When Sir & Madame was first mentioned in our class, I was very intrigued by the fashion store’s logo that features a top hat overlapping an umbrella. Upon further research of this innovative boutique, my intrigue has sky rocketed due to how perfectly their logo truly displays everything Sir & Madame is and stands for.
Sir & Madame was founded in 2007 by Chicagoans and husband and wife Brian and Autumn Merritt. The two created their brand with the mission of bringing urban/sophisticated brands that are more accessible in other cities like New York to their hometown. Over time Sir & Madame became a full on his and hers collection, with the different styles for both men and women complementing each other and even some of the clothes being interchangeable between both genders, thus bringing the logo and name fully to life.
After opening a shop at 938 N. Damon Ave. in 2010, the couple moved their brand to a pop-up location at 1504 E. 53rd Street. According to an article by the University of Chicago blog ‘53rd’, Autumn Merritt explained the importance of the move to the Hyde Park neighborhood, stating “We’re all about Hyde Park. We’re back on the block. We grew up walking 53rd street. When we were teenagers, it was the place to be-where all the cool people were. All of that was sort of lost until now, and we want to be a part of bringing that back. We definitely see Hyde Park as a viable market, and I think everyone here can appreciate well-made clothes and accessories.” As she stated, if anyone knows Hyde Park, it’s definitely the Merritt duo. Having known each other since elementary school, the couple attended Kenwood Academy (located in the heart of the Hyde Park neighborhood) together, so it’s amazing to see them bringing their brand and business even deeper into their home.
On August 17, 2015, Sir & Madame went from pop-up to permanent when they moved into their very own location at 5225 S. Harper Court, just down the street from the pop-up spot and still in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The brands continuous growth is obvious and the community continues to welcome Sir & Madame with open arms. The boutique holds an event called ‘Get Happy’ on the first Tuesday of every month at the Fox Bar at SOHO House, intended to get people mingling and having a good time. This along with an Instagram page that boasts 5000+ followers and a Twitter with 2000+, shows the brand is doing a great job at engaging the Chicago community inside and outside of the store.
The Urban Sophisticate that Sir & Madame claims and stands for is an ideology that one’s fashion can still have an inner-city and gritty feel to it, even when paired with vintage, classy styles and accessories. From their logo, to their name, to the brands they sale, to the backstory of how it all got started, Brian and Autumn’s boutique represents that Urban Sophisticate to a T. With this generation of young thrifters who hunger for vintage fashion transitioning into adulthood, I can definitely see them taking their business to the Sir & Madame brand, which in turn will help Sir & Madame continue their already impressive growth and fashion influence.