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Threadless to open Chicago retail store in September

Online T-shirt retailer will open the doors of its first brick-and-mortar store this fall.

Online T-shirt retailer Threadless has announced it will be opening its first brick-and-mortar retail store in its hometown of Chicago next month. The store will open its doors on Friday, September 14, and will celebrate the launch with two free concerts that night (one all ages, one over 18).

Threadless has been hailed for its innovative business model, which it calls an "ongoing T-shirt design competition." Creatively inclined fans can submit their own T-shirt design ideas, and winning selections can rake in $2,000 in cash for the designer. There are plenty of quirky features, too--if you submit a photo of yourself wearing a Threadless T-shirt, for example, you earn a discount on your next one.

Threadless' in-house artist works on the store's 'mashup window paintings.' Threadless

The company, which was started in 2000, has received more than 60,000 submissions and boasts more than 300,000 members.

"Sneak peeks" of the new Threadless store have been appearing on the company's news blog throughout the summer. They're clearly going for the same kind of tactics that made their Web site famous: in lieu of shopping bags, the store will use recycled cloth bags that can be returned to the store in exchange for a $5 discount; the store will also feature frequently changing artwork to match its current T-shirt designs.