New Ravenswood clothing store launched by two friends with a passion for vibrant vintage style

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RAVENSWOOD – The owners of a vintage clothing boutique which opened in Ravenswood this month spent years selling their wares in the town’s markets before launching a brick-and-mortar business.

Her & Ziba’s, 4919 N. Damen Ave., offers a variety of colorful clothing and accessories dating from the 1960s to 1990s. The store opened last month.

Owners Elhom Karbassi and Leslie Castromayor said they loved the bright colors and patterns of those decades and enjoyed helping customers incorporate bold elements into their outfits to help them explore and develop their personal style of fun way.

“We can help them figure out what clothes make them feel good,” Karbassi said. “Clothes have been gendered for so long, but clothes are genderless and they should really be what makes you feel good.”

Karbassi previously worked in the nonprofit world, but found she had more passion for helping people find vintage outfits and started selling clothes on the side. Karbassi quit her nonprofit job in 2020 to focus full-time on selling vintage clothing in local markets, she said.

That’s how she met and befriended Castromayor, who had also been selling vintage clothes for a few years, Karbassi said. Karbassi is Iranian-American and Ziba is Filipino-American.

“We immediately understood that vintage clothing is still white space, especially in Chicago. There are still a lot of white people, which is good,” Karbassi said. “But being two first-generation brunette women, it was really nice for us to get together and relate to the gatekeeping that we sometimes feel. ”

Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
Some of the items for sale at Her & Ziba, 4919 N. Damen Ave.

The friends began the process of opening their boutique over the summer with the aim of creating a welcoming space for fans of vintage clothing like themselves.

During their market days, Castromayor sold clothes as Never Heard of Her Vintage and Karbassi as Ziba Finds.

Combining their former names in Her & Ziba was the perfect match for their new venture, Karbassi said.

“Ziba means ‘beautiful’ in Farsi, so my old name was Beautiful Finds and keeping that was important to me,” Karbassi said. “And we had some really dope artists to create our new branding and logo.”

A grand opening celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m. on March 12, with a limited supply of branded tote bags and other merchandise. For more information visit the store instagram.

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