Chicago is a high traffic area for Zuriicks—people really love them out there. Being such a walkable city definitely adds to appreciation of comfortable footwear. Chi-town’s Belmont Army store buyer Chase Stewart fell in love with Zuriicks early on. “I’m not positive on the actual date, but I remember seeing a guitar player hopping around in some Kettles at a campus festival when I was probably 18. I was tripping out on those things,” Chase says.
“It looked like a scuba shoe with purple soles! They intrigued me, ‘cause they were so unique. That really put that aesthetic on radar for me. A couple weeks later I stumbled across some Beatas and was really hyped on the silhouette. Needless to say, I walked out with a pair,” Chase recalls. This coming from a guy who describes himself as having the style of “an early 80’s era drug dealer. You know, the type? Darkly dressed, shiny shoes, and crummy facial hair. I always thought that was a cool look I suppose.”
As a buyer for the Belmont Army Wicker Park store he’s seen a lot of trends come and go and the location offers a very intriguing mix. “It’s interesting having a ‘one-stop-shop’ boutique. It’s fun to watch customers utilize each element of the shop to put together a look. First floor is mens and womens contemporary fashion and footwear. The basement is Vintage, Army Surplus (hence the name), and heritage clothing,” Chase says.
Chicago is a very diverse place and the area Chase works is respected for it’s unique take on big city life. “I like the communal vibe that some of the smaller neighborhoods put out. Bucktown/Wicker Park has that vibe. I’ll bump into a chick at a bar or a show on Saturday night, and she’s wearing the earrings I sold here on Friday,” Chase says.
Chase notes styles in the area, as his job—and for fun—and he’s seen Zuriicks influencing trend around town. “The Nico boot is a favorite for the ladies. Especially that eggplant color way, that was a favorite. The Shug mid was another MVP. It varies by season though. In spring/summer the rubber soles like the Beata and the Caldwell move quick. Come September, it’s time to restock on the leather-soles.”
Chase’s current favorite: “Lately, I’ve been digging my Black leather Aces. It’s a timeless looking shoe. I can dress it up or down. That versatility is a major reason why I like the brand as a whole.”
Old School pick: “The Caldwell has always been a favorite silhouette. It’s like a classic derby shoe with a sneaker sole looks good and wears well.”
Chase has been watching the brand grow for a while and has seen its maturity with time, this is something he really enjoys, as he says: “I think it’s a little more refined in both aesthetic and in materials. The line has always been unique, but by playing off of classic conservative designs it’s become a much more versatile brand. I saw the samples for F11 at Capsule, and was really impressed by some of the new designs. Most importantly, the designs don’t get stale. Even carry-over styles are reinvented to keep things forward and fresh. Hats off t’ ya gents!”
Thank you Chase, and thanks to all the other store employees out there who support us. We’ve got exciting boutique profiles coming in the next few months focusing on cities ranging from Hamburg, Tulsa, Portland, San Francisco, and more. Next time you’re in the Windy City make sure you stop by Belmont Army and say hello to Chase for us.