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Feb
13

Tony’s Sports Relives Its Legacy With Hyde Park Pop-Up Shop – The Real Chi

In an interview with FlightSkool, Fernandez credits Tonys Sportss legion of loyal customers, and its lasting legacy, to the sense of belonging the store created for its customers, an attribute that allowed it to stand out and endure from other streetwear shops of the era.

As soon as you opened the door to Tonys Sports, it was like walking into a whole different world, Fernandez said. Tonys Sports was the go-to place It was people greeting you. It was family.

Tonys Sports continued to make itself a destination by bringing then-unknown brands to the city, like FUBU and Willie Esco. The shop had cultivated such a valuable reputation that after Michael Jordans retirement, the Bulls legend picked Tonys Sports as the only independent retailer in Chicago to carry Jordan Brand, making it Jordans first official stockist in the city outside of Nikes flagship Michigan Avenue shop.

I drilled through the walls, literally, me and a couple other friends with jackhammers, wed do the spot next door, another 1,200 square foot store, Fernandez said of the original Sheridan Road store that was selected to carry Jordan Brand. We needed ample space. We were growing too fast.

Fernandez, a Chicago native who now lives in Florida, grew up watching his father become an entrepreneur who eventually opened three dress shoe stores throughout the city. He would work at his fathers shop after school, an experience he says gave him a model for how he wanted his own shops to look.

After his father closed the dress shoe shops, Fernandez says his father left him the remaining $10,000 in odds and ends inventory.

That $10,000 was left to me and I had to turn those goods into money [it] taught me the knowledge on how [he] built this, and how he did it, Fernandez said. I have a passion for what I built and what I follow.

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Tony's Sports Relives Its Legacy With Hyde Park Pop-Up Shop - The Real Chi