Streetwear is having a global moment, and few places top Wicker Park institution RSVP Gallery. One of its most prominent flag-bearers: Hazel Crest native Isimeme “Easy” Otabor, who first cut his teeth doing sales for the Damen Avenue retailer (which just opened a second location in Los Angeles) before assuming his present role as consultant, spreading the RSVP gospel by helping facilitate collaborations—like the store’s recent AF-100 Gallery pop-up celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Nike Air Force 1—and imparting tastemaker sensibilities where needed.
“We’re always just trying to lead and not follow; we’re trying to be ahead of the curve,” explains Otabor, who served as the store’s buyer from 2013 to 2017.
“You can’t proceed with your future until you know your past,” explains the 31-year-old River North resident. “I don’t want anyone to forget what’s come before them.” In the growing annals of Chicago style lore, Otabor is carving out a memorable notch for himself.