When Shernett Swaby opened her third retail clothing store in early March, she envisioned it as a more relaxed version of her high-end boutiques in Toronto and Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The fashion designer and former Project Runway Canada contestant hoped the store Urban Rebel (2381 N. Milwaukee Ave.) could lure local artists and performers with its racks of handmade streetwear and build a reputation as a live music venue in addition to a shopping destination.
Swaby’s vision came to fruition on May 22 when a group of artists gathered at the Logan Square store for its first open mic night. Led by Chicago native Grace Wong, who performs under the name Suri, the musicians and poets filled the store with the sounds of their original music and poetry.
“Seeing this today—this will work,” Swaby said of the event. “This will take off.”
The event brought in local musicians and a feel for the new space. Check out photos from the event below and learn more about the performers.
Photos: Hannah Magnuson