CHROME HUBS are more than places to get the newest Chrome products. You can build a custom bag at our Chrome Custom Sewing Station, discover new music after hours at our Third Thursdays, watch bike and skate videos, check out our exclusive screenings, start (or end) an alley cat or just stop in to find out where to get the best burrito in town. CHROME HUBS reflect our commitment to living in the city. Come in, hang out, talk shop with the crew and buy something if you feel like it.
Chicago Black Ops Citizen
December 2, 2013
The Chrome Black Ops Citizen is inspired by the same all-black Chicago flag patch worn by tactical units throughout the city. Like the patch, the Black Ops Citizen uses all black for the entire bag, with the exception of the grey stars and d-panel. Made in USA. Guaranteed for life.
The Chicago Black Ops Citizen is only available at our Chrome HUB on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, and select Chicago area Chrome Dealers.
Participating Chicago Chrome Dealers:
Chrome_20 Goes Live
November 19, 2013
It’s going to be a good month. We’ve teamed up with the iconic bike shop Orange 20 to bring you a one-of-a-kind Chrome HUB in LA. We call it Chrome_20 and starting November 22nd it’s going to be a month-long party.
Orange 20 is great, the staff kicks ass, and they have been influential in shaping the Los Angeles cycling culture. We’re more than stoked that they invited us into their space; we’re pumped to share some beers (many beers) with the Orange 20 crew over the next 4 weeks.
Chrome_20 is more than just a spot to pick up some bombproof Chrome gear…
First off, we’re hosting a month-long Streets of Chrome photography show. We’ve reached out to our friend Van Styles to curate an exhibition of Los Angeles street photography. Along with his own photoset, Van selected the work of Sagan Lockhart and Jefroe in the show. Van kills it behind the lens and has more Instagram followers than you; Sagan Lockhart is one of the creative geniuses affiliated with Odd Future; Jefroe is the creative director of At Large Media in LA. This show is uniquely Los Angeles and we’re humbled to be showing this work.
Chrome_20 is also home to #Wrenched_LA our interactive Instagram wall featuring favorite local spots. The first interactive edition of our Wrenched city guide, #Wrenched_LA is powered by the people. Chrome_20 features a wall-sized map of LA. Whenever a photo is posted to Instagram with the hashtag #Wrenched_LA, we’re going to print the photo and post it on the map. Next time you’re at a rad spot in LA take a photo and tag it #Wrenched_LA. Favorite dive bar: #Wrenched_LA, killer burrito: #Wrenched_LA, amazing coffee: #Wrenched_LA, best place to watch the sunset: #Wrenched_LA. You get it. We’re asking you to show us your city. At the end of this thing we’ll have a wall documenting the best places in LA. It’s going to be awesome.
Each week you’ll have a chance to win a 2013 Chrome Coveted Jersey. Starting with an alleycat on 11/22 at 7pm, a fixed gear cross race on 11/29 at 7pm, and an uphill sprint race on 12/7 at 1pm. This will be your last chance to get a 2013 Chrome Coveted Jersey - don’t miss out. We’ll get you more information about the ongoing events but for now: the party starts November 22nd at 7pm – 10pm. We’ll have a DJ and beer from New Belgium Brewing (thanks!), you can check out the photographs, and its your first chance to score a Coveted Jersey.
The address is:
4357 Melrose St.
Los Angles, CA 90029
We’ll be there:
Mon.-Sat. 11am - 7pm
Sunday 11am - 5:30pm
Meet the Makers: Lara Kessler, Demon on Two Wheels and PDX Bag Maker
September 23, 2013
NAME: Lara Kessler
BIRTHPLACE: Outside Philadelphia, PA
BIKES IN QUIVER:
Track: Blue TR250
Road: Veloforma F1R
Commuter/ rain/ training: Giant OCR A1
DAY JOB: Chrome Custom bag maker/ seamstress/ designer
HOBBY: Riding or racing bikes and sewing at home. I never get tired of it.
5 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AT RANDOM:
Daft Punk: Get Lucky
Black Sabbath: Changes
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die
Beastie Boys: An Open Letter to NYC
How did you get started sewing and making things?
I'm all leg with a short torso. I wanted to start designing clothes that fit my body shape and were ahead of the times. It's also an under-appreciated skill that is taken for granted until a person actually knows someone that posses the ability and then all of a sudden, everyone has 500 things that need altering or repair. I like being that resource and making a little extra money in the process.
What was your favorite thing you’ve ever made?
My wedding dress. And the Misfits Crimson Ghost Citizen Messenger Bag for Halloween 2012.
You’ve been making custom bags at the Chrome HUB in Portland since it opened, what bags have you made that’ve been your favorite?
Definitely that Crimson Ghost bag, the Chicago Bulls Hip pouch, and the Shark Attack and Pendleton fabric Citizens, too.
Have you encountered any odd #ChromeCustoms requests?
I get asked regularly if I make custom knife rolls.
What attracted you to work at Chrome?
It's pretty amazing that I can say I'm one of four people in the world that holds the position of Chrome Bag Maker. It's like running my own tailoring shop in the heart of the Chrome Portland store. I've met a lot of cool people in the time I've been here.
What’s your favorite off-the-shelf Chrome product and why?
The Yalta Night Backpack and the Sotnik Duffel Bag. Yalta Night because I'm not normally comfortable wearing a lot of black on my bike, especially as PDX moves into the greyer months, and I know I'm very visible using this bag from that 3M reflective pocket on the front. Even better is that it's a subtle reflective coating and only extremely visible when light hits. If a car tags me from behind, I know it's entirely their fault. And the Sotnik because it's an amazing travel bag! You can carry it in so many different ways and no matter how much you pack in it, it will always fit in the plane overhead compartments.
You’re a Cat 2 track cyclist, been crushing it in time trials at Alpenrose Velodrome for the past three years. How's the season going for you?
2013 was a transition from track to road for me. I wanted a different challenge on the bike and I had never focused on road racing - I had only used it as leg speed work for the track. Road requires a lot more miles in your legs and it's also different muscle memory. My race season started really early this year and I went hard trying to get at least top 3 right off the gun. I was successful until about July and then my legs were pretty gassed, but I wouldn't quit. Harsh reality: I still have a lot of work to do with my development.
What are your future racing plans?
I will most likely return to the track in 2014, but still work hard racing road. My cycling team is road racing focused and it's a solid team that has developed pro riders. That is not my aspiration, but I'm going to try my hardest to be of that caliber.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Stumptown?
After living in Chicago for 6 years where the only hills are overpasses, I'm extremely thankful to have so much varying elevation here. I love climbing hills on my bike and the views are gorgeous once you reach the top.
What’s your favorite recovery meal?
After all those hill climbs, I usually blend up some Chocolate almond milk, yogurt, peanut butter, banana, honey and some post-workout powder. And sometimes a shower beer.
Great sushi is in abundance here so I prefer to treat myself to that when I can.
Any shout outs?
Meet the Makers: Caroline Borucki talks bags, music and inspirational decay.
September 5, 2013
NAME: Caroline Borucki
BIRTHPLACE: Hinsdale, Illinois
BIKE: Biria Citibike step-through in olive; her name is Laverne.
DAY JOB: Chrome Chicago bag maker/seamstress
SIDE PROJECT: My apparel & craft brand, self titled 'caroline borucki'
5 SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST AT RANDOM:
Lil' Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & the Pharaoh
Can't Hardly Wait - the Replacements
Age of Consent - New Order
Glass Figurine - Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
Yekermo Sew - Mulatu Astatke
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started making things?
I was an avid thrift store shopper in high-school, so eventually I decided to alter clothing to my liking. After getting a good response from classmates, I decided to study apparel design in college.
What was your first sewing project?
I was captivated by fabrics with rad prints, so the fit and sizing of thrift items didn't impact my purchase. I know my first projects revolved around transforming long skirts into bubble skirts, and muumuu's into fitted dresses.
You’ve been making custom Chrome bags in Chicago for a long time, can you tell us about some of the favorite bags you’ve made?
My favorite bags have most definitely been the holiday bags I've done. I draft/cut out special patches that have resembled a reindeer, snowman, color string-lights, Frankenstein and jack-o-lanterns. The time it takes to create them is well worth it when it comes to Chrome Chicago visitors commenting on them. I get really excited about the holidays, so I'm pretty into perking everyone else up about them too.
Have you encountered any odd #ChromeCustoms bag requests? Has there ever been anything really crazy?
My favorite requests are from dedicated fans; I've done a few bags inspired by Zelda and sports teams. I assist with choosing the right color scheme and patch placement to make the bag perfect. From the day I began I have been asked by a multitude of people about firearm and rifle scope bags/accessory attachments. I give my input on how to go about it, but still waiting to see images of their final results.
If you could have one stock Chrome bag which would you choose?
My favorite bag is my Metropolis, but if we are talking about a bag I've been eying I would say the Sotnik. WHY? Only because I like wearing/using bags that I can fit into. Plus they are great in packing all my merchandise to events & fashion shows.
Besides making custom bags at the Chrome HUB in Chicago, you also have your own line clothing, cards and frills, how do you create balance in your life?
It's pretty tough, I'm lucky if I remember to eat throughout the day. I try to map out a weekly schedule of to-do lists, while making a habit of waking up at 6am to go to my workspace before Chrome. Never skipping my morning bagel & cream cheese is most important.
Your clothing line takes inspiration from nature’s seamy underbelly – a decaying peach, intertidal sealife – what qualities inspire you? What is your process of getting inspired?
I'm inspired by botany, mostly rooted in mycology and plants. The textures and colors associated within these topics is extremely inspiring for me, and I love to use new techniques to mimic the appearances. I try to classify each collection with a specific biological taxonomy, the goal is to learn as much as I can about science along the way of creating collections each season.
Your clothes are very sculptural, how did your education as a sculptor effect your design decisions?
After getting experience in sculpture I realized how similar it could be translated into fashion. While in college I did a lot more sculptural fashion pieces, but when trying to branch into the industry I've had to tone down my ideas for wearability. I appreciate the one-of-a-kind mentality for art, so everything I produce is hand-crafted to be different. I've branched into a lot of 'craft' because having a variety of outlets allows for me to continually develop new skills.
You got started out in fashion, what drew you to work at Chrome?
Having life-time warranty products is a pretty rare occurrence, so knowing Chrome had such high standards for their products made me really want to be part of the team. I have always been a 'bag-lady,' carrying around a bunch of cheaply-made thrift-found luggage bags while making daily commutes. It wasn't until I made my own first Chrome bag that I realized I didn't need to invest in a new bag every couple months.
Can we pick your brain a bit about Chicago? What’s your favorite thing about living in the Windy City?
I've been in the Chicagoland area my entire life, so for me walking down the street and running into people I know on a regular basis is probably my favorite part. Witnessing Chicago's crazy weather is always exciting. Plus the food out here is fabulous!
If you some have time off, but only enough for a bike ride where do you go?
I ride around the forest preserve, specifically the Salt Creek Trail. I've been riding that trail since my brother led the way when I was in elementary school. Plus, hanging out with deer in the forest is one of my favorite things to do when I have the time.
What's the best music venue in Chicago?
It's not exactly a venue, but my favorite Chicago performance was at the Fourth Presbyterian church downtown. I saw Andrew Bird's holiday show there in 2009, and it was simply fantastic.
CHROME X CARDIEL X T19
August 27, 2013
T19 X CHROME
Limited Edition collaboration with famed Japanese skate/fixed brand T19 and skate legend turned track bike savant John Cardiel.
We partnered with Japanese skate/fixed crew T19 to create a limited edition ORP, our lightweight rolltop daypack designed with skate legend and track bike savant John Cardiel. T19 was one of the initial startup skate companies in Tokyo and has been shaping the skate culture in Japan for over thirty years. They've worked with Stussy, New Era, and Fragment. We're stoked to work with them.
T19 was founded in 1984 by five street skaters in the Shibuya and Harajuku area. T19 also helped spark the original track bike movement in Tokyo. A decade after the formation of the team, the brand T19 Skateboards was born. During the track bike show hosted by Subcrew (HK) in Beijing in 2010, the T19 team got to know John Cardiel through NYC’s John Igei. A year later, T19 and John Cardiel came together again during the FTC/Chrome Japan Tour and the idea emerged to make a T19 x Cardiel bag.
The T19 ORP features T19's signature blue and a custom T19 patch designed by pro skater and graffiti artist Hirotaka Sasao, 笹尾弘貴 a.k.a. “ CHAKA." The Operation Readiness Pack (ORP) is lightweight and water-resistant and can be used as a daypack or rolled up and stowed in another bag for travel ease.
Limited quanitties for the T19 ORP now available.
Shot/ Edited: TAKEIGOODMAN