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:
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.
Ride with us this Sunday for Cyclofemme
May 7, 2013
Come ride with us this Sunday, May 12th for Cyclo Femme; a socially-driven grass-roots celebration of women on bikes. We’ll be riding in each of our HUB cities through our favorite streets & routes in honor of this awesome day and movement. Come out and hang!
Click here to find a route in your town. These are some of the rides Chrome will be on:
City: CHICAGO, IL
Organizer: Kelsey Coutts
Chrome Chicago is hosting a neighborhood ride starting and ending at the Chrome HUB. Anyone is welcome to join, this will be a chill afternoon ride, 5-10 miles. We'll end at the Chrome store where folks can enjoy some snacks and beverages on us. We'll also be raffling off some new Welded Transport bags. Ride starts @Noon.
City: PORTLAND, OR
Organizer: Cindy Lewellen
Chrome PDX will be hitting up the 25-mile road ride from NW Portland to Lents Park in SE where hundreds of other riders will be gathering to celebrate Cyclo Femme and Sunday Parkways. We'll be riding with Sarai Snyder, the founder of Cyclo Femme and Girl Bike Love. Meet at Rapha N.A. Headquarters (1915 NW Kearney St., Portland) at 9a for talk and tattoos, rollout at 9:30a. See you there!
City: OAKLAND, CA
Organizer: Jillian Betterly
Chrome SF will be heading over to the East Bay and meeting in Jack London Square to ride with the Oakland crew, check out the full ride details here
Streets of Chrome Photo Contest
February 26, 2013
To celebrate the launch of our new street photography camera bags, the Niko Camera Bag Series, we ran a contest to find the world’s next great street photographer. From Ricky Powell to Tod Seelie, street photographers have inspired Chrome with their ability to capture the city with simple, raw and candid photos.
The contest received over 1,200 submissions worldwide, resulting in over 23k votes. Photos submitted were extremely impressive but Javier Linares photo took the overall with this shot:
Ingress is no longer a game
December 21, 2012
For as yet unknown reasons Niantic Labs is providing identifying patches for both the Resistance and Enlightened factions to Chrome HUBs in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and Portland. These New faction symbols raise the conflict of ideals between the competing movements to another level. The scale is global, and Ingress is clearly no longer a game... and what’s Niantic Lab’s role in all this... just whose side are they on anyway? If you know, please tell us.
Drop by one of our stores to buy your patch and we'll sew it on your bag for free.