Next-gen ear-piercing concept Studs expands to Chicago

Deena Amato-McCoy
SPECS Program Director
Deena Amato-McCoy profile picture

Studs continues to grow its footprint.

A Gen Z and millennial fave, the ear piercing studio and earrings brand has opened a store in Chicago, on   bustling State Street in the city’s Gold Coast district. It’s Studs’ first store in Illinois, giving it a total of 20 locations.

The brand was founded in 2019 with a goal of reimagining the traditional ear-piercing experience. It offers ear piercing done by sterilized needles (as opposed to piercing guns) by trained staff who also consult with customers as to the earrings that would work best for their unique ear anatomy. Services are available for ages 13 and older.

As to the use of needles for piercing, the company says that needles result in less tissue trauma, shorter healing time and are an overall more hygienic piercing procedure. Piercings cost $35, or $50 for two.

Studs offers a wide assortment of earrings, including curated earscapes (personalized combinations of piercings and earrings that customers can mix and match to create their own look) and single earrings. Prices start at about $18 and run upwards to $150.  

The State Street location also features a novelty “Chicago” huggie earring collection based on a few of the city’s trademarks, including a basketball jersey and Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate arch.

The brand is known for its stylish-looking, Instagram-worthy spaces and the new Chicago location is no exception. The 1,690-sq.-ft. store has a sleek, modern look, with an all-white palette accented by neon and bright yellow hues. 

Studs opened its first location in late 2019 in downtown Manhattan, followed by a second store at the city’s Hudson Yards. The company opened its third outpost in 2021 in Austin, Texas, following a temporary hiatus during the pandemic. 

During the past two years, however, Studs has shifted into expansion mode. It is set to open a store in late November, in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood.

When choosing a new location, Studs said it looks to cities with large Gen Z and millennial populations and shopping areas with strong foot traffic from locals and tourists. Proximity to other  trendy retailers and restaurants is another plus. The State Street location fit the bill on all counts.

“Neighboring high-end boutiques and premier brands make it a top destination for fashion enthusiasts,” the company said. “More than its affluent reputation, Chicago’s Gold Coast boasts a lively, diverse crowd that aligns with the Studs spirit. It’s not just about location— it’s about being at the heart of where style, culture and vibrancy converge.”