lizzy Apparel, as we celebrated the brand-new constructed retail store.Tucked sprucely in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, King Lizzy has been featuring many cutting edge designs and services not found in your average boutique. Having a hand in many fashion themed events and also covering a lot of ground on the Chicago music scene, the Lizzy crew, owned by Rowan Richards, has been making a name for itself attracting a buzz all around the area. If you need a hand in crafting the essential Chicago look, look no further than King Lizzy.
King Lizzy Apparel
2540 West Division Ave
At it's absolute basis King Lizzy is a clothing store, but there's so much more to the inner workings of this brand. One service they offer is customized sneakers. Through the ShuCru extension you can create a print to your liking and the artists on staff will create your fabulous footwear in no time at all. The price ranges depending on the complexity of the design but starts at $65 for basic designs. King Lizzy hosts a number of local artists to create provocative illustrations and sayings for their street gear. Most tees start at $20. And for the stylist in all of us they also have t-shirt printing. It's pretty safe to say King Lizzy covers all your custom apparel needs. Spreading out in the boutique scope, King Lizzy has pioneered success by featuring an onsite recording booth as well as full sound engineering. And get this! For adults it's $35/per hour and for the ambitious high school student there's only a flat rate of $25 per studio session.
While working the party we got a chance to bump into a familiar face. It's said one time is a chance meeting, twice is coincidence, but after three times of meeting with rap artist Duble "R" Da Great, it may be more of a sign. Sporting the title "Greatest Puerto Rican Rapper in the Chi," Duble was the event's host for the evening. We got to catch up and find out some of the projects he's working on. There's a collaboration mixtape in the works, he's continuing to host a show with SMAE TV on Comcast Channel 114, also lending time to the King Lizzy store which sponsors his music, and did I hear a possible album release? Duble "R" how do you do it? The evening wasn't all work as we took full advantage of the awesome spread of complimentary filling finger foods. I especially loved DJ Freddy B of the prolific Heavy Hitters DJ crew, a group of exceptional deejays spanning the country. The melody mixologist seamlessly switched from new hip-hop hits to beloved songs from when the millennium was new.
It was astounding to see the mix of party attendants. You had everything from kids of the neighborhood to the yuppie variety coming from the nearby Ukrainian Village. It was a good mix of people and allowed a chance for those who might not usually meet one another to talk. Chatting was also in style for 4-Star as we met with lead sneaker artist, Stan, and also did some pretty extensive conversing with the owner's wife, Stacia Richards. Mrs. Richards filled us in on some of the driving force behind King Lizzy.
King Lizzy was actually birthed from another of the owner's ventures, The Stewards Market. TSM, is a community outreach program which works with educational facilities to inspire entrepreneurial leadership among Chicago's urban youth. Getting its start in what used to be Cabrini Green, the program continued to grow in need and thus the need to fuel this non-for-profit arose. King Lizzy came about from Richards' interactions with those seeking career aspirations. The name derives from the cultural roots of his parents. His father was raised in Kingston, Jamaica as his mother grew up not far in St. Elizabeth. We finally ran into the diligent KL founder, Rowan Richards. He spent majority of the night speaking with interested industry heads and happy consumers. The charismatic benefactor briefly spoke and snapped a few pictures with us.
All in all the relaunch proved to be a win for the staff, the neighborhood, and an overall win for Chicago. Long live the King.
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