Prosper Bambo was frustrated with the current retail environment in Chicago.
“I hate how you go into other boutiques and it’s literally 1,000 square feet, a rack on one side, and a rack on the other side,” he explains. “Then you go straight to the back and there’s the register.”
Prosper, founder of the new West Loop boutique store Congruent Space, says this frustration with the modern shopping experience as well as conceptual boutique stores like Opening Ceremony, Dover Street Market, and VFiles inspired him to open the new shop.
According to him, these stores provide an experience beyond just displaying the actual clothes they are peddling.
Prosper cut his teeth in the fashion world as a buyer at Akira. It was there he linked up with his two current associates, Vince Manglardi and Preme.
The three are also great friends. While their experience and interests may differ, they all share a love for art and fashion, and opening this store was naturally the next step in their progression.
The team wants to show the congruency of fashion and art—hence the name. As such, visuals and lighting are one of the most important aspects of the experience here, and at the helm of these elements is the store’s very own creative director, Preme.
Some hip-hop heads in Chicago may already be familiar with Preme even if they don’t realize it: he’s the mastermind behind the mysterious and anonymous hip-hop act Goodbye Tomorrow. Those that are hip to Goodbye Tomorrow already know that the majority of his music projects rely heavily on digital designs and projection mapping.
Upon my first visit to the store, I met Vincent Manglardi, the co-owner and operations manager of Congruent Space. It was the first day the store was open to the public and Vince’s excitement about it and its future was visible and contagious.
He explained that along with creating an interactive experience, they also want to put on young designers whose visions are in line with theirs. This is something the team’s very passionate about as they hope to become a platform for people on the come-up.
The team also plans to update and transform the space regularly, so Congruent Space is a living and breathing work of art that’s in constant flux.
Although they are already open and running, they also plan on throwing a large grand opening party soon. Keep an eye out for that if you are interested in experiencing the space itself. You won’t regret it.
Check them out on Instagram and twitter @congruentspace and also peep their website here.