The Next Big Name
We all know a handbag is more than an accessory. In one glimpsed moment, it tells the world about the woman carrying it. That’s why so much consideration goes into selecting the right one; it’s a statement about who you are. The style reflects how a woman views herself, and the brand tells you what she knows about fashion.
“The quality and the silhouettes of the Furla bags convey a sense of luxury and style,” says Olivia Ifergan, buyer for Chicago’s Furla boutique Chicago on Oak Street. “There are so many elements that make them the ‘it’ bag,” adds Store Manager Chloe Ifergan. “They’re designed by a very talented team and made in Italy with the highest quality Italian leathers. They’re a true luxury product at a very competitive price.”
The Ifergan family name is synonymous with style and fashion. Charles Ifergan’s four hair salons throughout Chicagoland have rendered “Ifergan” a household name. Chloe has been spearheading advertising and marketing for her father’s company, and Olivia designs and fabricates her own line of hair accessories, available at every Charles Ifergan Salon, while working in the fashion industry in New York. Having grown up in a very fashion-forward household, it only makes sense that when Chloe and Olivia branched out, it would be with a brand like Furla.
Furla is a well-known designer label throughout Europe and Asia, on their way to achieving the same name recognition in the States. They also design exquisite jewelry, belts, scarves, gloves, and shoes, but since their inception in Bologna, Italy, the centerpiece of Furla’s sterling reputation has been their handbags. It isn’t hard to see why. They combine evocative feminine lines with designer luxury.
Most of the Furla stores worldwide are run directly by the home company, but when Chloe and Olivia saw a chance to take over the only location in Chicago (with their father’s help), they jumped at it. “I’ve always loved the brand, so it was a really exciting opportunity,” says Chloe. “I figured it would be an excellent chance to learn how to run a retail store and expand my business knowledge.” The two sisters approach the fashion industry from opposite directions, and together they comprise the perfect team. Chloe’s head for business has her managing marketing and the day-to-day operations of the store, while Olivia, who is currently located in New York, uses her designer’s eye to do the buying and oversee the visual merchandising. “It’s fun to have it all in the family,” says Olivia. “We’re so comfortable; we can say anything to each other. I think that definitely helps in a business partnership.”
The Ifergan sisters have also begun integrating their new venture into the original family business. Each of the Charles Ifergan Salons now has a display area for an elite selection of Furla bags and accessories, and they’re not just for display. The bags can be purchased during your hair appointment.
Starting in February, Furla is getting a head start on spring with a colorful new line of bags called Candy Bags. The combination of a whimsical jelly-bag with hand-stitching in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors is going to guarantee that you’ll be seeing these everywhere. They’re just being released, but they’ve been the gossip of online fashion forums for months.
That’s not the only new thing the Ifergan sisters will be bringing back to Chicago this spring; the Furla shoe line is also finally arriving. With a series of new products and their fingers on the pulse of our city’s fashion scene, we’ll be hearing a lot about Chloe and Olivia this year. Seeing as how they run the only non-corporate-controlled Furla location in the continental United States, Furla headquarters must have a great deal of confidence in them. But if you were going to trust your brand with anyone, it makes sense that it would be an Ifergan.
Furla is located at 106 East Oak Street in Chicago. For more information, call them at 312-640-9501.