Evanston resident Katie Cory attributes her success in fashion to the inner voice that drives all the women in her family to be better, stronger, and “more interesting” than their previous decade. Her Skändal boutique (shopskandal.com) in Winnetka is a testament to that, bringing clothing “from Scandinavia with love.”
Her mother sewed all the family’s clothing and Cory paid attention—ending up designing and creating her youngest sister’s wedding dress. She pursued a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design, opening her first boutique at age 22. She started Skändal in 2012 as a return to fashion after years of raising children, a banking career, and travels around the world. “Scandinavian heritage is second nature to me so sourcing the beautiful designers in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki was a treasured exploration of style,” she says.
“Skändal is ahead of its time and customers love what we do. Our wonderful staff of stylists come from Stockholm, England, Denmark, and France, as well as Chicago. North Shore customers love it as much as she does. Here are a few of this fashion-forward entrepreneur’s lasts:
Great fashion find that you couldn’t resist?
Rumisu Scarves from Istanbul. This young designer is making her own patterns and designs, and then printing silk scarves in the same printing house that produces the famous Hermes scarves. We just started carrying them at Skändal. Next spring, we will have her dresses in new brilliant patterns.
Amazing vacation you took?
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The most wonderful experiences with wildlife happen here as animals have no fear of humans. We were way out in the ocean on a “Panga” (Jacques Cousteau-type rubber raft) searching for Mola Mola (think of 10-foot tall angelfish), when a tiny flipper appeared on the side of the raft. A Galápagos fur seal pup’s head popped up over the side looking right at me.
Decadent dinner you’ll not soon forget?
Geranium, a Copenhagen 3-Star Michelin Restaurant. The Chef Rasmus Koføed served five of our 16 courses to us. Uffda!
Small moment that provided big inspiration?
To help a friend, my husband and I donated a dishwasher to The Rice Child & Family Center in Evanston 10 years ago—a home for children with profound psychological and social needs due to neglect and abuse. It has turned out to be the most rewarding feel-good, pay-it-forward relationship for both me and my family.
Impulse decision that you’ll never regret?
My first date with my husband and best friend, Joel Cory.