Michigan transplant Erica Cook opened Trillium in Chicago’s Wicker Park in 2010, creating a store inspired by her Midwest roots and steeped in her love of fashion. At Trillium you’ll find mostly women’s clothing with a selection of men’s attire, accessories, handbags, jewelry and shoes. The Trillium crew strives to offer apparel that is fresh, yet transcendent. They live for cute dresses mixed with boyish sweaters, preppy layering and delicate frills, and classic looks that anchor a wardrobe. Get to know the brains behind the operation, Mrs. Erica Cook, as she lets us in on her style icons, her favorite items in store, and what she loves about The Windy City…
Hometown: I grew up in West Bloomfield, MI, which is a suburb of Detroit.
Style Icon(s): I am always inspired by and in awe of what Diane Kruger wears. Her style is feminine but she takes risks with trends. I find her style so interesting and beautiful. I also love what Kerry Washington and Michelle Williams wear. It’s a little retro, a little classic, feminine and just lovely.
Words to live by / favorite quote: The best thing anyone can do is be kind. It goes a long way and makes everybody’s day a little better.
How would you describe your style? My style is very feminine but also pretty casual. I wear a lot of dresses and skirts and I always do my hair. I love edgier looks though, so I try to incorporate ripped jeans or a cool leather jacket, but there is always an element of girly.
Item(s) from your closet you can’t live without? My current obsession is my black Fleabag tote. I also love this dark brown leather bomber that I’ve had for years. It’s classic but also probably the coolest thing I own.
You’re a Michigan girl. What inspired you to open Trillium in Chicago? Both my sisters live in Chicago and I had been living in the city for about four years prior to opening my shop, so it just made sense.
Favorite local spots in Chicago? Restaurants, shops, watering holes? I don’t go out that often. I prefer cozy nights on my couch with my man, our dog and a glass of wine. When I do go out, I like Bangers & Lace or Goldstar for drinks. For food, I love The Publican or George’s Hot Dogs…they have the best gyros.
What are some items in store right now that you’re crazy over? I LOVE the Baltic Booties from the Whit and Jacques Levine collaboration. I got myself a pair. All the sweatshirts from 194t are amazing. And I’m pretty obsessed with everything from Cynthia Vincent’s fall collection.
[BALTIC BOOTIES - WHIT AND JACQUES LEVINE]
[CREWNECK SWEATSHIRT - 194T]
[SCREEN PRINTED BODY CON DRESS - CYNTHIA VINCENT]
How do you source designers for Trillium? I go to trade shows but I also do research online. My buying partner and I are on Instagram and blogs all the time looking for new labels.
Most interesting designers you’ve had the opportunity to meet? Linda Monaskian of 194t is so incredibly nice. She launched her line the same season I opened up Trillium. My mom was with me on the buying trip that I discovered 194t and so was Linda’s mom. I’ll always remember the two of us with our moms, at the big trade show, making our dreams come true.
Favorite new collections this season? I love the Cynthia Vincent and Le Mont St. Michel fall collections. I don’t think there has been one piece I didn’t like from either.
[ELOISE FLATS - CYNTHIA VINCENT]
[CREAM DRESS - CYNTHIA VINCENT]
What do you love about House Account? I love how user-friendly it is and most importantly, I love that it’s all about the independents. Chain stores have such a strong presence these days, so it’s nice to see a platform that celebrates the little guys.
For more on Erica’s style, follow Trillium on House Account!