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: 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.
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!
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.