Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Ted Baker-London Grand Opening

Thursday, February 17, 2011:
On a particularly dreary (London-esque) day, I tightened my bowtie in the Agency Galatea office, shut down the computer and made my way to the elevator.  Once at street level, I saw Katie McLenaghan smile at me through the glass - one eye covered with that gorgeous blond hair of hers.  I gave her a smooch, we hailed a cab and we were off to see Ted.  (Well, kinda.)   Arriving a bit early, we walked a few windy blocks and discussed the future of Chicago fashion and Katie schooled me on her favorite legendary socialites of times past and present.  (Candace Jordan:  Yes, my love - you were a lovely topic of conversation!)  Finally rounding the corner of Oak and Rush, we arrived for the event:  The Ted Baker London Grand Opening.
Ryan M. Beshel & Katie McLenaghan:
Once inside, I was blown away by the gorgeous interior of the store.  It has tons of personality and once I found my way to Mr. Michael Corrigan (Friend and Publicist - Zapwater Communications), he explained that the concept was planned as if a heavy wind had blown the decor from the walls the farther back you moved into the space.  (You'll have to check it out for yourself to know what I mean.)  Once I quit fawning over the decor, I had the chance to get down to business and speak to the women behind the brand:  Joni Kilmurry (Ted Baker London’s Marketing & Press Guardian for the West Coast, Gail Dobinson (Ted Baker London Head of Marketing & PR) and Jodie Kilmurry (Ted Baker London Marketing Manager.)  First of all - these women were not only sweet as can be - but they each had their own eccentric style and I could have talked to them all night.  They explained to me that the quality of the fabrics/stitching/buttons, as well as a dedicated attention to detail (and a quirky sense of humor) is what sets Ted Baker apart from it's competition.  (I later learned that the very first stores would provide a laundry service for every shirt purchased and that Ted shops would give away a can of Paxo stuffing at Christmas.  See?  Quality and a sense of humor.)  When I asked Joni to tell me one sentence that best describes the Ted Baker brand - she didn't miss a beat:  "‘No Ordinary Designer Label."  Quite frankly, I'd have to agree.
Joni Kilmurry, Gail Dobinson &  Jodie Kilmurry:
After a fantastic chat, it was time for the ladies to speak to other press - and for me to move on to the bar area.  I snagged a drink, finagled my way through the crowd and planted a kiss on Megan Taylor's cheek (my favorite lady DJ from one of my favorite Chicago creative companies - Fig Media.)  She was playing a to-die-for mix of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and she quickly told me where to get it.  (Just click the link above!)   After a few words with her, I ran into the lovely Sonya Jackson - who was busy shopping up a storm.  (Loved that black dress on you, gorgeous!)  As I flipped around from Sonya's dressing room - I was thrilled, as always, to see the handsome James Goeke and Kevin Aeh chatting it up.  I looked up and coming through the crowd was the ever-popular Mr. Justin Jacobson (with a beautiful lady, of course.)  To his right was the stunning Corri McFadden (an appointed Chicago Brand Ambassador for Ted Baker, if I may add) and the "EDrop-Off Girls" (yes - they have quickly become a sexy little group of celebs, if you ask me.)  After a few words with Jena Gambaccini, I ran into Lynne Bredfeldt from the Park Hyatt (also a Chicago Brand Ambassador) who is always so sweet.  Basically, friends - you get my point:  this party was packed with the best of the best!
Corri McFadden, Christopher Clinton Conway (Executive Director of the Joffrey Ballet), 
Lynne Bredfeldt & Ashley Wheater (Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet):
After catching up with everyone, it was time for me to head out and meet my Julie Darling at Frontier for drinks and to learn a bit about Rodan + Fields (if you're not in the know about this company - get in the know.  They are pretty much taking over.)  If I had stayed for a bit longer, I would have been a part of the double-decker bus action that shuttled all of Ted's friends off to Public House.  Grrrr!  (Maybe next time?)  Either way - I had an absolute blast at the Ted Opening.  If you haven't already left your house to go check this place out - I suggest you do.  I guarantee you'll find something you love - and if you don't - I'll take you for a spin in a double-decker bus to make up for it.



Jodie Kilmurry & Ryan M. Beshel:
 Handsome crowd:
1009 North Rush St.
(312) 255-0290

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