London Skye bringing British fashion to Naperville development

A fashion boutique that takes its inspiration from England is coming to downtown Naperville.

London Skye, a contemporary boutique owned by Naperville fashion stylist and merchandiser Joellen Elam, is one of the first shops announced as part of the Water Street District development under construction south of the DuPage River.

With "traditional European character" incorporated into its architecture, an Italian-inspired outdoor plaza and an elevated walkway connecting two new buildings, Elam said Water Street stood out as the perfect spot for her rustic boutique.

"With the design of the project being very European-inspired," she said, "it's just going to have a really cool vibe."

Construction of the $93 million complex began last April and is expected to wrap up by late fall, allowing a hotel, banquet space, restaurants and shops such as London Skye to open shortly thereafter. The project also includes a 520-space parking garage built on 2.4 acres east of the Naperville Municipal Center, where a string of underused office buildings was torn down early last year.

Elam said she has been working in downtown Naperville clothing shops for the past five years, connecting with the tastes of shoppers. But her inspiration for London Skye came earlier, when she and her husband lived in London for three years.

"I got involved in the fashion industry there and loved it. I loved the architecture and the people," said Elam, who now lives in Sugar Grove. "I thought it'd be fun to bring that back to Naperville and have a retail store that had a pub-inspired look to it."

London Skye will sell women's and men's clothing and accessories in a $30 to $300 price range. Elam said men can expect brands such as Psycho Bunny, Billabong, Hurley and Age of Wisdom that offer a less traditional flavor than other menswear sold in the downtown.

"There's really a gap right now with a contemporary men's shop in downtown Naperville, and the guys are really looking for that," Elam said.

Women will find tops and dresses from brands such as Mystree, Liverpool, Scrapbook and Lovestitch. The boutique will feature premium denim brands such as 7 for Mankind for both genders in a setting with wingback leather chairs and British decor.

"People are fashion-forward," Elam said about the Naperville shoppers her store will cater to. "They're into having a presence about themselves and looking good and feeling good, and I like that."

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  Construction continues on the Water Street District in downtown Naperville, where a clothing boutique with an English flair will open along with a Hotel Indigo, a banquet center, other shops and restaurants. Work is expected to be complete by late fall. Marie Wilson/
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