Untitled Luke

Posted on August 1st, by Jill M. Mathia in 20, Interviews. No Comments

Opened in 1990, Untitled is a unique clothing store located on the north side of Chicago.  Owned and operated by Luke Cho, a 32 year old with a degree in communication design, Untitled has a lot more to offer its customers than just clothes.  They sell everything from jewelry and backpacks to mixtapes and massage oils.  Claiming to carry the largest selection of wide bottom jeans in the world,  their target customer is young men and women between the ages of 15 and 30.

After only the second year in business, sales exploded and the store has been growing ever since.  Luke credits his success to his experience in the clothing industry, rather than his degree, since he has been involved in the business for eight years.  Recognizing that the demand for product changes with the seasons, Luke tries to cater to the customers needs as they change over time.  For example, wide bottom jeans have been around for over a decade, but he has only has had success with them for the last three years.

Untitled was born out of the party scene and offers something that has to do with almost every aspect of a party short of actually throwing one right there in the store.  The majority of its customers attend parties and will often come in to buy an outfit specifically for the occasion.  Untitled carries the clothing, variety of bags, hats, sunglasses, mixtapes, CDs, stickers, stationery, jewelry, watches, fliers, and on occasion even tickets to parties that make it the most convenient place today for party kids to shop.  There is also a live DJ in the back to entertain you while you browse.  Implemented recently, the DJs range from local to international.  Luke makes sure to showcase several different styles of music- having in Mark Grant, Heather, Diz, and DJ Sativa just to name a few. They recently had a set by Josh Wink when he was in town.  Even a couple of Untitled employees have gotten in on the action.  Although the DJs aren’t paid to spin, they are usually able to choose an item from the store as payment.  Performances are every Saturday and they’re always looking for fresh talent if you’re interested.

For a slightly different taste in clothing there’s also Aero, a store located in the back of Untitled, which carries more upscale items geared toward the seasoned customer.  Luke considers Aero customers to be “graduates of Untitled.”  They also have a wide variety of items to offer such as ties, bags, hats, sunglasses, bathing suits, and even towels.  Most of the clothes are more dressy and clubbish whereas Untitled tends to be more athletic and casual.

There are currently no plans to expand Untitled since its move to this larger site (they used to be located four stores south of the present location).  But plans are in the works for some new clothing lines called Digital Systems and Vivo that Luke is starting.  They should be coming out this winter and in the spring of 1999.  I asked him if he felt it was any more difficult to be an entrepreneur in Chicago compared to other cities in the Midwest or the country.  He feels “business, like anything else, is as difficult as you make it out to be; it doesn’t matter where you are.”